Today I’m pleased to share a guest post by Eric Melchor with ElevateMyCX.

When most of us think of plagues or epidemics we think of victims who break out with red spots all over their bodies or egg-sized buboes that ooze pus and blood. But think about the coronavirus pandemic. The symptoms are “hidden” in comparison to other outbreaks of the past. No one is suffering from subcutaneous hemorrhaging or developing golf-sized boils under their armpits or groin area. Still, pandemics like the coronavirus can be deadly, having taken 50,000+ American lives and counting already. Many people don’t even know they’ve had such a virus. Symptoms could range anywhere from a cough to headaches – things that most of us experience on a daily basis.

And think about how we combat viruses. Doesn’t the absence of major symptoms make it difficult to diagnose and treat the disease? Without obvious symptoms, you have millions of people interacting with one another, causing the virus to spread.

Implementing CX strategies to reduce friction, complaints, and confusion is a bit like combating multiple diseases. Budget, resources, and ideas are applied to critical issues that induce the worst complaints. Most customer experience professionals tackle the problems that NPS Detractors point out again and again – which is understandable as the squeakiest wheels get the grease. However, it’s also the silent wheels that, although aren’t showing any major signs of wear or tear, should be addressed. Otherwise, these hidden elements can prove to be deadly.

3 Hidden Elements in Your Customer Experience That Have a Huge Impact on Your Success

(1) Social Proof (Customer Reviews)

Buyers today are relying on customer reviews now more than ever before. In many cases. before a buyer even visits your website, in addition to searching for more information about a product or service, they are doing research about the company’s reputation.

Try searching for a company on Google that does not display some sort of customer review star rating. In addition to the Google profile appearing on the right side of the page displaying a few customer testimonials and rating, many review sites like TrustPilot and Best Company appear on the first page of Google results. If your company’s review ratings are poor, why would a customer continue the buying experience for your brand?

Overseeing the online reputation and having a strategy to enhance a brand’s social proof is the first invisible element of a CX strategy.

(2) Value-Added Post Purchase Emails

While you’ve convinced a buyer to pull out his credit card and purchase a product or service, you haven’t yet turned him into a loyal customer or advocate for your brand. The hurdle you’ll face is if there is another service or product out in the marketplace that is perceived as equal value and costs roughly the same, then the customer will see no difference in choosing your competitor.

But value-added post-purchase emails can change that.

By continuing to engage with your customer after the sale, ensuring they have a great onboarding experience, and providing value-added content, then you help avoid disruption from the competition. Value-added emails can be in the form of FAQs, information on where and how people get stuck using the product or service, and examples of other types of uses and benefits for the product or service.

Most brands just send out a confirmation email that acts as a receipt. And therefore, if you take the time and effort to create a wonderful post-purchase experience by providing value-added information, then you lay the foundation for creating loyal customers, increasing repeat purchases, and driving organic growth with more referrals and free word-of-mouth advertising.

(3) Visitor Intent

Practically everyone on the planet thinks NPS is the ultimate customer experience metric. And why not? It’s incredibly simple. By asking customers how likely they would be on a scale of 0-10 to recommend your products and subtracting the percentage of detractors from the percentage of promoters, you can easily gauge customer referral intentions.

However, the net promoter score itself doesn’t give you any insight. It doesn’t tell you why a Detractor is a Detractor or why a Passive is a Passive. And if your company is trying to grow really fast, it’s better to ask the customer directly what he’s looking to accomplish while visiting your website. You will get better information, much faster than any metric, survey, or web analytics tool.

By asking the question “what is the reason for your visit today?”, you will get critical insight as to what your visitors’ needs and expectations are. The feedback will be powerful and help you decide what pivots you should make to your product or service offering and how to market your product.

The easiest way to ask this question is by using a simple plug-n-play survey tool like Quadro.

Treat the Hidden Elements

You’ve just been introduced to three important, but hidden, elements a customer experience strategy needs:

  1. Social Proof (Customer Reviews)
  2. Value-Added Post-Purchase Emails
  3. Visitor Intent

When most of us think about a customer experience strategy, we think of NPS, customer and employee engagement, the voice of the customer, and journey mapping. However, a process to enhance your online reputation, provide value-added post purchase emails, and ask the customer directly what his intent is will deliver a huge amount of value.

These elements seem obscure, almost hidden, and yet they can do a lot of harm if not given proper attention.

Eric Melchor is an expert CX Mystery shopper and runs an eccentric customer experience site at ElevateMyCX. Like a bank robber casing a bank, he’ll show you where your online customer journey is vulnerable and how small changes can lead to a lot more engagement, less churn, and more business. Learn how to plan (and craft) your CX Roadmap in minutes with Eric’s easy CX Accelerator Planning Worksheet and No B.S. Friendly CX Roadmap when you subscribe to the ElevateMyCX newsletter.

Image courtesy of Pixabay.