When Customer Experience Failures Hit the News: Knowing the Customer is Everything

There have been far too many recent news stories about major brands hitting the headlines for failing to live up to customers’ expectations. When a single customer complaint goes viral and get millions of views on social media, those larger failures become mainstays on the national, and sometimes international, news agenda. It’s happening to brands everywhere, from different industries and sectors, from hotels and airlines to car manufacturers and retailers. 

Bill McMurray, Managing Director, Asia Pacific and Japan, Qualtrics said, “It all comes down to an experience gap. There’s an experience that brands think they’re delivering and then there’s the experience their customers are getting. All too often the two are miles apart.” 

However, all is not lost with one slip-up if the brands take immediate and urgent action to resolve issues. Customers are more likely to think highly of a brand if they correct the issue after something goes wrong than those customers who never had an issue in the first place. 

Bill McMurray said, “To keep customer loyalty intact, brands need to be able to identify the experience gap. They need to understand exactly what customers expect and map that back to actions to close the gap. In some cases, that’s solving an employee issue, in others a tech issue or even a product issue. The faster a brand can identify the issue, the faster they can get it under control without causing lasting damage to the brand’s reputation.” 

“Identifying and closing experience gaps might not stop every customer experience failure as sometimes it’s an issue outside a brand’s control. However, having access to data to quickly and easily identify an experience failure’s root cause, and model the potential remedies, brands can get ahead of negative publicity.” 

“The key to all of this is to know customers inside out, listen to their feedback, and act on it. The right actions to remediate an experience failure can actually generate an increased level of customer trust and loyalty because the brand has demonstrated that they are listening, caring and acting.”