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We often like to talk about great customer experiences (and how content fits into them), to give you positive examples of how to reach buyers most effectively. But sometimes it’s just as instructive to note the bad examples as well – and unfortunately there are plenty of them available. After all, many organizations still fail to make the connection between content and an elevated shopping experience. To help you avoid making the same mistakes again, here are three customer experience breakdowns that happen all the time.
Related: Customer Experience Will Determine the Success of Your Business
1. Buyers only hear from you when you want something
How often do you ask your customers for feedback or offer something of value (eg, a tutorial) to your prospects, with no strings attached? In a perfect world, this should happen frequently. But, too often, the only time customers hear from a salesperson is when they have a clear agenda.
This could be a seller sending an email asking for the buyer’s “business goals” when their renewal is imminent. It might not be a terrible thing if the two have been in touch often, but what if the seller hasn’t communicated with the buyer once otherwise? That’s a big no-no, and your buyer will see through your attempt at subtlety.
Another example is the old “just check” note when a new product or service has recently been launched. If you know your customer well and know that they could find value in this new product or service, sharing it with them is one thing. But if they’re used to radio silence from you and you’re only stepping in to promote something you’re selling, it’ll sound smarmy — because it is.
Take-out: Give credit to your buyers and be a resource for them stillnot just when you have something to gain from it.
Related: Is a bad customer experience person-related or policy-related?
2. Their requests are ignored
Few things are more frustrating than being told “no”, but being ghosted is even worse. No one wants to be ignored, and yet buyers often feel like they’re telling a business what they want and not even knowing the time of day.
For example, we’ve all tried to unsubscribe from a mailing list, just to continue receiving emails from the same company regardless. So, the next step is to directly follow and request to be removed from all listings. When you do this, do you receive a response and confirmation of deletion? Or are you ignored? It may sound crazy, but it often is.
Or, maybe you’ve corresponded with a new prospect and they’re asking for a cost comparison between you and a specific competitor. You don’t have that kind of content yet (or don’t know where it is), so you just change the subject or stop responding to them altogether, hoping they’ll forget about their request. It’s not just bad form; it is also a bad deal.
Take-out: If a customer or prospect makes a request of any kind, do your best to accommodate it. Even if you can’t, acknowledge their request (at least) and let them know you tried to accommodate it. Oh, and start using a content experience platform so you can organize, tag, and access your content easily and quickly whenever a specific content request is made.
Related: How to Deliver a Great Localized Customer Experience
There is friction with your content experience
There are many shades of friction, but three in particular can quickly ruin your customer’s experience.
Problem accessing the content you share. You may be sending a link that leads to an error or a landing page that doesn’t load. Or, you sent them to a page where they now have to fill out a form in order to see the content you promised. Each of these scenarios will likely cause a customer to decide the content isn’t worth fighting for and move on.
Send great content at the wrong time. Let’s say you share a very compelling infographic about the value your solution can bring. But your prospect has just spent all of their budget and has nothing left to give. In such a scenario, they’re bound to be frustrated with the experience because they missed a great opportunity (and frustrated that you didn’t tell them about it sooner). Timing is crucial.
Next steps unclear. If your content is high quality and helps a buyer see that they want to work with you, it should be immediately obvious how they can do that. Maybe it’s a CTA to sign up for your training course, or a form they can fill out to receive a quote. If you don’t include it, your buyer might end up feeling like the time they invested in consuming your content and getting excited about your solutions was nothing but a waste.
Take-out: Create a content destination that seamlessly moves your recipient through the items you’ve selected for them. Also, find out as much as you can about your buyer’s timing and buying cycle before sending them content, and try to connect each piece of content to a particular stage of the buyer’s journey. Finally, don’t forget to anticipate what’s next so you can guide the buyer on a clear and frictionless path.
You don’t have to look too far to come across bad customer experiences, but they offer good learning opportunities. Remember to avoid the mistakes outlined here to improve your content experience — and your buyer’s overall relationship with your business.
Related: How Customer Experience Defines Any Business’s Success