In this post, we add to our prior coverage:
- Customer Experience: Factors
- Customer Experience May Fail
- Customer Experience Infographic
- Customer Service Or Lip Service?
- Customer Returns
Closing the Customer Experience Gap
In sum, the American Marketing Association observes:
“The gap between what customers expect and brands deliver is big. Some brands get part of customer service right. But few connect across the whole journey for seamless conversation. To enhance relations, brands must deliver value. How can firms offer consistent quality service?”
“Brand reputation and success mean treating shoppers well. And offering them all they need, as they need it. To that end, they will use data to enhance the experience. They will grasp customer needs and wants. They will be connected at each stage of the purchase process. Firms cannot market ‘at’ ” Despite this, some firms are weak.
Jana Barrett writes for Business 2 Community:
“Firms are bad judges of customer experiences. Bain & Company surveyed 362 companies. Eighty percent said they delivered ‘superior customer experience.’ According to customers, 8% did. In the age of hyperconnectivity, firms should be more in tune. But in reality, a wide gap exists.”
Barrett offers tips. “(1) A great experience is seamless. It works across channels and devices. (2) A great experience is proactive. It anticipates customer needs. (3) A great experience is receptive. the firm seeks feedback. (4) A great experience is human. It’s built on relations. (5) A great experience is dynamic. It adapts to shifting preferences.” The video is a good summary from Business 2 Business.
Improving the Customer Shopping Journey
McKinsey has a “CEO Guide to Customer Experience.” It includes the customer shopping journey.
“What do my customers want? Savvy executives ask this. And leading firms know they are in the customer-experience business. And they know how they deliver is as vital as what they deliver. This guide taps the expertise of McKinsey and others. It explores customer interactions. In addition, it looks at steps to improve customer-centricity. See the infographic.”
11 Replies to “Closing the Customer Experience Gap”
In today’s market, customers have high expectations in regard to the customer service they should receive. If they do not get the service they think they deserve, they take it to social media and get their complaints out there. That’s why it’s so important for companies to have a seamless plan when it comes to customer service because it is something that can make or break a company. Everything should follow the same format and convey the same image for your company.
In the age of social media, it is common for the complaints of consumers to reach a broader range of people. While platforms like Yelp have shown use in helping the consumer review the service they receive, they have started charging businesses to promote on the site through advertisements. There have been allegations against the firm, stating that those who do not pay for advertising have their reviews filtered, placing the negative reviews near the top and “burying” positive ones. Although this has not been confirmed or denied, this is taking a platform created for an outlet for customer service review and skewing the data to favor paying business, thus widening the customer service gap instead of shrinking it like intended.
In a time where anyone can get their negative opinion to millions in a matter of minutes each customer’s experience matters so much more than it did a decade ago. The chart gave great advice in regards to seeking feedback, a company can only improve and better their customers if they know what they want and expect. The companies in the survey who assumed they had been delivering good customer service clearly were not on the same page since their customers did not agree; you cannot improve without knowing the problems.
I think with the amount of damage one bad experience with a brand can cause there is more of focus on making patrons as happy as possible. Whether it is in store or online customer service means a lot to a company. It is in the best interest of the company to give a customer a great experience.
Companies that are out of touch with their customers needs are in danger. Especially in todays markets we are seeing more and more retailers struggling due to the move to E-commerce. JC Penny, Macy’s, and target are just some of the retailers who’s stocks are getting absolutely crushed this year. I believe they should’ve started to see the move to more online sales and should’ve made a stronger push to get their online presence out there for their customers.
Gone are those days when companies used to sell their products and their job is done but today things have changed as they need to have a constant follow up and customer service and experience becomes the key. Companies like Zappos, Nordstrom, Apple, Southwest and other rely heavily on that as it’s really difficult in today’s age to have a customer retention factor and that’s where the game becomes really interesting. Companies need to follow up about how their customers felt as that could be a potential changing step and would make the customers happy that the company isn’t just about selling their products, they care for them as well. The GAP model explains it in a beautiful way about how ti close the gap between the perceived service and expected service.
Wow! This topic is interesting for me, because I have some interesting findings about service. I have asked lots of my friends, both Chinese and American, how they perceive the service of Zara. All of my friends said Zara sucks! The sales in Zara are always unhappy and unwilling to help. However, they keep purchasing in Zara, since they perceive the products much more important than the services. For the shops like Zara, the products are the main and the service are the attached, so people could tolerate bad service. But it is really pathetic for those shop, because if the comparable competitors show up, they might not survive.
In today’s day and age when social media accelerates and broadens one person’s negative view of a companies product, reliable customer service, and services to make customers feel heard when they voice their complaints of are utmost importance. We are all living within a culture that is glorifying the slogan that the customer is always right to an uncomfortable level of truth, and in this a lot of companies and businesses I have seen move away from what they intend to sell and original sentiments into more profitable other types of companies.