As CX professionals, it’s our job to understand and predict the needs of customers and to present experiences that fulfil those needs.
Unfortunately, the reality of our role is rarely so simple.
According to a study from Bain & Company, 80 percent of businesses believe they are delivering a “superior” Customer Experience, and yet, only eight percent of customers feel they’re receiving such an experience. Clearly the realities of CX don’t match the stories that we as CX professionals tell ourselves.
Given this disconnect, it’s hard not to wonder what other common misconceptions we as CX professionals hold. Even more importantly, what are the steps that we can take to overcome these myths in future?
With that in mind, here are four common myths to rethink in your own CX approach.
Myth 1: Loyalty is the number one priority for CX
CX professionals often emphasise the importance of customer loyalty and the role that a positive CX can play in encouraging such loyalty to the brand. These are great concepts – and when loyalty is earned it is of huge value to a business. But what do we really mean when we talk about loyalty?
Research by Forrester shows that most consumers “perceive loyalty programs as an opportunity to save money”. But ‘saving money’ isn’t loyalty. Discounting programmes aren’t loyalty programmes. In reality loyalty could refer to repeat purchase behaviours, or it could refer to intent to recommend. It all comes down to the goals of your business and what you choose to measure.
These are the types of considerations we need to account for before prioritising customer loyalty as the central goal of our CX approach. Concepts such as loyalty are only valuable if brands take the time to define these terms, hone their approach, and focus on the areas that are most important to their overarching business goals.
Myth 2: Customers need to be delighted at every interaction
‘Delighting’ customers is a notion that gets thrown around a lot in the CX world. While we obviously all want to provide our customers with positive, memorable experiences, it’s important not to get too caught up in short-term wins, rather than focusing on long-term success
Pleasing one off experiences are beneficial, but they shouldn’t take priority over consistent positive interactions with a brand. Creating this consistency and ensuring that each of your brand touchpoints is optimised will lead to far greater long-term value and customer loyalty than a one-off promotion or event.
Myth 3: CX is all about minimising customer complaints
Complaints are painful, but minimising customer complaints should not be the core focus of a brand’s Customer Experience approach. For each complaint, there is an opportunity to demonstrate that the individual is valued by the brand. Which is why service recovery can have such a powerful, positive impact on your Customer Experience.
As long as a customer is engaged enough to complain, there is hope. It’s the customers who quietly disappear, unhappy, unengaged and unsatisfied that should terrify us. Do we want to minimise the causes of complaints? Absolutely. But the complaint itself is not the problem. As hard as it is to remember: feedback is a gift, even when it’s painful. Feedback represents hope and provides brand with the opportunity to make things right for the individual and, ultimately, right for the business in future.
Myth 4: Customers want full personalisation
While many CX practitioners see full personalisation as the Holy Grail of experience, it’s important that brands don’t burden their customers with unnecessary data collection as they strive for the perfect personalised experience.
As just one example, airline brands know a tremendous amount about each passenger. If that knowledge is spread across multiple internal systems, however, then the availability of data can make the Customer Experience worse not better.
If an airline already knows what flight a customer is taking and whether they have checked in a bag, then there is no reason to ask customers those questions again at the airport. It’s crucial to solve such integration gaps before making the passenger do the heavily lifting. Save the customer’s valuable feedback time to focus on the unknown: what the experience was and how to improve it.
Much of what we talk about in Customer Experience is based on inaccurate, but shared, misconceptions. Thankfully, CX is not static – and we can always improve how we deliver it and how we talk about it. By understanding the nuance of some of our core CX language, we can challenge basic assumptions in ways that free us up to maximise our full potential and deliver memorable experiences that benefit both the brand and the customer in equal measure.