8 Ways to Avoid the CX Naughty List

By: Lisa Sigler

December 14, 2015

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Nearly 90% of consumers have stopped doing business with a company after a bad customer experience. As we continue to count down through the CXMas season, we’re offering you the gift of eight ways to make sure you stay off the CX Naughty List this year.

1. Care about customers. ‘Tis the season to spread kindness, and that includes your customers. According to a Chief Customer Council study, in 2014, 22% of Fortune 100 companies had a Chief Customer Officer. These successful businesses know that the customer experience must be a key focal point in your business strategy.

To emulate these business leaders, you have to understand the customer journey, act on customer feedback, and treat customers like, well, people.  From the C-suite to the frontline, every level of the organization needs to believe that customers come first.

2. Encourage feedback. Be sure that it is as easy for your customers to let you know what they think as it is to send a letter to Santa—or visit him at the mall. Gartner research has indicated that 95% of companies gather some customer feedback. But are you collecting enough? Are you making it easy for customers to let you know how they feel?

Whether your preferred channel is email, Twitter, phone, Facebook, or some other method, be sure that your customers know how to reach out to you. Ask them questions through surveys. Monitor the web for mentions. Listen to what your customers are saying, no matter where they are saying it.

3. Analyze your data. There are amazing, actionable insights hiding in customer feedback, if you know how to dig into it. On average, Clarabridge customers analyze 25 different sources of feedback. They use this aggregated data to find overarching trends, and then they segment the data to learn about more specific customer preferences, trends, and concerns by age, location, income level, and more. When you know what customers are saying, you’ll know exactly what gifts they want this year and next.

4. Fix problems quickly. Knowing you have a problem (through email, your call center, or text analytics of your unstructured data) is only the first step. You must act on what you’ve learned, and you must move as fast as Jack Frost. Recent Clarabridge research shows that banking customers, for example, are more frustrated by a slow response to a complaint than an inaccurate one.

5. Respond to customers. The Temkin Group has reported that companies who give a “very good” response after delivering a bad customer experience have 41% fewer consumers spending less. But, what does a very good response look like?

Reply to customers’ tweets, emails, and phone calls. Publish some (or all) of your survey results. Issue a press release to announce the changes you are making in response to customer feedback. Closing the loop with customers makes them feel like you care (and you should care. See #1 above!).

6. Engage online. Social customer care is crucially important as people increasingly use social as their main communication channel. However, if you want to be on the nice list, you shouldn’t just sit back and wait for complaints to come in.

Use social channels to display your corporate personality, to proactively solicit feedback, to build a community of supporters, and to create real relationships with the people who use and champion your products.

7. Empower employees. Customers want their problems to be fixed immediately. They love interacting with employees who go the extra mile to make their experience great. And these two things—fast issue resolution and spontaneous CX—are both made possible when employees have the autonomy and the mandate to make customers happy. The Ritz Carlton is famous for allowing every employee to spend up to $2,000 to solve guest problems, but your organization can indulge in the CXMas cheer by empowering staff to waive late fees, expedite shipping, or customize offerings in order to make customers like you.

8. Recognize CX done right. Save the biggest gifts for your employees. As Virgin’sfounder Richard Branson, well-known for his philosophy of putting employees first, said, “If the person who works at your company is not appreciated, they are not going to do things with a smile.”

Acknowledge and reward the employees who are providing superior service, and your customers will start to notice that they are being treated well by engaged, motivated individuals. That makes customers happy, and reflects well on your business.

Follow these steps and you’ll be safely on the CX Nice List, enjoying the gifts of customer loyalty and revenue, this CXMas season and all year long.

Missed the other days of CXMas? Check them out now!

The 12 Days of CXMas

11 Jolly Customer Experience Quotes

10 CX Stars Shining Brightly

9 Merry Social Engagement Tips


Lisa Sigler is Sr. Manager of Content Marketing at Clarabridge. For over 16 years, Lisa has used her writing and editorial skills to bring the value and benefits of technology to life. In her current role, she works to demonstrate Clarabridge’s position as thought leader and trailblazer in the Customer Experience Management market. Lisa holds a B.A. of English from Kent State University. Read more from Lisa on Twitter @siglerLis.