By Paula Courtney, Chief Executive Officer.
October 1 is Customer Experience Day, a celebration of the professionals and companies that make great customer experiences a reality. But more concretely, it’s an opportunity for all of us to better understand and gain insight into just what customers experience every day and each time they buy your products and services, shop online or in your store, or interact with your account representatives, sales reps or your customer service desk.
Step into your customers’ shoes
The first thing you can do to better appreciate your customers’ experiences is to actually step into their shoes for a day – see what goes well and, just as importantly, what doesn’t.
Did you experience problems? The reality is they’re everywhere. Regardless of industry, gender or income, a large proportion of customers report experiencing issues with their last “purchase” or interaction. In fact, when The Verde Group looked at more than 72,000 customer responses over the last four years, it turned out that anywhere from 49% of agriculture customers (farmers buying products from manufacturers) to 62% of financial services clients to 88% of physicians (interacting with big pharmaceutical companies) reported less than stellar experiences. And for retail customers like you and me, problem incidences are as high as 72%.
What sorts of problems did you experience? There are a whole range of issues that come up, of course, but one we’ve found time and time again is the lack of proactive contact from companies about new products and services and potential issues with them.
Based on your experience, would you buy again? Or, more importantly, would you tell anyone about your good or bad experiences? It’s a critical question because CX problems can suppress customer loyalty by as much as 200%.
Digging deeper, if you had a bad experience, would you complain to your company and would you even know who to complain to? Probably not. It turns out complaint incidences are pretty low and less than half of customers report problems.
|% of customers reporting problem
You might be thinking: well, that’s because not all problems are worth the effort. While that may be true generally, we actually asked customers if they’d contacted the problem company about their most serious problem, rather than just run-of-the-mill issues like a long line at checkout.
Your CX Day homework isn’t over quite yet
Once you’ve gained some insight into being a customer, see what it’s like to be an employee – more specifically, investigate how easy or hard it is to deliver an outstanding customer experience.
What obstacles do you run into? What unforeseen issues get in the way of serving customers properly? And, when problems do arise, do you have the authority, as an employee, to solve them? These are just some of the many questions that may come up. And, recognizing and answering them can go a long way to making every day a better CX Day for your customers.
(If, by the way, you’re reading this after CX Day has come and gone, no worries. It’s never too late to investigate, discover and learn!)