In recent years, the customer experience (CX) has come to dominate business strategy, growth, and outcomes. How your customers perceive, interact with, and stay loyal to your brand goes hand in hand with how well your business performs. In fact, Bain & Company reports that companies that focus on the customer experience can see revenue 4-8% higher than their competitors. And investing in the customer experience doesn’t just make you money, it can save you money, too (Source).
Tackling customer experience is a multi-step process and one that is fraught with misconceptions that can start you off on the wrong foot. Here are the top 6 CX misconceptions to get right—so you can provide your customers with the best experience.
1. The Customer Experience begins after the sale.
Wrong—the customer experience can, and often does, begin days, weeks, months, or even years before a customer makes a purchase.
To dispel this myth, it’s helpful to start with some core definitions. Contrary to popular belief, Customer Experience does not equal Customer Service. While customer service is an essential component of CX, it doesn’t encompass the entire experience. Instead, customer service refers to the communication, interactions, and help a customer might receive from a company. Typically, a customer service moment is in reference to a single interaction and the quality of care a customer received during that touchpoint.
For example, you might be a big fan of a brand, have researched it online, and finally decide to go into a store to make a purchase. The interactions you have with the website, chat, and salesperson in-store are all examples of customer service moments—and each is just one part of your entire customer experience, which includes any inquiries you make both before and after your purchase.
2. CSAT and CX are the same thing.
Since we’ve dispelled the myth that CX and Customer service are the same, it’s important to distinguish between measuring customer service and customer experience. Customer satisfaction, or CSAT, is measured after an interaction with your company—it’s one way to measure customer service and only a single data point in the customer journey.
The customer experience, on the other hand, includes the entire journey, from the first point of awareness to purchase and beyond.
Although different, the two are still deeply connected: Customer satisfaction has a lasting effect on customer experience, but it’s important to consider the customer experience as a broader concept involving many touchpoints that can be measured in various ways.
3. CX can’t be measured.
If something matters to your business, you’d best find a way to measure it—even if it’s anecdotally or by proxy. When it comes to CX which spans a broad range of customer touchpoints, there is a multitude of ways to measure it by tracking different metrics:
When it comes to measuring CX, doing so with spreadsheets can be overwhelming and under-effective. And while many companies hope to immediately point to hard and fast metrics to evaluate CX solutions, they often fall prey to one specific metric, missing the bigger picture. Obsessing over individual metrics without considering the whole picture can destroy the customer experience. But spreadsheets rarely empower you to see the entire landscape.
To know how metrics impact your ROI, you must understand the entire story, not just when one metric rises or falls. Using spreadsheets to track CX can play a large role in misunderstanding how the customer experience is really going because spreadsheets fail to give you a holistic view of CX (which includes your team’s performance, customer interactions, and satisfaction scores).
What’s more, spreadsheets consume hours of your managers’ time. Pathlight customers report spending 4-5 hours a week managing spreadsheets before implementing the tool—time taken away from coaching the people interacting with customers. Spreadsheets are also hard to maintain and share, which means the data being used to make business decisions can be outdated by the time you get it.
A tool like Pathlight can help you analyze the big picture in real-time and consider one of the most important parts of the customer experience: the people providing it.
5. Once a customer is satisfied with an experience, they are loyal customers forever.
Customer experience isn’t constant—customers can have varying touchpoints throughout their lifecycle with your company. Unfortunately, all it takes is one bad experience to put the customer experience—and their loyalty—in jeopardy. That’s why maintaining the quality of your customer experience is critical. Using tools can help you do so, whether they help you measure customer satisfaction and agent performance, ensure quality customer service with a QA scorecard, or stitch all the data points together in a performance intelligence platform. A tool like Pathlight can help you measure and understand how your customer experience is going and focus on areas of improvement for agents.
6. One bad customer experience is no big deal.
The truth is, the customer touchpoints that make up the customer experience have a lasting effect on loyalty and the chances of a customer returning. These days, the customer experience is more important than ever before: 86% of customers say that they will switch if they have a negative experience with a company. Customers are looking for an experience they love and are more empowered than ever. If they have a bad interaction with your company, they’re likely to leave for your competitors—not turn back.
This is why companies are now moving to sustainable experience solutions to offer the best for customers. Using intelligent tools to predict customer behavior, for example, can help managers understand how to staff and how to coach their front-lines.
It’s critical to empower your team to deliver great customer service, whether you’re encouraging them to stay engaged and hit their goals, or never skipping a one-on-one to coach them.
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