CX is King

It’s time we start acting like customers when communicating with customers. And a lot of the time, creating a positive CX (customer experience) means playing by the rules.

When it comes to customers connecting with brands, we need to think about why they’ve chosen that specific platform to communicate with us. Usually it’s because they want something to be easy. But brands don’t always make that so.

I recently had the frustrating experience of being in an online chat with a large global brand to reach out about a query as a customer. After submitting my opening remarks, I was told I would receive a reply in approximately 29 minutes. That’s fine, I had plenty of work to do in the meantime and could wait. If I wanted something more urgently, I would have called.

Finally, I receive a response from “Angela”, and the chat takes off. Or so I thought that’s where we were headed.

The chat was going at a good back-and-forth pace, similar to chatting online with a friend, or messaging a colleague on Slack. As she hadn’t been giving immediate responses (that’s fair), I decided to quickly finish up a task before checking back in on the chat. To my surprise, within that 4 minute distraction, the chat had been terminated due to my lack of response.

In my frustration (and after some research, the frustration of others), something became very clear – if you choose to utilize certain platforms as a brand, you need to play by the rules of that platform, the spoken and unspoken ones.

If I had been in a chat with a colleague on Slack, they wouldn’t have abandoned the chat if I didn’t respond in 4 minutes. I wouldn’t necessarily expect a response in that timeframe either – if I wanted something instant then I would have suggested we talk on the phone.

As a user I’d naturally expect the same “rules” should apply for my chat with Angela. But they didn’t. And that left me with a sour taste in my mouth.

A Walker study has predicted that by 2020 customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator. So with the importance of CX on the rise, it’s more important now than ever for brands to start thinking like a customer. This is important for both directions of communication.

I’ve seen an embarrassing amount of ‘digital marketing agencies’ who put long, complex links in their Instagram captions – more than anyone, shouldn’t they know that no one will be able to click it? Have they ever actually used Instagram from a non-marketing point of view?

The same goes for bombarding #captions with #somany #hashtags, #how is a #user supposed to #read what you’ve #written in a #natural way or #take you #seriously? (not to mention most of those hashtags aren’t very targeted and won’t get you any extra visibility)

Another common problem I run into is the process of having to sign into websites to purchase or view content. I will gladly sign in (if the process is easy), but if the site drops me back to the homepage or anywhere other than where I just came from after signing in, there is a 75% chance I will immediately exit the site in annoyance.

So when establishing an online presence anywhere, put yourself in the shoes of your customers and have a think about how you would like to interact with your brand (just like these guys have done).

Customer experience is something that touches just about every area of a brand’s success, and in this business a little bit of empathy can go a really long way.

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