How to Avoid and Turn Bad Customer Experience Into Extraordinary?

Avoid and Turn Bad Customer Experience Into Extraordinary
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You may be wondering why customer experience matters so much. After all, customers only pay for the product or service they receive from you. But in reality, the value of customer experience can be much more than that.

One of the small businesses’ biggest mistakes is not being prepared for a bad customer experience. When things go wrong, how should the business react? Do they blame the customer, or do they do something about it?

In a world where consumers choose based on price and convenience, companies need to provide extraordinary experiences to their customers. Otherwise, they risk losing them as customers forever. This article will look at six steps to turn a poor customer experience into a positive one.

Delivering a negative customer experience is a reality for many entrepreneurs, and you can’t escape it. However, the important thing is how your small business can improve customer experiences and even transform negative ones into extraordinary ones. 

đź“– Key takeaways

  • Improving the customer experience is crucial for business success. Prioritizing customer experience can have a positive impact on customer loyalty, retention, and revenue growth.
  • A good customer experience makes customers feel that they matter. It means they can expect a quality product or service that works for them, timely service, etc.
  • How can you turn a bad CX into a fantastic CX? We call this the “6-step process to improve customer experience,” it’s the perfect framework for turning bad CX into extraordinary CX. If you follow this method, you can increase revenue, customer retention, and loyalty.

Why Customer Experience (CX)?

You can have the best-designed systems to see customer trends and support your business. Or the best employees who will implement different tasks related to your customers.

Also, there will be a large place for different types of mistakes. Mistakes can easily create a bad experience. But, it is not the end of your business. It can be the start of the end of your business if you don’t take anything to solve the problems and improve your own business performance.

Because mistakes are a reality, delivering a terrible and frustrating customer experience can be a reality. So, you should build systems to turn these negative experiences into extraordinary ones.

In a world where customers don’t just want to be served well but are also treated as if they matter and are cared for, we want to help you turn your worst customer experiences into extraordinary ones. Also, you need to remember that AI chatbots or voice bots power more and more customer interactions.

What is Customer Experience (CX)

Customer experience (CX) is the overall interaction a customer will have with a brand, from awareness to loyalty or churn.

So, the customer experience (CX) is about your customer relationships. It’s how you treat your customers when dealing with your brand — whether that means a phone call to thank you for an order or showing up at their doorstep with a gift basket for their birthday.

Customer experience is a term that describes how customers feel while interacting with your brand, either online or in-store.

Remember that a positive customer experience is essential for retaining and attracting new customers. And as you may know, CX is also important to the customer’s perception of your brand.

This is why brands that offer a superior CX beat their competitors.

For example, here are some stats from PWC that caught our eye: In the U.S., almost 1 in 6 customers (17%) will leave a brand they love after just one bad experience or 59% after several bad experiences.

Customers are leaving the brand because of bad experience

As you can see, you must focus on delivering an excellent customer experience. That includes being attentive, helpful, and providing great customer service.

Customer Experience VS Customer Service

The customer experience is not the same as customer service.

While customer service focuses on answering customer inquiries and resolving problems, customer experience focuses on the entire interaction and relationship between the company and the customer.

You can deliver excellent customer service. However, customer service is only one aspect of the entire customer experience.

For example, suppose you order some product or service through email and get a quick, friendly, and helpful response from the company. In that case, you will say that they have excellent transactional customer service.

But if you get your products before the agreed delivery time and find additional value in the box you did not expect, you will have an outstanding experience! 

What is Customer Experience Management?

Customer Experience Management (CXM) is the process of creating and managing a customer’s overall experience with your company or brand. This includes meeting customer expectations, building strong relationships, and constantly improving the interactions between customers and your business.

For example, Gartner defines customer experience management (CXM) as “the discipline of understanding customers and deploying strategic plans that enable crossfunctional efforts and customer-centric culture to improve satisfaction, loyalty and advocacy.”

So, the goal of CXM is to provide a positive experience for customers at every touchpoint.

Common Causes of Poor Customer Experiences

What mistakes cause negative experiences for customers? One of the most common mistakes I have seen many companies are making when it comes to poor CX are following:

1. Lack of understanding of customer needs and wants

How can you ensure exceptional CX without first understanding what your customers want? Many entrepreneurs fail to understand their customers’ needs and wants. This can result in a negative customer experience for the customer and ultimately lead to a loss of business.

2. You ignore the importance of employee training

Your employees are a critical part of providing a positive experience. If they are not competent, skilled, and trained properly on how to handle customer inquiries and complaints, it can lead to unsatisfied and frustrated customers.

3. Lack of personalization

Today, customers expect a personalized experience from you. They want to feel like they are being heard and understood as individuals, not just as another number in currency, quantity, and frequency of orders.

4. Limited communication channels

Your customers expect different ways to communicate with your business, not what you have but what they have and use the most for communication. If you only offer limited communication channels, it can frustrate your customers and make it difficult for them to reach out when they have concerns or questions.

5. Limited self-service options

Today, many customers, even I prefer to find answers independently rather than contacting customer support that will be the last station. So, suppose you do not offer self-service options like FAQs, knowledge bases, or chatbots. In that case, you will not have opportunities to improve both the customer experience and reduce the workload for your support team.

6. Lack of empathy

Empathy is a crucial component of excellent customer service, as well as understanding and sharing the feelings and perspectives of others, especially when they are experiencing problems or frustrations. Customers may feel their concerns are not being heard or understood without empathy, leading to bad customer service and negative customer experiences.

Why Having Unhappy Customers Can Destroy Your Business?

Customer experience is critical, but you cannot ignore the fact that it depends entirely on your business.

Let’s look at why poor customer experience negatively impacts your small business.

1. Poor customer experience quickly spreads a negative message about your company.

That’s true. In most cases, poor customer experience spreads faster than extraordinary customer experience, and it can quickly turn into a viral marketing nightmare. Your customers use multiple channels, such as social media, forums, email, word-of-mouth, etc., to spread the negative word about their experience with your business.

2. It can have a negative effect on your current customers.

Yes, a poor customer experience can negatively affect your customers who have never had a bad experience with you.

When you hear about other customers’ bad experiences, your current customers will also lose trust in your business, and in such a way, it will negatively impact your company.

In this way, many of your current customers who have not experienced anything wrong with you will know that something like that can happen to them also in the future. This leads to negative word of mouth and lost customers.

So, you risk losing some of your customers even if they have not yet experienced poor service from your company.

3. It will quickly build an angry community around your business.

A poor customer experience leads to negative word of mouth and lost customers.

Because spreading bad things about your business has the speed of light, an angry community will often appear to have a negative opinion about you and your company.

How to Avoid Poor Customer Experience – Proactive Approach

Before we go with the strategies to lower the impact of poor customer experience, which is a reactive approach; let’s first see what you can proactively do to avoid poor customer experience.

1. Map the Customer Journey

Customers Pain Points

When it comes to understanding and improving CX, it’s important for you to map out the entire customer journey including all interactions with your company.

For example, some common touchpoints can be:

  • Website
  • Social media channels
  • Interactions with customer service teams
  • Product packaging and delivery process
  • In-store experiences for brick-and-mortar businesses, etc.

Pain points, on the other hand, can be anything that potentially causes frustration or inconvenience for the customer, such as long wait times, lack of communication, confusing website navigation, or poor product quality. All of these can potentially frustrate the customer experience.

When you map your customer journey and identify all touchpoints and pain points, you can start to see possible areas for improvement to provide an exceptional customer experience.

2. Capture Customer Feedback

Customer feedback is one of the most important tools for collecting customer insights, understanding your customers’ needs, and improving their experience. You can ask for customer feedback through surveys and focus groups, as well as digital channels such as online reviews and social media. Then, you can analyze customer feedback to improve your customer experience strategy.

Usually, I recommend that my clients analyze not only reviews for their companies but also reviews from their most important direct competitors. This way, they are able to take a proactive approach when it comes to improving the customer experience because this continuous feedback will show them areas that will require changes or improvements to the user experience without allowing such a negative experience to appear in their companies.

When you analyze customer feedback data, you must identify the rate of and reasons for customer churn. Once you know the reasons, you can easily improve customer churn and overall satisfaction.

3. Create a Customer-Centric Strategy

The next important thing you must do to drive stronger business outcomes is to create a strong customer experience strategy. Remember, customer experience is a strategic aspect of your business, so you must approach it more strategically.

Develop a Clear Vision

Before you start developing your customer experience strategy, you must first think about your vision for the future and how you see your customers there. Simply put yourself in their shoes and ask what will make you happy and what will create a poor experience for you.

You can also list all customer expectations for each touchpoint with your business. These customer expectations will help you clearly create a customer experience vision for your strategy.

For example, a customer may expect fast response times, more personalized interactions with your company, or easier navigation on your website. So, you must incorporate these expectations into your vision and base your customer experience strategy on them.

Remember that you want to define a set of guiding principles for your customer experience strategy using the vision.

As you can see, the vision is important, and you must communicate it to the whole company because, in the end, everyone in your business must do something for your customers.

Set SMART Goals and Define Actions Steps to Achieve Them

SMART goals

When you have a strong and clear vision, you can translate it into customer experience SMART goals. For example, increase customer satisfaction scores from 60 to 70 in the next year through more personalized experiences. Or, increase the time customers spend on our e-commerce website from 65 seconds to 120 seconds on average with the new website next year. Or, reduce customer churn rate from 12% to 5% next year.

Customer Churn Rate

You can see the goals will tell you what you must do. So, the next step after you define the goals is to develop action steps. Remember, like in each strategic action plan; customer experience strategy must also have responsible persons, a budget, and a deadline.

Define Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for Customer Experience

This is an important step because clear key performance indicators will help you track your strategy’s implementation, understand customer will, and measure customer experience.

Here is a list of customer experience KPIs you can use to measure and then make data-based decisions to boost customer satisfaction and achieve business growth:

  • Customer Churn – the percentage of customers lost over a given period of time.
  • Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) – the average amount a customer spends on your business over their lifetime.
  • Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) – overall customer satisfaction with your company from products and customer interactions through different customer journeys.
  • Customer Effort Score (CES) – the amount of effort customers must invest through each customer interaction throughout their customer journey.
  • Net Promoter Score (NPS) – measures customer loyalty of your customers or the probability that they will spread the word about your small business, products, and services.
Customer Lifetime Value - CLV

4. Build a Quality Customer Service Team

You can have the best customer experience strategy, with the best possible goals to offer the best possible customer journey, but you will still not achieve the goals if you don’t have a strong team that will implement the strategy.

So, you must ensure that your strategy strongly focuses on creating a quality framework for developing team members responsible for customer experience. Your customer journey map will show you each department, process, and employee with some touchpoints with your customers. You must ensure that they are at the highest possible level of competence to handle all possible issues that customers can have.

5. Use Personalization and Emotional Connection

Personalization involves providing each customer with a unique and customized experience based on their needs and wants. It increases customer engagement and loyalty. This can be achieved through data collection and analysis and by using customer preferences and feedback to adjust interactions.

6. Use the Technology for Customer Experience (CX)

Technology can make or break your customer experience (CX). If you choose to use technology appropriately, you can collect data regarding different touchpoints. This will give you an overall view of each customer interaction with your business. But, if you put technology to work for your business to improve customer experience without a human touch, you can expect customer feedback to show you a decrease in customer engagement, loyalty, and net promoter score.

For example, using chatbots that can mislead your customers and prevent them from connecting with a person to solve a problem can create a negative customer experience.

AI-powered chatbots and centralized customer relationship management (CRM) systems are only a few examples of technology that can improve customer experience (CX). These tools can help your company to collect and analyze customer data. In such a way, you can personalize your customer interactions and provide outstanding customer experiences across all touchpoints.

However, regarding CX, you must balance technology and the human touch. While technology can simplify your processes and make interactions more efficient, relying too heavily on technology can lead to a lack of personalization in the customer experience.

How to Turn Bad Customer’s Experience Into Extraordinary – Reactive Approach

Suppose you see that customer satisfaction is decreasing and customers are complaining more and more. Remember that nobody will complain about something if they do not experience negative feelings about your company.

Let’s look at what you need to do when some customers complain about their experience with your business.

1. Mistakes are allowed, but it is not allowed not to manage them.

Today, it is normal to make mistakes. You will not make mistakes only if you don’t do anything. It is not possible.

It’s never good to see a customer service representative make mistakes, but it’s expected and normal if you’re running a business. Many people think they can’t make mistakes because they have an exceptional customer experience. But that’s just not true.

We all make mistakes. But what is more important is that we learn from them and find ways to fix them so that they will not be repeated in the future.

When a company doesn’t manage a mistake, it negatively impacts the customer experience. To manage mistakes, you must first be aware that you make one. Then, you must learn why you’ve made a mistake and take concrete actions to improve customer experience.

What Can You Do to Manage Mistakes?

  1. Be aware that your company made a mistake that produced poor customer experience.
  2. Analyze the mistake and define the reasons why you have made a mistake.
  3. Make two plans. The first plan should relate to how you can solve the issue with the customer who has experienced a poor customer experience because of a specific mistake. The second plan should focus on steps to improve and ensure that the same mistake does not appear in the future.
manage customer experience mistakes

2. Always Have a Backup Plan

Because mistakes can happen and are not entirely predictable, you must have a backup plan for what you or your team members will do if your or their mistakes deliver a poor customer experience.

For example, if your customers share their bad experiences on social media, you might respond to them, give the product replacement, call them for a meeting, etc. All of this will need to be part of your backup plan.

bad customer experience

Your backup plan will need to use a simple rule. Everything you will cover will be in the form of “If This Than That.”

This means you will list possible things that will happen and define action steps you will need to take if something specific from the list happens. Here is how your backup plan will need to look:

customer experience backup plan

3. What if You Can’t Implement Your Backup Plan?

If you can’t implement your backup plan, you must improvise to transform a poor customer experience into something extraordinary.

Even if you have a well-written backup plan that will deal with a bad experience, you still need to be aware that these processes can’t be 100% covered ahead of time. Different situations will have different requirements that need to be solved.

Because of that, when you make your backup plan, consider and allow improvisations that you can make according to the customer’s preferences and needs.

4. You need to react as quickly as possible.

You’ll need to react quickly to poor customer experiences to stay competitive and profitable. This is why it is so important to have a customer service team dedicated to customer satisfaction and happiness.

The speed of solving problems, especially problems your customers have experienced with your business, will need to be on the highest possible priority level. Without delay, your customer support team will need to start working on possible solutions that will turn a bad experience into positive customer experiences.

Read this article related to 5 things you need to do when your customers stop buying from you to see how to analyze and check if the customer experience is the reason for this.

5. You need to commit to turning bad experiences into extraordinary ones.

Even if you already have a backup plan and allow improvisations when it comes to turning a bad experience into an extraordinary one, you and your team must be committed to continuously improving the current customer experience and turning a bad one into an extraordinary experience.

Because of that, commitment to solving all possible customer problems is essential to your business success.

6. Why did that happen, and how can you ensure it will not happen again?

The last piece of advice concerns continuous improvement. After transforming a poor customer experience into an extraordinary one, you need to discover why that happened and how to prevent it from happening again.

If you can’t fully predict the mistakes, they can be the basis for continuous learning and improvement of your business processes regarding delivering an extraordinary customer experience.

The whole human resources department in your small business will need to work on delivering an extraordinary customer experience. They are all responsible for turning the bad into extraordinary. Regardless of their department, if they find themselves in a situation that can help improve the customer experience, they must jump in and do everything they can.