We all make mistakes. We all try stuff that doesn’t work. Albert Einstein famously said insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. And yet business leaders claim they want to improve the customer experience and earn loyalty, but make these mistakes over and over and over again.
The Mistake: Putting process over people.
If your process is inflexible, you will create problems for your customers. We’ve all had “those” calls with someone who is following policy to the point of ridiculousness. By stressing protocol and policy more than the customers and your people, it is a recipe for a terrible customer experience.
The Fix: The best companies articulate their dedication to the customer experience. They empower their people to “make it right” when the customer has issues. It isn’t about the process. It’s about the end result of a happy, loyal customer.
The Mistake: Tracking the wrong metrics.
This one is persistent. My least favorite metric is probably the “time on call” one so many call center managers and business leaders are fond of. The theory is the less time spent on a customer service call, the less money spent. However there are consequences. It can get so bad that customers are disconnected so they don’t ruin the average of a particular agent.
The Fix: Measure what matters. Pay attention to metrics like customer churn rate and customer lifetime value. Measure the referrals you receive. Measure your employee retention rates. Don’t pay attention to metrics that measure things that are anti-customer.
The Mistake: Endorsing customer neglect.
No business leader would encourage outright abuse of customers, but neglect? That’s another story. Some companies are actually adopting this strategy by turning off their social media channels. It’s difficult to think a company would unplug a phone or not have a web site. Adopting a no social strategy is similar to those ideas. In a report in 2012, even those who were responding were doing so s-l-o-w-l-y…which means frustration based on the neglect of customers.
These are common, but not difficult to fix. What are you waiting for?