This was a rough year for customer experience.
We’ve been hearing for years how important customer experience is to business, and a whole business technology category has been built around it, with companies like Salesforce and Adobe at the forefront. But due to the economy or lack of employees (perhaps both?), 2022 was a year of poor customer service, which in turn has created poor experiences; there’s no separating the two.
No matter how great your product or service, you will ultimately be judged by how well you do when things go wrong, and your customer service team is your direct link to buyers. If you fail them in a time of need, you can lose them for good and quickly develop a bad reputation. News can spread rapidly through social media channels. That’s not the kind of talk you want about your brand.
We’re constantly being asked for feedback about how the business did, yet this thirst for information doesn’t seem to ever connect back to improving the experience.
And make no mistake: Your customer service is inexorably linked to the perceived experience of your customer. We’re constantly being asked for feedback about how the business did, yet this thirst for information doesn’t seem to ever connect back to improving the experience.
Consider the poor folks who bought tickets for Southwest Airlines flights this week. One video showed airline employees had sicked the police on their own passengers. Consider that the airline admittedly screwed up, but one representative of the same airline actually called the police on passengers for being at the gate. When it comes to abusing your customers and destroying your brand goodwill, that example takes the cake.
For too long we’ve been hearing about how data will drive better experiences, but is that data ever available to the people dealing with the customers? They don’t need data — they need help and training and guidance, and there clearly wasn’t enough of that in 2022. It seemed companies cut back on customer service to the detriment of their customers’ experience and ultimately to the reputation of the brand.