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B2B Marketing

Customer Experience – Things to Avoid

According to a Bain & Company survey, customers rated very few companies with a superior customer service experience (only 8%, with Apple, Costco, American Express, and Philips being among the superior deliverers), but of all the companies surveyed, 80% stated that they delivered a superior customer experience. That’s quite a discrepancy in customer experience image.

The issue seems to be one of market dominance. The more a company makes, the more forgetful they get. They make several errors in judgment that wound up costing them profitability. Below are some of the biggest errors a company can make, and suffer for it.

Confusing Profitability with Loyalty

The best consumers can quickly become alienated when a company decides to make changes without considering the effects on the customer. But the truth of the matter is, some of the most profitable customers are also the touchiest, and will find another company quickly if provoked. Price hikes, outsourcing technical support, and other changes to increase profits such as these are the surest way to irritate the customer into leaving.

Intuit is a good example of learning the hard way what happens when a company confuses profitability with loyalty. TurboTax was a best-selling tax software with an impressive 83% of the online market in 2001, and 70% of retail. Getting this big, they confused profitability with loyalty, and started making changes that would increase their bottom line without consideration to customer experience. Some of the changes included outsourcing technical support, charging for technical support, and limiting the software license to just one computer. Infuriated, customers switched to other tax software, and in just two years, TurboTax took a nose-dive in market share. Currently, they have managed to build back up, with 79% of the total market – by going back to concentrating on customer experience.

Building a Superior Customer Experience

There is an effective way to deliver a superior customer experience, without trial-and-error that many companies seem to attempt…and pay the price in lowered market share and potentially damaging their reputations. Taking a comprehensive look at the customer experience is one way to avoid pitfalls that others have made. Remembering that humans are emotional as well as rational can help lay the foundation for a comprehensively superior customer experience. Remember these points:

  • Customers want efficiency and good value.
  • Customers want to feel good about their purchases, and want to be rewarded for spending money on a company. Remember that this is also an investment on their part, and they, too, want a good ROI.
  • Customers like to do business with companies they can trust.
  • Customers like to be consulted and to feel they are cooperating in building a better product.

By having smooth interactions with the customers, exceeding their expectations, respecting the customer, and providing a product they can be proud to use, a company can lay the foundation for an excellent customer experience.

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