The customer experience is as crucial to the identity of your company as is your brand. It is how we make customers feel in every way they interact with our company whether it is your employees, your website, your storefront, the billing process, and so forth. Some companies do a great job of deliberately designing their customer experience while others just form theirs organically. Often our role as salespeople is to deliver that experience as an ambassador of our company. Sometimes the customer experience does not unfold as planned and customers have a less than optimal experience.
Most often when a customer experience does not meet the expectation of the customer, there is some level of grace where the issue is easily forgotten by the customer or they offer their forgiveness. These pitfalls are usually avoidable with good training and planning, but we are all human and aren’t always at our best. We find that there are generally 4 misses in the customer experience; Mistakes, Miscommunication, Misunderstandings, and Misinformation. Once you have identified the issues, here are the best ways to address them.
Mistakes – We all make mistakes and, at the very least, they are embarrassing and sometimes expensive. The nice thing about most mistakes is that they are correctable. If a mistake is made, it is best to alert the customer as soon as possible and take ownership of both the issue and the solution. The sooner you do this the more forgiving the customer will be.
Miscommunication – Miscommunication is difficult because it has several variables including the possibility of the wrong message, wrong timing, wrong method, or wrong tone. The worst situation is when communication is absent or insufficient. Clarify the expectations of your customer and do everything you can to reasonably accommodate this need.
Misunderstanding – This happens when the wrong expectation is created. Perhaps things were not clear enough or someone made too many assumptions. Sometimes the terms were not discussed, agreed upon, or finalized. Take the time to figure out where things went wrong. The error could have been made by either party. Once the misunderstanding has been resolved, it is best to make sure both parties have the new understanding in writing to avoid future confusion.
Misinformation – We all can receive the same information in a different way and an honest error can occur. The wrong details were shared, the information was misleading or certain details were omitted or disregarded as unimportant. It is always best to give customers as much information as possible whether they want it or not. If necessary, highlight the details that, if not received, can cause the customer serious issues.