Why Are Brands Not Listening To Their Customers?

Guest Post by Pallavi Pavithran at Clootrack

Last year, I went for a staycation with my family, and I must say it was an unforgettable vacation as we had a terrible experience with the food and cleanliness of the rooms. I made several attempts to inform the manager about this issue, but to my shock, I didn’t get any solution from their side. They simply didn’t listen to my concerns!

Very recently, when I was searching for a place to stay for my upcoming vacation, I happened to see the same cottage in my search list but with a 1-star rating and terrible reviews! Almost all customer reviews were around the same issues I had raised 1 year back. 

No wonder they aren’t getting new customers these days. In fact, they’ve lost many of their customers forever.

I don’t think customers are just one of the parts of a business. In fact, they are the central part and a huge asset of a business. Other things should be built around this asset. Without a pleasant and satisfying experience, no one will be ready to stick to a brand. 

Fortunately or unfortunately, each customer has a lot of choices to pick from. Hence, listen where they drop off. If they are bored to enter their details in a 5-field long contact form to connect with you, that’s it – they’ll leave and check the next option in the search result.

Clootrack recently conducted a customer experience study where more than 102 CX leaders shared their opinion about the biggest challenges they faced while delivering a great experience. The challenges and actions of 102 CX experts are analyzed and consolidated into a customer experience report.

Dan Gingiss said the most important aspect of the customer experience starts with listening to customers.

In the CX Study, 23% of CX leaders and decision-makers in various industries suggest listening to the customers as the most effective solution to provide a delightful customer experience.

 

I can’t agree more! I truly believe that rather than acquiring more customers, brands need to focus on keeping the ones they already have. 

But, many brands do not listen to their customers due to a large number of customers, lack of having a unified vision and resource, internal politics, etc., says Jim Sterne, President of Target Marketing of Santa Barbara. 

He also pointed out that understanding who your customers are and what they want should be the overall moving target of the CX goal of your brand.

This includes picking up every customer’s call, taking their small and big complaints seriously, providing immediate solutions, and listening to what they are saying to you. It’s also essential to ask them what they feel and experience.

In the 102 CX report, SkySpecs VP of Experience Management Serena Riley recommends establishing a Voice of Customer (VoC) program for listening, learning, acting, and acknowledging customer feedback.

By analyzing the thousands of customer conversations, brands can figure out the common pain points and issues customers face in their journey.

If you find there are things in which customers expect improvement, do it. If they like something in your brand, keep doing it more and more. That’s how you build your pack of loyal customers.

Collect feedback frequently via surveys, ratings and reviews, customer service calls, focus groups, and one-on-one conversations and analyze them.

Customer Service expert Shep Hyken says listening to customers through feedback, survey, etc., is an obvious solution. But, there must be an easy way for the employees in the front line to share this feedback effectively to take further actions.


Nicholas Zeisler from Zeisler Consulting suggests that brands need to do more than just surveying. Surveying may or may not gather genuine feedback from customers.

 

But the thing is, some people often skip the survey part itself. So how can we understand what they really want and the blocker in their experience? He recommends brands to walk in customers’ shoes to go through the experience customers really go through. 

I agree! Here, we are experiencing the natural easiness and the pain points as a typical customer. There is indeed no better method to understand customers than this.

Senior Innovation Strategist Matt Mueller asks whether brands are actively listening to their customers to check what they want, and are they having a friendly experience with the brand. 

He suggests that removing their own biases and listening to customers’ opinions about their experience can save brands.

We all want a personalized experience. So do customers.

If we need to provide a personalized experience, first we should listen to their feedback and then work on them. Vidal Cosmetics Group’s President Jaime Vidal says.

 

Working around our gut instinct instead of listening to customers directly is like building a card castle. It can collapse at any time. 

Keynote speaker Jamie Turner says allow customers to speak for themselves. So it will be easy for you to listen to them in detail and work around it.


Julie Ryan from Johnson & Johnson recommends taking this to the next level.


Brands should implement robust ‘customer listening’ tools across all critical customer touchpoints with their CRMs and ERPs, etc., to build a 360-degree view of their customer journey. 

I say brands cannot get into the state of “I know my customers more than they know themselves” without listening to customers through their messages, feedback, calls, surveys, social media, etc. That’s how it should be!

There are many more things to be considered in delivering the best customer experience in addition to listening to the customers. 

In the Clootrack CX Experts Report, you will find a list of 15 crucial CX challenges and 15 of the key actions brands can take to deliver a great customer experience from industry leaders’ views and experience. You’ll also get thoughts from more than 100 CX practitioners and influencers.

Be sure to download your copy here!

 

Stay tuned for a new video series called CX See Why hosted by Dan Gingiss where we use Clootrack data to dissect hundreds of thousands of customer reviews to identify key trends in a new industry each episode! Coming soon.