Gaps should be addressed directly with your customers using a closed loop process in which your customer support team proactively identifies negative experiences and reaches out directly to dissatisfied customers. Closing the loop shows your customers that you listened, care, and want to improve.
Transactional feedback must also be complemented with an overall relationship assessment. Depending on the product or service offering your brand provides, customers may interact with your brand as frequently as daily or as infrequently as once or twice a year or less.
The greater the frequency of connection, the better the chance that a poor experience can be forgiven, and the associated negative emotions it conjured can be overwritten by a subsequent positive experience. For those brands that have less frequent interaction with their customers, a poor experience can be the catalyst for your customer’s departure to a competitive brand at their next purchase.
To minimize customer attrition, brands should proactively assess their overall relationship strength among current customers. Stagger assessments throughout the year if not collected continually. This cadence eliminates potential environmental factors that could mislead corrective action planning efforts.
And to develop a more comprehensive view, it helps to ask lapsed customers if the brand is living up to its promise and expectations, and even survey customers of competitors.
Understanding customer attrition, competitive pull and what attracts potential customers to your brand versus a competitor's will help to sharpen your organization’s focus and positively impact business outcomes. Specifically, knowing how customers perceive and experience each touchpoint along their path to purchase as well as their full post-purchase journey will help your organization maximize retention, cultivate strong relationships, acquire new customers and possibly convince lapsed customers to return.
Competitive intelligence-gathering must go beyond traditional investigation of product features and price points. Organizations that appreciate CX as a differentiator in highly competitive and commoditized landscapes will be best prepared to capture and maintain share.
Reaching out to obtain comparative performance on key drivers and brand reputation allows your
organization to answer three key questions:
-- How does our CX compare to top competitors'?
-- What are our unique strengths and areas of CX differentiation?
-- Which aspects of CX are at or below parity with our top competitors?
Knowing the answer to each question provides greater clarity and direction for where to invest resources to achieve the greatest improvements in CX and market position.
When you address shortcomings head-on to effect improvement in CX and overall perception, make sure this fact is shared with your existing and potential customers.