“Will not be recommending company X due to poor service delivery, lack of attention to consumer needs and feedback. Do not waste your time, energy, or money by using the services of company X. Disappointed to find that the conduct of company X does not match its supposed standards.”Anonymous
The above is an example of what a poor customer experience looks like. Someone whose needs your business failed to meet, and strikingly so. Can you imagine receiving a negative review like this about your company, and having people associate your brand with it? No organization that wants to secure business and build a loyal customer base would want to that’s for sure!
Before we dive into the more complex matters of the problem, let us define what customer experience means and how this ties in with brand loyalty…
What is customer experience?
Customer experience is built from the interactions and (personal) experiences the consumer has throughout their journey. These are more than mere monetary transactions in products and/or services but serve as critical touchpoints in the relationship between the consumer and business.
We can all identify with the phrase: “relationships are a two-way street”. It requires a concerted effort from both parties. Should an organization fail to take into consideration the grievances experienced by its consumers and to adequately and efficiently address them, problems are inevitable.
How to lose 7 loyal customers in one go
Let me paint you a picture using a real example that I had firsthand experience in. I am certain that you must have a favorite place that you like to eat at. You enjoy the atmosphere, it’s close by so that’s convenient, and they offer great food at a good price. Before you start getting hungry let me draw your attention back to my point.
My family and I regularly attended a well-known establishment due to their burger specials. A certain family member would also regularly have coffee and breakfast there.
Now, this specific family member is not afraid to make known when he is displeased with his food. Rightly so, because you pay money and naturally expect to get good value out of it. To cut a long story short, on numerous occasions the food was cold, too oily, and did not meet his expectations.
Yes, we gave them the benefit of the doubt but after a while, it seemed the complaints had angered the manager and thus we were banned from the place. Imagine losing 7 loyal customers in one go ( big family I know).
The lesson at hand: a lack of ability to take sound advice and constructive feedback will undermine your business’ growth.
Don’t let that be your business. If you need some extra persuasion I will gladly throw in a quote from billionaire Bill Gates, who said: “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning”.
The problem with ignoring feedback
This may be a hard pill for you to swallow but, it’s not me it’s you.
Remember the person who failed to take constructive feedback in the previous example? We will call him Dexter because I don’t remember his real name and because we want him to remain anonymous. Let me state the obvious here, Dexter thought he was right and that the customers were just being picky about their food.
Let us think about this for a minute. Basically, Dexter said, “it’s not me, it’s you that’s the problem”. Now, when I put myself in the shoes of a manager who owns an established restaurant, would I not want to uphold my reputation? Put controls in place to ensure quality food exits my kitchen?
The point of this analogy is not to vent a personal gripe but to help you understand the faults that form the basis of a negative customer experience.
Undoubtedly, it is the failure to listen to your customers’ needs and effectively address them.
The answer: growing through feedback
Your business should take constructive or negative feedback and use it as a means of growth. The customer is plainly telling you where and why you are not excelling and what you should do about it. What more could you ask for!?
Even if your company seems to be doing well by personal standards, take it a step further and make sure the people you are doing business with are on the same page. There are many tools that can be used to collect feedback and will vary based on the business.
Some of the most common ways to collect feedback are:
- surveys via social media platforms
- Instagram stories with polls
- Email newsletters
- Monitoring social media channels
- Live chats/chatbots for immediate help
- Customer experience metrics
This next point is for those businesses that desire to stand a cut above the rest: making emotional connections with your clients. When you go the extra mile for someone, it leaves a lasting impression and nothing your competitors can offer will be able to draw them away. This is when brand loyalty is affected.
It’s no more, “I shop at XYZ because I like the quality of the products” or “they have good prices for their services”. It stems much deeper and becomes, “I shop at XYZ because they treat me as a valued customer”.
See the difference?
Combined with the tips listed above, a quality framework for your team will go a long way in making the change sustained. Additionally, conduct an assessment of the training needs in your organization that deals directly with consumers.
Where there are shortfalls, prepare and institute a program to address these gaps. Furthermore, the key is to monitor and evaluate the success of the program.
If you take anything away from this blog, let it be that you should never accept a mediocre dish you’ve paid good money for.
All jokes aside, what you need to remember is that your customers are your lifeline. Go the extra mile for them and they will take you ten further. Happy customers equal a good reputation and a steady flow of income.
Don’t become disheartened or too proud when handling negative feedback. Rather use it to your advantage and make your organization stand out because of it.
About the author:
Hi there! My name is Keren Fisher. I’m an IIDM intern who loves Jesus Christ and enjoys spending time outdoors, especially at the seaside. My favorite movie is Pride and Prejudice and I love all things chocolate 🙂
Check out my LinkedIn Profile!