Nothing sends potential buyers running away in terror faster than a poor customer experience (CX). According to Acquia’s global customer experience survey, 76% of consumers will quit a brand due to a bad customer experience. Even a few negative reviews can severely harm a brand’s reputation. Here are a few ways brands miss the mark when it comes to customer experience and tips for how they can take their marketing from frightful to delightful.
1. Overlooking Personalization Opportunities
Despite what M. Night Shyamalan films may tell you, ghosts aren’t real. So stop treating your customers like they’re invisible. Even with access to more data than ever before, many companies still overlook opportunities to individualize their interactions with users. Our CX research found that 68% of consumers said that brands “don’t make them feel like individuals” and 61% said that “brands who should know them well, don’t know them at all.” Displaying the same “Welcome!” content to someone who has been shopping on your site for years shows a lack of regard for your audience.
Even worse than not individualizing your marketing at all, relying on demographic stereotypes is lazy and can turn off the real people you’re trying to reach. Back in 2012, the car company Kia was mocked for their hilariously out-of-touch “Seasons Memeing” campaign which imposed a Kia Sorento on popular memes. One of the best tactics to make a customer feel like a real live human being is personalization. By accessing user data in real time to learn about how your customers prefer to interact with your brand, you can offer them more meaningful content that you know they’ll be receptive to rather than the same old soulless copy.
2. Being Creepy Instead of Convenient
Remember when you used a Ouija Board for the first time with your friends and got totally freaked out when the board somehow spelled out an answer to the exact question you asked? Today, that same eerie sense of “How did it know?” comes from scrolling through Facebook and seeing that one item you were just planning to buy on Amazon appear in your social media feed. As marketing automation and AI tools continue to advance, digital marketers are dedicating more time than ever to personalization campaigns that tailor content to an individual’s unique needs and interests. Personalization is a great asset for customers and marketers alike because, when done right, it simplifies the buyer’s journey and builds long-term brand loyalty. However, when brands don’t use consumer data responsibly and transparently, they risk losing consumers’ trust or damaging their overall impression with that brand.
In one infamous personalization overstep, retailer Target used individual browsing data to determine if a shopper was likely to be pregnant in order to send them promotions for maternity items. This backfired when they emailed the father of a teenager and exposed her pregnancy to her parents before she had told them herself!
Understanding when to take a step back and approach customers only when they’ve given express permission to do so is the key to offering individualized experiences that feel inviting rather than invasive. Acquia’s 2019 Consumer Privacy Survey found that 65% of consumers would stop using a brand that was dishonest about how it was using their data. People are willing to provide personal details to brand in exchange for better experiences; however, the majority of people want to have consent and control of what data they’re sharing, via administered surveys and other first-party declared data processes.