Why Some Customer Experience Initiatives Fail

Why customer experience initiatives fail

Why Some Customer Experience Initiatives Fail

While most organisations are aware of the benefits associated with a customer experience program, there is a great difference between the vision and results of the program.

Like other aspects of business, a customer experience program that has been well-designed and executed can deliver the expected results with limited resources and expertise.

Organisations that attempt to execute this program without seeking help often discover later that they are not getting the expected results.

With increasing commodities entering the market and more companies launching customer experience programs to have an edge, most of them have not realised the goals of their programs.

And the majority will end up failing.

A research study conducted by Avaya, a communications provider, reported that at least 81 per cent of customer experience programs fail to deliver the expected results.

There are a lot of organisations wasting their resources on things that won’t work.

Apart from losing their resources, companies end up losing their credibility in the eyes of their customers and employees.

These programs are usually launched with fanfare and excitement only to die a slow death in the end due to a lack of attention and funding.

The one thing that remains strong is the signal that the workforce receives – that customer experience wasn’t a priority to the organisation.

These programs become a casualty in line with the transformational changes of the organisation.

With these facts and statistics, some organisations are better off never launching the customer experience program in the first place than pursuing it half-heartedly and losing everything over time.

Since most of these customer experience initiatives fail, you shouldn’t be surprised with the most common question that most company executives ask – “What are the drivers of success?”

Having witnessed most organisations walk the customer experience initiative path, there’s no doubt that the greatest success predictor for such programs is the commitment of top management.

A compelling, visionary, and skilful management are critical for organisations walking this path.

The key to success is executive commitment.

For your organisation to be among the top 19 per cent that succeeds after launching their customer experience initiative, there are certain markers that you should focus on that we explore below.

How to avoid a Customer Experience Initiative Fail:

1.    Consistency

If you think of customer experience improvements like any other project with a clear beginning and end, you may need to reconsider this path.

Organisations that succeed in this area need to integrate customer experience and make it an integral and long-term part of how they do their operations.

This process never ends.

Customer preferences and expectations will always keep changing just like the company’s products and services.

As a result, fixing, tuning, and polishing customer experience is a never-ending task.

If your team tends to get easily distracted by shiny objects such as Big Data or AI, then this might create problems for the organisation in the future.

To build an effective customer experience program, consistency is key.

Executive messaging and organisational focus cannot be ignored.



2.    Know your customers

To bring to life this strategy, you need to understand the type of customers you are dealing with.

If your organisation is going to understand the needs and wants of customers, then you need to understand and empathise with the situations that your customers face every day.

One of the best ways to do this is to create personas.

Give each persona a personality and a name.

For example, Karen is 30 years old. She loves technology and likes following tutorials on her own.

Creating personas will make it easier for your team to recognise customers and understand their needs and wants.

It’s one of the best ways to become customer-centric.

3.    Connect with your customers emotionally

You’ve probably heard the phrase, “People don’t remember what you said but how you made them feel.”

Customer experience initiatives become successful when team members create emotional connections with their customers.

According to the Journal of Consumer Research, more than 50 per cent of buying decisions are based on emotions.

Emotions shape attitudes which, in turn, drive decisions.

Loyal customers are customers who are attached to your brand emotionally.

Businesses that focus on and prioritise emotional connection perform way better than their competitors in terms of sales and revenues.

According to the Harvard Business Review on emotions, customers who are engaged emotionally:

  • Are three times more likely to recommend the product or service to their loved ones
  • Are three times more likely to return
  • Are less likely to buy from competitors
  • Are less sensitive to price

4.    Use customer feedback

The only way you can tell whether you are delivering a wonderful customer experience or not is by capturing customer feedback on time.

You need to use live chat tools to have real conversations and follow up emails to customers using interaction surveys and tools.

You can also make outbound calls to your customers to become more insightful.

Tying customer feedback to specific support agents ensures that all team members make a difference to the business.

5.    Use a quality framework to promote your team

Now that you know what your customers think of the services that you offer, you need to compare it with the principles outlined in your initiative.

By doing this, you’ll easily identify every individual’s training needs and support them.

Most organisations assess the quality of email and phone communication.

However, you can take this assessment a step further by scheduling and tracking the development of your team through e-learning, coaching, and group training to name a few.

6.    Act on regular employee feedback

Most organisations conduct their survey processes annually where they capture the overall feedback of the team.

It’s all about their engagement levels and their ability to deliver a great service. But what happens in the months before the survey?

In most cases, nothing happens.

You can have a great advantage over your competitors by using tools that allow your employees to share thoughts and ideas on how to improve customer experience and for managers to understand how the team feels about the organisation.

By using project management software, you can create a safe environment where employees can leave feedback.



7.    Quantify ROI

To figure out whether your customer experience initiatives are paying off or not, you need to measure your Return on Investments quantitatively.

To quantify ROI, you need to figure out what you are going to measure on the business and customer experience side.

You need to choose a metric to measure customer service value.

You also need to understand how the customer experience strategy affects your overall business.

For instance, customer experience might not increase the number of purchases but can increase the spent amount on both sides.

You must understand your metrics and how they affect your business as a whole.

In most cases, businesses measure perceptions, interactions, purchase patterns, and behaviour on the side of customer experience.

Using standard software such as Net Promoter Score, Customer Effort Score, and Customer Satisfaction Score will help you understand your metrics, improve customer experience, and promote your business.

Customer Experience is not customer service

Most business heads use these two words interchangeably.

However, customer experience is not customer service.

Customer service is defined as the assistance provided by an organisation to its customers when required.

Customers might need help, before, during, and after buying a product or service.

The purpose of customer service is to provide support or assistance to customers.

While customer experience depends on customer service to some degree, customer service is a huge part of customer experience.

Customer service is reactive in nature.

When a customer faces a problem and seeks help from the organisation, customer service comes to the rescue.

In this case, the action is only taken when a problem needs to be resolved.

Customer experience, on the other hand, is proactive.

It is a comprehensive strategy that aids customers build long-term relationships with clients and improve their experience.


In business, the customer is king.

Your business cannot grow without them.

Therefore, it’s important to take your time and develop a clear customer experience strategy that will help you and your team achieve the organisation’s objectives and vision.

Now that you know the keys to develop a customer experience initiative that will last for years, it’s time to get started!

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