If you’ve decided to improve your customer experience, you may be thinking about what you’re currently doing that needs improvement. Even if you have the best intentions, you may be putting your efforts in the wrong place and unintentionally causing a worse customer experience.
For example, you may think that enabling customers to handle their complaints online without having to speak to a representative would make customers happy for the convenience–but what about the customers that prefer human interaction?
The last thing you want is to have a reverse effect on your customer’s experience when you mean well. Many small businesses find themselves in this predicament by trying to be just like their bigger competitors rather than focusing on their specialty–which should be the more personable connection. Take a look at these examples of ways you may be killing your customer experience rather than improving it.
Ensuring the customer experience is great from the start
Some companies will simply rely on customer satisfaction surveys to get feedback from customers rather than checking in with the customer during the time of service. For example, a customer of a pizza place that gets their pizza delivered with the wrong toppings, an extra-long wait, or a cold pizza will be pretty upset.
If no one checks in on the customer until a customer service survey pops in their email the next day, the customer will already have eaten a cold pizza with the wrong toppings way later than it was promised. The customer will likely report on the survey how poor the customer experience was rather than report how well it went despite the problem that occurred. A company with great service would know to handle the problem right away with a new pizza, a coupon for a free pizza, or some other solution.
If the customer reported a bad experience that wasn’t noticed or if they wanted to be contacted and no one ever reached out to them, they will feel like the company doesn’t care about them.
Relying on a contact form on your website
Some companies will use “contact us” forms on their website to allow customers to advise about questions or concerns about their experience. The problem with this method is it’s very impersonal and may make the customer feel unimportant in the process. Instead, it’s great when a company can get to the bottom of things before the customer leaves the store or before any time has passed.
Consider calling your customers to make sure their experience was great, mailing a thank you card with a feedback form, or having a customer service department on staff for customers that need a face-to-face interaction. If you are going to provide a contact form on your website, you will face huge backlash if your company doesn’t get in touch with the customer who submitted a form promptly.
Many companies neglect to respond to customers who submit online forms or emails. This will make the customer feel that their request was not only considered, but it was unimportant. That makes customers feel that there was no point to their complaint rather than to feel that their complaint was heard and mattered.
What happens when a customer feels ignored?
If your customer ends up feeling ignored over an experience like one of these, you will end up with a customer that is angry and out for revenge. Your customer will first vow to never do business with you in the future and then your customer will be sure to tell everyone they know about how they were treated.
The customer felt pushed to the edge by being ignored on their constructive criticism of your business practices and didn’t feel that their poor experience was ever corrected or made right. While most companies have some sort of customer feedback system in place, only the great companies take the time to do something about their customer feedback–whether that’s showing appreciation to happy customers or making upset customers feel that their request was heard.
Be very careful not to ignore your customer’s feedback, whether good or bad, because the customer is taking the time to reach out to you and wants to feel that it mattered. When you decide to provide a way for your customers to connect with you, you better be sure you have the resources to connect back and plans in place to make sure you can wow your customers in return. Treat every customer like they are the most important customer.