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The 5 causes of disastrous customer experiences (& how to avoid them)


Hero to zero: A poor customer experience will bring your company crumbling down. Quickly.

Take it from …

  • Barnes & Noble
  • Blockbuster
  • Toys R Us

… Who ignored innovations in the industry and failed to update their customer experience to match shifting consumer expectations.

That’s how you destroy a company.

Collabo XD knows. We help organizations avoid this fate and instead, turn record profits. With continual customer experience improvements and intentional service design.

Below we share 5 common mistakes companies make in their customer experience design and how you can avoid them.

1. You’re blinded by confirmation bias

Confirmation bias: The tendency to search for, interpret, favor, and recall information in a way that confirms or supports one’s prior beliefs or values (Wikipedia)

Confirmation bias can destroy a customer experience. That’s why we research.

When doing an audit of the current journey, wipe your brain of what you think is causing problems. Let your customers do the talking.

Tainting your survey results and customer conversations with preconceived notions can make you …

  • Solve the wrong problem
  • Create the wrong solution to the problem
  • Under-/overestimate the impact of the problem

To remove confirmation bias from your primary research, either remove the leaders whose salaries directly correlate with the results or hire a third party to conduct the audit.


2. You have the wrong priorities in mind

If everything is a priority, nothing is a priority.

What or who is at the center of your business?

  • Your customer
  • Your bottom line
  • Your products or services

There’s no right answer. But prioritizing your customers is how you create a memorable, loyal customer experience.

If you’re focused on a million things in your business, it’s difficult to dedicate the time, energy and resources to creating a world-class experience.


3. You don’t consider your customers’ feelings

Run as many surveys as you want – You’re not going to get the feedback you need to make the right changes by your customers.

Apart from surveys, you need to collect qualitative data right from the source. Create an open feedback loop with your customers and watch their thoughts flow in. Without qualitative information, you’ll be grasping for straws trying to solve a problem.

People aren’t quantifiable. Neither are their feelings.


4. You don’t solve the root problem – or the right problem

Problems are problems, right?


If you solve the wrong problem in your customer journey …

  • You’ll waste time and money
  • Your customers will still be unhappy

That’s why it’s so important to frame the right problem – what we call, the root problem – after your research. Then, you guarantee you use your precious resources improving the customer experience and retaining more paying customers.

Not fixing a fringe issue your customers don’t care about.

5. You don’t continually monitor & update your customer journey

Service design isn’t a one-shot deal.

Barnes & Noble, Blockbuster, Toys R Us. What do they have in common?

They were disrupted by new players in the industry because they didn’t innovate fast or frequently enough. And even their replacements (like Amazon and Netflix) need to continually refresh their services to beat out new competition and meet consumer demand.

By keeping a close eye on your customers and the market, you’ll learn they change just as often as you and your business do. With change come new expectations. And with new expectations comes new demand.

Meet your customers’ needs by continually updating your services and buying process. Simple as that.


Do these 5 things to steer clear of the fate of Barnes & Noble, Blockbuster and Toys R Us:

  1. Avoid confirmation bias
  2. Prioritize your customers
  3. Consider more than the numbers
  4. Solve the root problem – and the right problem
  5. Continually monitor and update your customer journey

Need help doing customer experience research? Or designing a better customer journey? What about a service set to match their needs?

Collabo XD has helped organizations like the Red Cross and Indiana University do just that. Schedule your consult here.



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