One of the biggest challenges that most retailers face is designing and delivering a UNIQUE and PERSONALIZED customer experience — something that no other brand offers; something that compels their customers to become loyalists. And more and more brands are investing time and money more than ever to create this differentiation. This is fantastic! Why? Well, take a look at this prediction from Gartner.
“By 2018, more than 50% of organizations will redirect their investments to Customer Experience innovations.”
So, Customer Experience is the need of the hour when it comes to getting a competitive edge, especially in the retail industry. In this pursuit of differentiating yourself based on the experience you deliver, it is possible that you may lose track of the fundamental laws that rule the world of Customer Experience and end up committing some mistakes that could put your brand in jeopardy! Here below are 5 of the most common CX mistakes that retailers should avoid:
1. Not engaging customers enough
Claiming to be customer-centric without listening to the voice of customer can do more harm to your brand than good. Engaging them throughout their journey with your brand and understanding their experience, with as much detail as you can, helps you design a better customer experience strategy. A good customer engagement strategy involves:
• Regular customer feedback requests
• Feedback requests across multiple channels to make it more inclusive
• A consistent customer journey across all these channels
• Every member within the organization to be just as thrilled about customer engagement as the customer-facing staff.
2. Harassing customers for feedback
This is the other extreme of the previous mistake. While it is no longer beneficial to ignore the voice of the customer, it is equally inappropriate to irritate customers with constant requests for feedback. Set a certain frequency for your feedback surveys and stick with it religiously to avoid survey fatigue. Unless you are coming up with a new collection, or a sale or something out of the ordinary do not break this frequency and throttle any more surveys than required. This is a classic mistake that many brands make which can easily be avoided.
The other important thing to bear in mind in the omni-channel world we live in, is that you cannot pop the same survey to a customer across all channels of interaction! Multiple channels are useful because you get to target different demographics on different channels. If you abuse this boon and send out survey requests on all channels to customers, it is a sure shot way to earn their wrath.
3. Not doing anything with the feedback
This is absolutely criminal given how easy it is to adopt a Customer Experience Management Software that will do all the analysis for you and give you insights into your customers and their needs. Collecting feedback is only the Step 1 of the circle of Customer experience. You need to close the feedback loop to make this practice fruitful.
With CloudCherry, you not only have the option of reaching out to your customers across 17 different channels, you also get this data analysed so you can work on the corrective measures in real time! Imagine: A shopper walks in, is unhappy with your staff behaviour, and he leaves you a feedback stating the same. With CloudCherry’s CEM tool, alerts can be sent in real-time to the store manager who can then run to this shopper’s rescue and sort out this issue before the shopper leaves your premises.
So, when you have the power to action customer feedback in real-time, simply collecting it for the sake of it really is criminal, is it not!
4. Not being graceful while addressing complaints
The thing about customer complaints is that even though most brands consider them evil, it is in fact a necessary evil! Without complains, you barely have any scope to improve! You should be grateful that your customers are willing to share their concerns with you, because they could very just walk out and never return as if nothing ever happened! You would be losing a customer for life then. Instead, by looking at complaints as an opportunity to improve you drastically improve customer retention.
If a customer is complaining- be it on social media, or in person- try and understand what need of his was unmet and make them and offer they simply cannot refuse! Do not get defensive and argue with your customer because you will just be adding fuel to the fire. Listen carefully and patiently because 9 out of 10 times, customers don’t simply complain. If it is an issue you can resolve immediately, do so. Incentivize them for giving you the opportunity to grow. Tell them that you respect their association with you. Be gentle and graceful while handling complaints because it is a “double edges sword” situation. You can either argue and lost them or you can listen patiently and resolve it and win them over afresh! The choice is really yours!
5. Losing track of your Brand Promise
One of the most common mistakes, but also the most important lesson to learn — Delivering on your brand promise. This is the fundamental message your brand sends out to your customers. This is what should set you apart from the rest and how you deliver on your brand promise determines how loyal your customers are to you. If you say you value your customers, make this happen everyday, every single time, with every encounter the customer has with your brand. If you are promising delight, do it.
Go out of your way once in a while to engage your customers. Let them know that you are not here just for quick money and that your brand really walks the walk and doen’t just talk the talk. When you repeatedly and consistently deliver on your brand promise, you will definitely have won over your tribe and isn’t that the dream for all retailers- to have more and more return customers!