Is Your CX an Awkwardly Long Hug?

August 8, 2019

Everyone’s grumbling about customer experience getting worse. Is it our imagination?

Nope. It’s a real thing.

At least that’s the findings from a report from Oracle and Customer Experience Expert Jeanne Bliss. The new study, One Size Doesn’t Fit All, highlights the lousy experience consumers have with brands. In fact, 82% give brands the thumbs down.

Tapping the sentiments of over 1,100 U.S. consumers across four generations, researchers found that people blacklist brands that don’t meet their expectations. Worse yet, a lack of trust makes it even harder to influence what they buy, how and when.

Here are some stats I found especially interesting –

82% of consumers have had a brand experience that disappointed or upset them. And more than three-quarters had an experience where they weren’t happy with the service they received.

People won’t take this lying down. In fact, 43% of consumers have blacklisted a brand because of a bad experience. A third said they wouldn’t shop with a company after just one bad experience.

Think it’s no big deal? When asked to compare reaching out to a company’s customer service team for help with another experience, people chose things like going to the dentist (18%), stubbing your toe (13%) or an awkwardly long hug (13%). Ugh.

Customers trust family and friends. Period.

The Edelman Trust Barometer circles back to this on a regular basis, too. The Oracle report found that your mother-in-law doesn’t look so bad compared with the overdose of Instagrammers, Kardashian-types and politicians. Add to that social media, mobile advertising and the voice-activated Siris and Alexas of the world. That leaves us with just our family (77%) and friends (75%) – the real, everyday people we spend time with.

All this personalization needs to get more personal.

This is one of the biggest kickers. People are OK with a higher price tag for more personalization and a novel experience. So much so that more than half (57%) would share personal information so they can get a better experience. But most don’t expect brands to actually be able to deliver. Offer unique ways to experience your products and services and you’ll likely bump up your buying volume  by 42%. This is especially true for Gen Z (58%) and Millennial (56%).

What this means for B2B

If you scoff at these numbers and say they’re only for consumers, think again. No one splits their buying personality into B2C and B2B. The same expectations we have of a brand as a consumer is the same one we take to work with us every day in the B2B world.  

We may talk customer journeys, personas and voice of the customer, but in reality few brands deliver. It’s not enough to just show up. People expect to be treated like a real, genuine human being.

Because, as Bliss points out, one size certainly doesn’t fit all when it comes to experiencing your brand.

About Carla Johnson

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Carla Johnson is a world-renowned storyteller, an entertaining speaker, and a prolific author.

Over the last two decades, Carla has helped architects and actuaries, executives and volunteers, innovators and visionaries leverage the art of storytelling to inspire action. Her work with Fortune 500 brands has served as the foundation for many of her books.

In her latest project, Fast Forward Files, she contributes to a larger collection of thoughts by some of the world’s greatest minds -  Shazam co-founder Dhiraj Mukherjee, activist and entrepreneur Heather Mills and behavioral designer, technologist and mental-health champion Peter Trainor. Consistently named one of the top influencers in B2B, digital and content marketing, Carla regularly challenges conventional thinking. 

Today, she travels the world teaching anyone (and everyone) how to cultivate idea-driven teams that breed unstoppable creativity and game-changing innovation.