You’ve got challenges. But you knew that already, didn’t you? You’re aware of your customer complaints, churn rates, market share, and what’s negatively impacting your NPS score. You know exactly when a competitor introduces some new “surprise and delight” element in their CX and how it immediately turns into the new basic customer expectation. Your competitor spent a year prepping everything to enable that delight. Surprise! Now you have to up your game as well.
Forrester determined years ago that we are in the “age of the customer” where expectations constantly increase, and businesses must be customer obsessed to succeed. This is supported by a Salesforce report in which 84% of customers said the experience a company provides is as important as its products and services. A whopping 92% of participants in a Gladly survey indicated they would abandon a company after just 1 to 3 bad experiences. To put it simply, CX should be ranked at the top of your company priority list.
Enable Better Decisions with an Accurate Assessment of Your Brand’s Current CX
Okay, back to your challenges. Perhaps you have a reliable way to collect information from various sources to understand many of your big issues. You get feedback from people who are upset about major failures, but what about all the people whose poor experience is bad enough to make them abandon you but not bad enough to make the effort to complain? I went to a national auto repair shop and observed as I stood in line, that the phone rang incessantly while a solo frontline employee helped the customers in the shop (which I selfishly appreciated). His response when I asked him about the situation was, “oh yeah, it’s like that all day long.” All day long?! How many prospects will give up after one call and go to the competitor across the street instead? How many current customers who just want to know the status of their vehicle repair won’t be returning for the next one? According to research by Esteban Kolsky, only 1 out of 26 unhappy customers complain while the rest churn. That figure doesn’t even account for points of friction that don’t actively cause unhappiness but still create subconscious negative reactions that hinder conversion.
To embrace customer obsession and lead your category, it is critical to perform a complete customer experience audit. This is ideally done on a large scale, looking at everything along the entire customer lifecycle. But if your realm of influence is not that broad, it can also start on a small scale, focusing on one channel, an acquisition campaign, or the path to purchase for an average transaction. To be effective, it is important to drop your business lens and evaluate every interaction, every touchpoint, and moments between them as a customer would.
The purpose of a CX audit is to identify all the opportunities for improving customer experiences and to enable prioritization of which journeys and friction points to address first.
You may be wondering why you should care about the “small” issues that don’t generate complaints. First of all, you at least need to know what they are before you can determine if they are truly inconsequential. Plus, your company may have many small issues combining to create a significant overall impact. The big problems you know about might be persisting because they are complex, difficult to manage, or require a long-term overhaul. The experience gaps you have yet to identify might have high value and/or require low effort to fix. Either way, they should at least be on your radar.
3-Step Approach for a Successful CX Audit
Completing an evaluation of the current state of your brand’s customer experience is a powerful step toward designing an action plan to optimize your CX, surprising your competition, and strengthening your position as a category leader. Repeat the process at regular intervals (and immediately upon CX modifications, any significant changes in metrics/trends or industry disruption) and pivot, as needed, to stay ahead of the competition. And, if you’d like help in determining the opportunities and gaps in your customer relationships, we’d love to talk before your customers decide it’s time to break up.
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