The way we think customers want to be treated affects how we do business, but sometimes, our assumptions are a little off. Here are 5 myths about customer service–and why they’re busted–that can help reveal the best customer experience possible.

 

  1. A satisfied customer is a loyal customer.

Studies show that if customers are “satisfied” with a product or service, they are still likely to leave for a better price from a similar business. If you want customers to stake their reputations on referring your business and stick with you through pricing changes, you’ll have to far exceed their expectations.

  1. The fewer the complaints, the better.

Anywhere from 70-90% of dissatisfied customers don’t voice complaints before leaving a business. If you aren’t actively monitoring how customers are feeling, you may just be turning a blind eye. Complaints can reveal behavioral problems that would otherwise go unnoticed at the front line. Recognizing and changing specific habits can help retain current customers and create more loyal ones in the future.

  1. A company’s commitment to service will get the attention of customers.

Actually, there’s a huge gap here. While 80% of business leaders say they’re providing superior customer service, only 8% of their customers agree. It’s crucial to monitor customer feedback to see how customers really feel about your efforts.

  1. New sales are more important than customer service.

This is where we get into the idea of “good profits” vs. “bad profits.” A dollar from an angry customer is just as green as a dollar from a happy customer, but that first dollar represents poor reviews and a bad reputation. Studies show that a customer who had a poor experience will tell 17 people about it while a customer who had a good experience only tells 11. Profits from unhappy customers may look good in the short term, but eventually, that negativity will poison growth and overtake positive reviews and referrals.

  1. Invest more in marketing and advertising than in training or customer service.

According to various studies, it can cost anywhere from 5 to 25 times more to win a new customer from ads and marketing efforts than it does to retain an existing one. Customer retention is vital to growth, and the proper training and customer service measures will go a long way. Tracking those efforts and their effects on your business is the best way to move forward.

 

 

Fourth quarter is upon us, and as the year winds down, it’s time to start taking stock of what we’ve accomplished in 2018 and how we hope to move into 2019. This year saw a big trend towards customer experience, and companies everywhere are refocusing efforts on relationships with their customers.

The Temkin Group outlined 15 trends in customer experience (CX) to keep an eye on in 2018. While some of the things they pointed out are pretty high touch and difficult to roll out quickly, there are some pretty basic ideas that you can keep in mind for the final quarter or even for a great way to start 2019. Let’s break down a few of the highlights.

Companies are revamping underperforming CX metrics.

It’s time to trim the fat and figure out what works and what doesn’t. With the growing popularity of CX, plenty of systems, softwares, and measurement tools have arisen. It’s important to distinguish the important data and feedback from the simply well-intentioned. Technology is growing exponentially while marketing budgets are at their slowest pace in years, so optimizing data collection will help ensure other resources don’t suffer.

Brand promise alignment is a priority.

Clarifying a mission and delivering on that promise are of rising importance as brands try to establish an identity. Businesses are realizing that customers care less about the company history and growth and more about how they’re going to establish a relationship of value together.

Companies are realigning analytics around the customer journey.

Sales reports aren’t the only important numbers on the table anymore. Quantifying and tracking the customer journey is a key to ensuring retention, making sure that service is up to standard across the network, and predicting growth. CX metrics like the Net Promoter System have proven to be inextricably linked to growth, so it wouldn’t hurt to look at what analytics you’re using now to see how they measure up.

Newly energized executives will rush to embrace the idea of CX.

CX has become more than a buzzword in discussions of what drives growth, and more and more senior leaders are getting excited about it. Maybe too excited. While they know it has clear benefits, they may have an unrealistic idea of what needs to be done to get results. Many marketers and operations people assume that managers and execs understand what they’re asking for when they ask for it. It’s important to understand and explain the ins and outs of CX metrics to the entire company so everyone is on the same page and working towards the same tangible goals.

More and more efforts will emerge to create customer-centric cultures.

This trend is here to stay. Businesses are recognizing the importance of CX, and giants like Apple and Amazon have been focused on it for years. With so many options in every industry, consumers are shopping for an experience and a brand they can trust, not necessarily a product or service. They notice when a company culture is about relationships, and they’re more likely to stick around when they do. The best time to start is now, because wait too long, and you’ll fall behind the curve.

 

When we order a pair of sunglasses on Amazon, we want them on our doorstep yesterday. When we join a new trendy gym, we expect to lose 10 lbs in the first week. When we get into a pointless argument with a friend about which species of bear is the largest, we yell at a little gadget in the kitchen to tell the answer. The point is, we don’t want to wait for anything anymore, and businesses know that. The culture of instant gratification is here to stay, and while most products and services have caught up to fast-paced customers, it takes more to stay on top.

Think about the last time you had to navigate the endless menu of a customer support line. Maybe your blood boiled when you spent an entire afternoon in a doctor’s office waiting room and someone who showed up late was seen before you. Customer experience is now more important than ever, and a poor one can be damning.

An alarming 33% of Americans are willing to switch products or services after just one poor experience. Dissatisfied customers tell 36% more people about their experience than happy ones do. First-class entrepreneurs like Jeff Bezos and Tony Hsieh are more than aware of the fact that US businesses lose an average of $62 billion a year to poor customer service, and their success is largely built on making sure that revenue never walks out the door in the first place. They know that customers want excellent service, and they want it right this very second. You don’t get to become leaders in customer experience like Amazon and Zappos without having a system in place to guarantee every customer gets excellent, timely service.

This may sound like a herculean task (especially when measured on a Bezos scale), but with the availability of tried and true methods like the Net Promoter System, it’s more attainable than you’d think. Your customer feedback efforts have to be as fast as your customers’ expect them to be: instantaneous. When you implement NPS with a system like Listen360 that compiles feedback in real time, you can match that blistering pace. Faster follow-up and quicker mobilization to change practices that cause friction will work to keep those customers from falling through the cracks. Speed shows commitment, and your customers will certainly notice.