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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 take note of bad examples as well — and unfortunately, there are plenty of these available. After all, many organizations are still failing to connect the dots between content and an elevated buyer experience. To help you avoid making the same mistakes, here are three customer experience breakdowns that happen all the time.
Related: Customer Experience Will Determine the Success of Your Company
1. Buyers only hear from you when you want something
How often are you asking for customer feedback or offering something of value (e.g. a tutorial) to your prospects, with no strings attached? In a perfect world, this should happen frequently. But, all too often, the only time customers hear from a salesperson is when they clearly have an agenda.
This could be a salesperson sending an email asking about the buyer’s “business goals” when their renewal is around the corner. Maybe not a terrible thing if the two have been in touch often, but if the salesperson hasn’t connected with the buyer once otherwise? This is a big no-no, and your buyer will see right through your attempt at subtlety.
Another example is the old “just checking in” note when a new product or service has recently been released. If you know your customer well, and know they could find value in said new product or service, sharing it with them is one thing. But if they’re used to radio silence from you and you only pop in to promote something you’re selling, it’ll come off as smarmy — because it is.
The takeaway: Give your buyers credit, and be a resource to them always, not just when there’s something for you to gain from it.
Related: Is Poor 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 oftentimes buyers feel like they’re telling a business what they want and not even being given the time of day.
For example, we’ve all tried to unsubscribe from an email list, just to continue receiving emails from the same company regardless. So, the next step is to follow up directly and request to be removed from all lists. When you do this, are you sent a response and confirmation of the removal? Or are you ignored? It might seem crazy, but the latter is often the case.
Or, maybe you’ve been corresponding with a new prospect and they ask for a cost comparison between you and a specific competitor. You don’t have that type of content yet (or you have no idea where it is), so you just change the subject or stop responding to them altogether, hoping they’ll forget their request. This isn’t just poor form; it’s also bad business.
The takeaway: If a customer or prospect makes a request of any kind, do your best to accommodate them. Even if you can’t, acknowledge their request (at the very least), and let them know you’ve tried to fulfill 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’s friction with your content experience
There are many shades of friction, but three in particular can sour your customer’s experience fast.
Trouble accessing the content you share. Maybe you send a link that leads to an error or a landing page that won’t load. Or, you’ve sent them to a page where they now have to fill out a form in order to view the content you’ve promised. Any of these scenarios are likely to make a customer decide the content isn’t worth the struggle and move on.
Sending a great piece of content at the wrong time. Let’s say you share a super compelling infographic about the value your solution can deliver. But your prospect just spent all their budget and has no more to give. In such a scenario, they’re bound to be frustrated by the experience, because they missed a great opportunity (and frustrated with you for not telling them about it sooner). Timing is crucial.
Unclear next steps. If your content is high quality and helps a buyer to see that they want to work with you, it should be immediately obvious how they can do so. Maybe it’s a CTA to enroll in your training course, or a form they can fill out in order to receive a quote. If you fail to include this, 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.
The takeaway: Create a content destination that seamlessly moves your recipient through the pieces you’ve curated for them. Also, learn as much as you can about your buyer’s own timetable and purchasing cycle before you send them content, and aim to connect every piece of content to a particular stage in the buyer journey. Lastly, remember to anticipate what will come next so you can guide the buyer along a clear, friction-free path
You don’t have to look too hard to run into bad customer experiences, but they do provide good learning opportunities. Remember to avoid the mistakes outlined here to elevate your content experience — and your buyer’s overall relationship with your company.
Related: How Customer Experience is Defining the Success of any Business