custExpMAccording to a study of the consulting firm Bain & Company, 80% of CEOs are convinced to offer their customers an excellent Customer Experience (CX), however only 8% of their customers felt the same way, which describes the dilemma.

The customers feedback should trigger alarm bells, since consumers have nowadays more product- and service choices than ever before. A rethinking that leads to a holistic design of the customer experience is urgently needed, because only that way products awareness for products and services can be increased, as well as their share of wallet and the positive brand perception of their customers.

In their efforts to create an impeccable customer experience, companies often make false assumptions - myths that tenaciously promise great successes but don’t deliver the expected results. They listen to the wrong advisers, develop inappropriate programs and use obsolete technologies that do not provide usable insights.

Luckily, Luke Williams, CX Strategy & Measurement Expert at Qualtrics, presents us with four CX myths that companies should not believe in order to avoid losing out on profits, wasting resources or damaging their brand image.

Myth # 1: Disastrous mistakes hurt a brand more than small glitches

While it may seem plausible that a howler does more harm to your image than a series of small mistakes, in fact the opposite is true. Several small glitches or systematic failures cause more damage than a single blunder of huge proportion.

The reason for that is simple: Unconsciously, human beings search everywhere for patterns and therefore deviations attract their attention. However, we instinctively consider such irregularities to be irrelevant if they do not affect us personally. Disasters, of course, do not happen very often, and we usually think that they will never happen to us. That's why we take note of it, rate it, and ignore it.

Take, for example, the case of Adidas, which made the wise decision to focus on the customer experience and to bethink themselves on their brand values. What the sporting goods company found out is that people buy sneakers not only for jogging, but also as a fashion statement – and that some retro models even sold extremely well. But in April 2017, the disaster hit when Adidas wrote an email to the finishers of the Boston Marathon: "Congratulations, you survived the Boston Marathon." 2017 marked the fourth anniversary of the 2013 bombing and the public outrage was as you can imagine enormous. Therefore, Adidas posted an obviously sincere apology, which resulted in a sales increase of 31% by the end of the year, while revenues from other leading suppliers fell in the same market segment. Repeated small omissions, such as a consistently unpleasant customer experience, would ultimately be more damaging to the customer lifetime value.

Myth # 2: Word-of-mouth is the ideal way to thrive

Positive word-of-mouth is a good way to boost the awareness, relevance and appreciation of a brand in public at the beginning of the customer journey. But ultimately, for the individual consumer, the own brand experience has more weight than the assessment of others. Still, that does not mean that word-of-mouth isn’t playing an important role. On the contrary, negative word-of-mouth has often more far-reaching consequences than positive one, because it can be much more vehement and emotional. Therefore, companies should defend themselves more strongly against negative statements, rather than focusing solely on positive recommendations.

Myth # 3: Customer Experience is the "New Marketing"

The customer experience has a significant impact on brand and sales, therefore, every company should observe and analyze the preferences, needs, wishes and behaviors of their customers. This information helps identify how it can increase the share of wallet, while identifying those customers who could potentially move away or even become a brand ambassador. Obviously, customer experience is the "New Marketing", urging companies to invest more time in their business philosophy, their basic principles and the little things in general. They should reinforce positive customer behavior, while finding ways to combine marketing with customer experience, to develop a more holistic business strategy.

Myth # 4: Poor experiences push the customer to the competition

Fortunately, most customers do not go straight to the competition when they have a bad service experience. If the number of customer churns equals the number of negative reviews, most companies could close their business most probably within a month. Even after a bad experience, a customer often stays with a vendor, simply because there are obstacles in their way: Just look at the family packages of mobile operators to give you an example: if a person is dissatisfied with the package, it must convince all others to cancel as well. The bottom line is that customers usually only move away when they find a better alternative, and their loyalty can only be taken for granted when their customer feedback states "I am fully satisfied". Blind brand loyalty simply doesn’t exist anymore. Customers expect a homogeneous brand experience, are self-confident and well-informed these days.

To meet customers’ needs, businesses must learn to combine sales, marketing, customer experience and market opportunities. CX measurements that are only made to improve a rating miss the target, but when executives say goodbye to those mentioned myths and focus on the most important factors of customer behavior, they can make a positive impact on every aspect of their business and achieve overall better results.

By Daniela La Marca