Customer Experience Failures Balloon Into Bigger Problems [Infographic]

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Poor customer experiences can lead to deflated revenue and loyalty.

Most marketers claim to care about their customers' experiences (CX), but are they just full of hot air? Consider the following data from CX cloud provider SDL: When asked about their biggest CX “failure” over the past decade, 76% of the nearly 2,800 consumers surveyed said that their worst one occurred within the past two years. In addition, only about half (55%) of the global respondents who remembered a CX failure could also recall a CX success.

So what causes these deflated experiences? More than one third (35%) of consumers cite long wait times or poor response times as their top reason for CX failure. Other issues include speaking with customer service representatives who don't have the power to rectify a situation (31%), dealing with poorly trained or unknowledgeable representatives (30%), and receiving inaccurate or conflicting information (29%). These issues typically arise during the post-sale support phase of the customer journey, according to 32% of respondents; however, about one quarter (23%) of respondents face these problems during the product or service experience phase.

Some sectors are guiltier of popping customers' sense of loyalty than others. Communications service providers (e.g., cable, Internet, mobile companies) are the worst offenders, according to 19% of respondents, followed by electronic brands, with 18% of the vote.

But can these CX failures really impact brands' bottom lines? According to SDL's research, they can. In fact, in the year following customers having a poor experience, brands can expect to lose 65% of the previous revenue from those customers. What's more, 64% of those customers will stop recommending a brand, leave, or give negative reviews.

Worse, four out of five customers will never consider doing business with a company again after a CX failure, according to the research. Even if they agree to give the company another shot, the relationship won't be the same. Consider the following: 59% of respondents say they would show less loyalty to the offender. Still, if companies want to try to win back offended customers, they can try the following tactics, which customers say will win them back: owning their mistakes (35%), showing how they've enhanced their business as a result of the offended customer's experience (30%), offering discounts or credit (26%). According to the SDL research, only the first and third options have proven to be effective.

Thankfully, there are still companies that manage to go up, up, and away with their CX. These pleasant experiences are often spurred by helpful customer service representatives (35%), knowledgeable staff (27%), and quality products (25%). Generally, these moments occur during product or service experience phase (28%) or the shopping/purchase phase (22%). And these small gestures can balloon into substantial results. For instance, 72% of respondents say they would recommend a company (offline) to others after a CX win, and 46% say they would trust that company's products or services above their competitors. In addition, 45% say they would give the company a good online review.

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