Sure, sales numbers matter, as do those key CX metrics you’ve been measuring (right?). But that’s not all. You need to take a step back from the numbers to understand the nuances.
What factors drive those key metrics? (And are you even measuring the right customer experience metrics?) Are your customers really happy, or just passive — and why? Those businesses that have not yet invested in customer experience are already far behind the curve. However, even for companies that have placed CX at the core of their business strategy, there is a definite disconnect.
What business might consider customer experience often differs from customer expectations. This gap, more accurately termed the “perception gap,” is the root of discontent as customers become disheartened or frustrated with the products or services they receive. Just take a simple example: You see an appealing product online. However, when it arrives you realize that although you got the exact product, it just looked better in the pictures. This disappointment is what is happening to businesses around the world.
Bridge the gap
The best way to connect better with your customers is by minimizing the gap between perceptions and outcomes. This encourages customers to be more comfortable with your promise, ensuring that they can rely on you (making it even more likely you’ll receive coveted word-of-mouth publicity).
But how do you bridge the gap if you don’t fully understand it?
Get them talking
If there is a perception gap — what is it affecting, and why? Take a look at your customer journey and understand the points of most concern. The changing patterns in key metrics across touchpoints can help guide your efforts.
Now focus in: reach out to your customers to learn what they’re expecting versus what they receive. Customer expectations are always evolving, and it’s up to you to keep up. What worked for you in the past probably won’t work for you tomorrow, but by reaching out and understanding what your customers expect, you can realign your approach.
Refocus your attention
We all want to grow, but at what cost?
Growing businesses focus more on acquisition than retention, creating a stark divide between the promises made and the outcomes delivered.
With growth initiatives that ignore a sustainable, consistent process, customers are often left disappointed. So if you find that your growth is not in sync with retention, perhaps refocus your attention to customers who have already chosen your business. Strive to connect with them better and deliver experiences that won’t just win you the first sale, but long-term loyalty.
Show up, every time
Listen, respond, and show up — time and again. A mistake doesn’t have to define your brand, and neither does a positive experience. What does define your brand is persistence.
Brands with an unreliable customer experience inspire mistrust. So, no matter what your niche, if you want to win the loyalty of your audience, remember to show up, every time.
Look beyond the numbers
The overwhelming focus on metrics and data has caused a significant disconnect between what a customer really wants versus what a business understands.
After all, just because you have a great NPS score doesn’t mean that you don’t have detractors. So don’t just look at the numbers, but seek out the Voice of the Customer. Ask open-ended questions, run a sentiment analysis, define your audience to identify concerning pain-points, and map the customer journey.
By going beyond the numbers to understand the person, you’ll better be able to deliver experiences that resonate.
The importance of customer experience cannot be overstated. While metrics are easy to measure, and revenue is easy to graph, it’s essential to keep the focus on the customer. Deliver the experiences your audience expects, and the numbers and ROI will follow.