Many companies believe they are providing superior customer experiences because they hit the mark on several key touch points. But what if many of those touch points are actually myths?
Luke Williams examined that concept at the Entrata Summit 2018 in Park City, Utah, offering a divergent perspective for apartment-industry professionals who generally subscribe to a series of service-related myths. The Head of CX and Thought Leadership at Qualtrics outlined six customer experience (CX) myths that often befall businesses and cause damage to their brands.
“People believe myths because they often tread on truths,” Williams said. “I aim to define a line in the universe between the things that are true and not true.”
Also a New York Times bestselling author, Williams imparted ideas to conquer these myths and provided the multifamily-rich audience with outside-the-box thoughts for how to approach CX in the industry.
Myth 1: Catastrophic Service Failures are Worse Than Ordinary Ones
While a gigantic failure might seem to have the most negative effect on a brand, a string of smaller mishaps can be worse, according to Williams. Large-scale mishaps often provide a prime opportunity to give a sincere apology and move on, while a string of unpleasant consumer experiences has a greater potential to alienate customers.
Myth 2: Bad Experiences Cause Customers to Leave
Most customers won’t leave after one negative experience, and happy customers will leave anyway if they find a better alternative. Structuring the customer experience with loyalty and rewards programs helps make decisions more difficult for those who are considering leaving a brand.
“There are four reasons why people leave a brand, and only one is service-related,” said Williams, also noting consumers leave for better offers from a competitor, an expiring need for the product or a structural barrier, such as being unable to afford the product.
Myth 3: Happy Customers Equal Healthy Companies
Many companies that aren’t universally liked are thriving financially. Think of United, which is the third-largest airline and the most profitable, but No. 78 in customer satisfaction. Others businesses might have happy customers but are struggling from a bottom-line standpoint.
That’s because customers are often happy if they are given concessions or an abundance of perks, but these shouldn’t be allocated at the sacrifice of running a strong balance sheet. For example, Walmart responded to negative customer feedback in 2009 by making stores more shopper friendly. While satisfaction levels rose, sales declined after the new layout was unveiled.
Myth 4: Word of Mouth is the Silver Bullet for Brands
Word of mouth helps drive awareness and relevance for brand marketers, but consumers ultimately will make a decision based on their personal experience with the brand. WOM definitely deserves assist value and is a relevant part of attracting customers, but it won’t guarantee the customer will remain with the brand after the initial spark. In addition, negative WOM generally has a hire impact than positive.
Myth 5: CX Teams are in Charge of the Customer
CX teams are integral in many instances, but creating happy customers is a company-wide task. The CX team can’t oversee every interaction, and those who actually shape customer perceptions are anyone who comes into contact with them. The quality and relevance of the product offered by the company also shapes the CX, naturally.
Bonus Myth: Great Experiences are About Heart
Customers certainly appreciate something that invokes a positive emotional response, but their happiness with a brand also hinges on functionality, usability and logic. If the product is subpar or if the logic doesn’t equate, the heart doesn’t really matter.
Williams implores companies to go beyond these myths, because today’s consumers are savvy and empowered. The days when companies could bank on blind brand loyalty are in the past, and that pertains to attracting apartment prospects, as well.
“Get to know your customers better and differently,” Williams said. “If you find a way to do something different and actionable with the data you’re provided with, do it with gusto.”