How to Keep Customers Engaged at Every Touchpoint: Avoiding Common Customer Service Pitfalls

In Harper Lee’s influential novel To Kill a Mockingbird, the character of Atticus Finch is a prime example of what it means to be empathetic. He thoughtfully explains to his daughter Scout that “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view. Until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” In today’s global economy, many brands are striving to create customer service journeys that anticipate their customer’s needs by taking a holistic view of the entire customer experience. But to be truly effective, brands need to be willing to go beyond just walking in their shoes and instead put themselves in their customers’ skin, looking at the world and their product from different eyes. For brands to create a unique and empathetic customer experience, all employees in a company must be able to understand what a customer is experiencing. That also means identifying every customer service pitfall in order to address them quickly and efficiently. Here are a few common pitfalls that organizations fail to consider when mapping a customer service journey.

Customer Service Pitfall 1: Focusing only on marketing touchpoints, missing other key touchpoints.

At first glance, identifying the marketing touchpoints on a customer service journey is intuitive. After all, when providing a product or service, a brand must consider all the information that a potential customer comes into contact with before deciding to make a purchase. Because of this, organizations often put huge financial resources into attracting customers. Companies need to ensure that they put equal or greater resources into maintaining customer relationships. Essential touchpoints with customers occur after a sale has been completed. These include addressing any issues the customer may have had with the service or product, and following up with a short survey or inquiry to make sure the brand satisfied the customer’s expectations. Other opportunities to connect with customers are through offering customer-centric product offerings or member-based loyalty programs and rewards. A customer service journey doesn’t end when a product is purchased. Instead, that’s when a long-term relationship can begin. Marketing Metrics reports that the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60 – 70%, while the probability of selling to a new prospect is only 5-20%.   Long-term customer relationships pay off.

Customer Service Pitfall 2: Undervaluing the importance of addressing unhappy or dissatisfied customers.

Most customer service journey maps consider one path and one path only: that of a satisfied customer completing a purchase. Often, this is highlighted by post-purchase surveys asking the customer about their experience. But achieving a sale is only the first step in creating a loyal customer base. A customer who feels ignored or dissatisfied after the initial purchase will advertise that fact throughout their networks, both in-person and on social media. According to the White House Office of Consumer Affairs, a dissatisfied customer will tell between 9-15 people about their experience, and 13% of those customers will tell more than 20 people about their negative experience. Brands literally can’t afford to ignore the journey of an unhappy customer. Anticipating what can go wrong and how to remedy it can minimize the loss of revenue associate with negative experiences. Taking proactive measures to meet customers where they are by allowing them to voice complaints and feel heard through an omnichannel customer service solution is essential to retaining customer loyalty.

Customer Service Pitfall 3: Forgetting that the ideal customer journey is circular.

Seeing a customer service journey as a linear path is an illusion. To truly build strong relationships with customers, brands must instead encourage a circular journey. Strong customer-brand relationships are built through multiple positive interactions where customers feel they are receiving tangible returns on their financial investment. Just like any other relationship, a history of giving and receiving on both sides builds trust and commitment. Many brands today see a customer journey only in terms of a single transaction. However, once a purchase is made, it’s important to further engage with customers to ensure their satisfaction. This type of intentional, frequent customer care not only leads to additional purchases, but also turns customers into brand advocates, broadening the reach of brand marketing to the customers’ network of friends and colleagues. This circle of customer service provides consistency and loyalty to a brand’s experience, allowing the customer to feel the brand listens to their needs and designs products, services and offerings that are in line with their expectations

If you’re looking for help implementing a culture of service to let your customers know they come first, our experts can help. For over twenty years, the team at Customer Direct have been leaders in creating positive customer experiences and managing voice, email, chat and social media interactions on behalf of prominent brands.  Delighting customers at every touchpoint on their journey is our passion and our business. Make your business more personal by providing genuine customer service experiences each step of the way. Contact us today.

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