5 mistakes that reduce the positive customer experience of companies
Easy and simple path to purchase, good communication, personalization and trust. The factors that lead to your customers' satisfaction are well known today. Yet many companies struggle with unfinished customer journeys that discourage their clients from buying services and products and drive them to competitors. What mistakes are companies making in this regard? We asked our UX designer at Bell & Hurry, Tomáš Paulus.
1. Lack of knowledge of their own customers
According to Tomáš, companies are always groping around to find out who their customers actually are. "Companies often don't know their customers. Either they don't have the data to inform them of their current needs, or they don't work with them. Some assume they know who their customer is, but they don't validate their hypothesis," he says.
This practice leads to investments without the desired result. "If you don't know who you're tailoring the customer journey for, who you're designing and optimizing digital channels for, then such a project is often guided by the ideas of a particular client, who is based on their experience and assumptions. But he is not the one who buys the company's products. So if the company isn't trying to get to know its clients, internal teams often don't know what they're actually trying to grasp. And then they can focus for a whole year on something that doesn't make sense at all," explains Tomáš Paulus.
"In addition, it happens that despite the research findings, companies still focus mainly on their own KPIs and the goals they need to achieve internally, while customer needs continue to stand aside. Such a need can vary from the requirement for friendly staff in the branch to the desire to buy a product without having to communicate with anyone to the shortest possible time for the entire purchase."
2. Low level of data handling in practice
If a company has data about customer needs, it still doesn't mean it can meet them. "At this stage, you need to work with research that reveals, for example, demographics, behaviours, the most common problems customers need to solve - and tie these insights to the nature and potential benefits of the business," says Tomáš.
For companies that are able to set up research and collect data on their customers on an ongoing basis, then setting up a continuous process for working with feedback is often lacking. "In research, you usually work with multiple types of data. First, you get some input data that gives you basic information about clients. This is then joined by metadata from user tests. You need to be able to process these further and categorize them according to whether or not you want to work with them and who in the company should deal with them," explains Tomáš.
3. Lack of continuous improvement of the customer journey
Companies that are not able to maintain a Dual-Track Agile method when developing user journeys and customer experiences, where they continuously develop a solution that they continuously improve based on new data, then they may struggle to deploy a new campaign or new features in a timely manner.
"An example of this is the iPhone update that allows the screen to be unlocked via Face App even when a person is wearing a face mask, which was released two years after the pandemic began. While you have to overcome various technical difficulties in developing such an update, Apple customers would welcome such a feature after half a year," Tomáš thinks. "It's similar with mobile operators, for example, who still don't offer the option to buy a plan online. Instead, you often have to call their call centre. And that's only because they have a fixed process, for example, whereby the option to buy a new tariff is offered by staff in the branches," he says.
4. Lack of cooperation between internal departments
Another wrinkle in developing and operating a quality customer journey is the lack of communication between the departments that represent its different phases. "The customer journey always has several parts - and each part is usually represented by different departments in companies. However, they often don't communicate with each other, which disrupts the user experience," explains Tomáš.
In larger companies, where each department takes care of something different, the functionality of the user journey can also be lacking technically. For example, when each department has its own data warehouse, working with different systems. For example, if the onboarding process starts with a phone call, the customer expects to complete it during the call - but then they learn that they must first go to the branch to scan documents, or that the next stage will be done by phone again, but with a different employee who cannot be reached for several days.
"At that point, the user experience breaks down. It's therefore important to respect all the touchpoints that make up the resulting user journey and link them effectively," emphasis Tomáš.
5. Inconsistent experience
All of this results in an inconsistent user experience that creates negative feelings and can make customers so reluctant to switch to a competitor. Demands for an efficient and simple user journey are ever increasing and most of us now expect a smooth shopping process that solves our problems, not multiplies them.
In addition, the digital environment allows companies to provide personalization that would not be possible in the physical world - yet many times they don't take advantage of it, especially if they are just starting the process of digitizing some products and can't adapt their thinking accordingly.
"It's very simple. Imagine, for example, an e-commerce clothing store that primarily operates as a brick-and-mortar store and pushes its potential customers to come into the store to try on selected pieces. After all, nowadays most people prefer to order a few things online and then return what they don't want. Companies that fail to change their thinking then fail to see that instead of going to a brick-and-mortar store once a month to buy one pair of shoes, a customer can conveniently order shoes online every two weeks and buy them immediately. Moreover, the offline environment doesn't offer as many personalization options. Hardly anyone walks into a store and sees their favorite pieces on the first shelf. But it is possible in the online world and it forms the basis for success in the digital world," concludes Tomáš Paulus.
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