Digital Marketers: Ditch These 4 Misconceptions About CX

How can you ensure you’re creating better experiences and more meaningful connections with your customers?

Digital Marketers: Ditch These 4 Misconceptions About CX

Now that we are well into 2016, New Year’s resolutions have faded fast or are even long forgotten.

What digital marketing goals did you set for yourself at the start of the year? Did you decide to rethink your customer loyalty program or rebuild your customers’ digital trust? Or maybe even simplify your operations? Like most resolutions, they remain elusive, but they don’t have to go unresolved in 2016.

As a starting point, here are four widely held digital marketing misconceptions that we’ve identified over the past 12 months. What can you do to overcome them to ensure you’re creating better experiences and more meaningful connections with your customers?

1. “Our digital customers are our most profitable.”

Here’s the problem: Many organizations have an unconscious bias whereby they assume that their digital-only customers are their most profitable, since they generally have a lower cost to serve. This belief has led them to over-invest in digital capabilities and channels so they can give customers (particularly Millennials) more digital experiences that they supposedly crave. However, the assumption is not entirely accurate, and it could cost U.S. organizations $1.6 trillion. New research from Accenture Strategy suggests that the vast majority of U.S. consumers (83%) actually prefer dealing with human beings over digital channels when getting advice or resolving customer services issues or complaints. In the banking, retail, and wireless industries, these multi-channel experimental customers have shown to be the most profitable customers over digital-only customers. They don’t want pure digital interactions; they want experiences that deliver the results they seek using unpredictable combinations of digital and traditional channels.

So what’s the solution? U.S. companies have reached a tipping point in their customers’ digital intensity and need to rebalance their digital and traditional customer services investments if they want to improve loyalty, differentiate themselves, and drive growth. Companies abandoning the human connection, even with intentions of enhancing digital service, are facing the need to rebuild it in order to deliver the varied and tailored outcomes that customers demand. This is particularly important, as once a provider loses a customer, 68% of consumers will not go back.

2. “We should give our full attention to what our direct competitors are doing.”

Here’s the problem: Companies outside of your traditional competitor set or industry are increasingly offering unique experiences that will attract and offer new value to your customers. Consider how the iPhone disrupted the market for navigation devices. Not too long ago, banks and taxis didn’t perceive Internet heavy hitters and sharing economy start-ups as competition. Consumers are paying attention, regardless of who is offering them, and setting a different bar for experiences. This phenomenon is known as liquid expectations.

So what’s the solution? Recognize that consumer expectations are jumping industry boundaries and scores of other companies are now potential competitors. Find out which killer experiences and technologies are changing customer behavior, and not just in your industry or market. Then think about how these experiences could disrupt your business and what you can do to offer differentiated value to customers by adopting new products and services or by partnering with other organizations to deliver something new.

3. “Winning customers is the hardest part.”

Here’s the problem: If you frustrate your customers, they will go elsewhere faster than you think. Research shows that 52% of U.S. consumers switched providers in 2015 due to poor customer service. If consumers, especially digital savvies, don’t get the experience they expect, they will move on quickly. The global switching economy these consumers represent is estimated to be worth a staggering $6.3 trillion this year. Customer churn shows no sign of slowing down unless organizations get a deeper understanding of what drives their customers away and turn that insight into action.

So what’s the solution? Root out toxicity. Define and address the most toxic customer experiences across all channels at a much faster speed. Historically a strength, the new focus is not just on what makes a bad call or a bad website experience, but how to look for frustrating experiences across channels that often go unchecked. Customers make it easy for companies to identify poor experiences. Complaining on social media is the norm for 44% of U.S. consumers who admit taking to social channels in order to vent. These experiences can directly impact profitability. Therefore, companies need to identify the experiences that have the greatest potential downside and leverage those insights to guide an investment strategy.

4. “The more apps we offer to our customers, the better.”

Here’s the problem: We’ve become app administrators—downloading, opening, closing, deleting, and toggling. Most of these apps are for a transaction of one particular service. But the glut of single-use apps will disappear, according to Fjord’s 2016 trends report, as they become “atomized” across platforms and third-party services.

So what’s the solution? Stop besetting your customers with more and more apps they can use for a single transaction. Instead, focus on points of interaction: Design your apps so they can be distributed across relevant “points of x,” like Spotify, which transcends environments like your living room and your car and is delivered through various branded partnerships.

So how many misconceptions did you recognize? Ditch them and you might just find some breakthroughs in this year’s resolutions. Keeping an eye out for them can help you avoid potential pitfalls and push you to do the things you really want to do, while building loyalty and delivering stronger customer experiences at the same time.

See what the Twitterverse is saying about customer experience: