Omega Blog

Avoid customer horror stories by putting the customer first

Posted on 06 August, 2013

Nothing will cause customers to drop companies faster than frustrating customer experiences. Failure to provide solutions and resolve issues can significantly harm a firm's ability to capture repeat business or even complete initial transactions. Despite this, there are still many businesses that routinely infuriate their clients.

David Shaywitz, a contributor for Forbes, noted that companies in sectors like healthcare or B2B have a lot of good examples to follow when it comes to customer satisfaction management. Retailers like Zappos are known for their focus on simplifying the online buying experience, even as others struggle with the most basic services. Following the examples of high-performing firms could help other businesses avoid harmful mistakes.

Shaywitz wrote about his recent experience with Comcast, which resulted in a long, complicated service process that failed to provide real solutions. At the core of Shaywitz's frustration was the fact that the telecom provider did not listen to its customer. Shaywitz was having difficulty with his phone connection that resulted in frequent missed or dropped calls. After Comcast established a service appointment, the technician called to confirm that Shaywitz was home, but was unable to reach him because of the spotty coverage. As a result, the technician canceled the appointment and told Shaywitz to reschedule the service.

Had the company placed an emphasis on listening to its customers, the technician would have known that Shaywitz was trying to resolve an issue with his phone that prevented him from receiving calls. Obviously, calling Shaywitz was not the best way to reach him, and the incident led to more frustration on the part of the customer.

Improving customer experience management programs
Effective customer service relies on providing consumers with personal and memorable experiences, according to an article in Impact Magazine. Firms can build reputations for outstanding customer satisfaction by placing the customer first. Comcast has a number of ways that patrons can reach customer service agents, including phone, email, social media and live chat services. However, these processes are set up to make the company's job easier, not provide a better customer experience. The distinction can mean the difference between a smooth, seamless transaction that drives customer satisfaction and one that simply markets the brand to potential leads.

The Impact article stated that many organizations have become too focused on selling to customers to create a customer-centric culture. Putting the customer first is the only way to ensure that patrons receive the high-quality service that will keep them coming back. Rather than having a technician call, Comcast could rely on email or other channels to confirm service appointments. Communication and services should be guided by customer preferences.

This holds true in every industry from retail to B2B. The source noted that successful customer experience management strategies use comprehensive metrics to grade performance. Taking the time to understand how various factors influence the audience will lead to more successful customer retention programs. With the information gained through data analysis and research, businesses will be able to make adjustments to company culture to make a more engaging customer experience.

"Each year, when we compile our customer experience index, we ask loyalty questions and we run correlations, and what I can tell you – based on six years of data from thousands of U.S. consumers – is that nothing drives purchase intent more than positive customer experience," Forrester Research analyst Harley Manning told the source.

Building Customers for LifeSM is a business philosophy from Omega Management Group Corp. that enhances the value and competitiveness of any organization. Understanding the importance of a proactive CEM strategy enables firms to build company cultures that place the customer first, which allows them to drive profitable growth and improve products and services.