24 Customer Experience Mistakes to Stop in 2024

24 Customer Experience Mistakes to Stop in 2024

GUEST POST from Shep Hyken

My friend and fellow Customer Experience (CX) expert Brittany Hodak and I recently began a 52-week series for 2024 titled Shep and Brittany’s Super Amazing Show. In the second episode, rather than talk about what to do in 2024, we shared several tips on what not to do. More specifically, it’s about what we should stop doing. That inspired me and I thought it would be fun to put together a list of twenty-four (24) CX things to stop doing in 2024.

Now, this is important: Not everyone or every company is doing any or all of these. You and your organization may not be guilty of even one of these, but discussing the list can get you thinking about other things to stop doing or give you an idea of something to start doing. So, here are 24 things companies do that annoy their customers and that need to stop:

1. Stop wasting your customers’ time. If you can’t do something for them, tell them. Help them find alternatives. Don’t string your customer along.

2. Stop with long hold times. This is a major way of wasting a customer’s time. Along with this are those recorded messages that say “we are sorry and respect your time” … but we’re still too busy to answer your call. If you can’t stop long hold times, tell the customer how long it will be with an option to call back.

3. Stop using outdated technology. Your competitors will start using newer technologies, and guess what? Your customers might notice.

4. Stop using company jargon and technical language your customers might not understand. They become very frustrated.

5. Stop with the irritating “pop-ups” on websites. People hate when they land on a website and a window pops up before they can start reading the content. Then another, and sometimes another! There’s a right time and right way to do it. Keep the customer in mind when you allow “pop-up windows” on your website.

6. Stop saying, “No problem,” when your customer says, “Thank you.” Was it a problem? Of course not. For some reason, this has become a standard response, and even if it really wasn’t a problem, it is just the wrong response. Just say, “Your welcome,” or, “My pleasure.”

7. Stop with unnecessary apologies. Some people say, “I’m sorry,” again and again. I’m not suggesting you don’t apologize to customers when there is a problem or complaint. You should, but don’t over-apologize. It’s not necessary. An apology at the beginning of taking care of the conversation is appropriate. And a “thank you” and final apology at the end is always appreciated. But repeatedly saying “I’m sorry” could come across as defensive and insincere.

8. Stop focusing only on your customers when working on your CX and service initiatives. Employees must also be considered. A great customer experience starts with a great employee experience.

9. Stop spamming customers with too many unwanted messages.

10. Stop sending your customers generic messages (promotions, notes, emails, etc.). If you’re going to send a message, find a way to personalize it. And even if it is personalized, go back and re-read number nine.

11. Get out of the “one-size-fits-all” mindset. This falls under the topic of personalization, but this is not about a marketing message. We must recognize and embrace people’s differences in today’s diverse culture.

12. Stop causing friction. What part of your process could go away? Do you force your customers to take extra steps to do business with you? Find ways to eliminate anything that causes friction.

13. Stop ignoring your customers’ feedback. If the customer takes the time to share a comment, thank them, and if it is appropriate, do something with it.

14. Stop arguing with customers, even when they are wrong. I’ve written this many times before: The customer is NOT always right, but they are always the customer. So let them be wrong with dignity and respect.

15. Stop making your customers wait for you to respond. Get back to people within an appropriate time. Don’t make them wait.

16. Stop being inflexible. If you have standards and processes that customers don’t like, they will find someone else to do business with. NOTE: Some standards could fall under compliance of legal standards. It’s okay to not be flexible on those!

17. Don’t hide add-on fees from your customers. Some hotels are upsetting their guests with resort fees that can only be found in the small print.

18. Stop nickel-and-diming your customers. This is different than hidden fees. It’s about the customer accruing an extra charge every time they turn around.

19. Stop being afraid to tell your customers bad news. They may not like the news, but they will appreciate hearing about it from you directly.

20. Stop making customers come to you when you can go to them. When it comes to convenience, always put the customer first.

21. Stop ignoring your employees’ suggestions. People on the front line are more in sync with customers than anyone. Make it easy for them to let management and leadership know about opportunities to improve.

22. Stop relying solely on digital interactions. Some companies have eliminated customers’ ability to connect with a live customer support agent. Don’t become so enamored with technology that you forget that the most powerful relationship builder is the human-to-human experience.

23. Stop with the bad survey strategy. Surveys can be sent too quickly, too frequently and are often too long. A bad survey taints the customer experience.

24. Never stop trying. Never be complacent. Customer service and CX are continuing journeys that must continually be refreshed and renewed to keep up with the competition and your customers’ needs.

Hopefully you didn’t recognize yourself in any of these scenarios that frustrate customers, but if there’s something you need to work on, now is the time. Most importantly, number twenty-four applies to everyone—never stop trying! There’s always something new on the horizon to advance your customer service and customer experience (CX).

This article originally appeared on Forbes.com

Image Credits: Shep Hyken

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