There’s no point in creating fancy customer experience initiatives if no customers actually want or benefit from them. Particularly if at the same time your core experience is rubbish. When’s the last time your business reviewed the experience of your core product or service instead - really?
According to Invesp, it costs five times as much to attract a new customer than it does to keep an existing one. This means it really is worth your while to invest in the customers you have purchasing from you right now - both new and old. Let’s stop disloyalty before building loyalty.
1. Take A Step Back
Before you can take a step forward towards minimising disloyalty, it’s vital to stop yourself in your tracks and analyse where your experience is at right here, right now. This step has the potential to highlight strategies that have been working well, strategies that haven’t been working so well, and make room for insights regarding what strategies aren’t even in place yet. You need to nail the basics before you can move to any whizzbang, spectacular outcomes. Seriously, if I hear about another virtual reality initiative from a company who delivers a sub-par core experience, my head may actually pop off. What’s the point of having your customer virtually try on different dresses if they won’t get the dress for two weeks due to complexities in your supply chain. This means looking at your current capabilities, such as your touch-points, services, products, processes and culture. Is something lacking? Could something be improved? These questions are essential to achieving the optimised customer experience for your unique business.
2. Get to know your customer
Do you really know your customer? Do you really know what they think of your core product or service? Unfortunately, what most businesses think they know about their customers is not always correct. Very often, very large businesses use the customer insights from only one or two channels, which represents a very small cross section of their key customer demographics. The result is that businesses will often create an experience that doesn’t align with customer wants and EXPECTATIONS, and they are then left wondering why things aren’t going to plan. There’s no point saying you will deliver something, only to consistently fall short of the mark. If you have access to information about what your customer likes and how they shop, this information needs to be processed and understood in order to identify where the opportunities are to satisfy your customer. This means taking a look at your current customers and determining not only what they like, but how they shop, how they want to shop, and why it is they choose to shop with you.
3. Set clear, measurable expectations
After determining everything you can about your existing customers, this information can be used to define the future path of your customer experience strategy. After identifying what it is that your customer wants, you can identify how it is you can deliver on this. These expectations need to not only be relevant, but also measurable. There’s no point setting expectations that you can’t assess. There also isn’t any point in setting expectations that are unachievable. You need to work out what you realistically are able to deliver to your customers based on their needs, and create a clear strategy that can effectively get you there. Remember, if you want to WOW your customer then try to under promise and over deliver on your core product or service. Once you can put your hand on your heart and say your core experience is being delivered consistently, then your allowed to roll out the strobe lights and fairy floss.
4. Clear Up the Pathway
Based on the deliverables you want to achieve; a clear user experience needs to be created. Customers want simplicity. If you can’t give them a straightforward reason as to why they should shop with you, they won’t. The good news here is that the ball is in your court. If you can make the user experience clear and straightforward, customers will feel confident about their decision and will therefore be less likely to stray away from your brand to another one. The route to purchase need to be personalised so that this simplicity can be achieved. If someone is searching for a generic phrase, such as ‘sporty cars’, they will most likely want to be directed to reviews about different brands who sell them, however someone typing in a specific model/product name will most likely be seeking a direct link to the dealer or link to purchase. By moulding this path for the customer, it eliminates confusion and fosters a sense of ease and assurance.
These strategies truly are just the tip of the iceberg, but what they demonstrate is that every business is more than capable of adopting practices that reduce customer disloyalty.
It’s time to stop delivering an experience that your customer doesn’t want, and start focusing on how you can deliver the basic experience that they do. (Now queue the flash mob).