"Just 'cause you're beautiful, that doesn't mean that you can treat people like they don't matter."– Cameron James (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), 10 Things I Hate About You

Building meaningful and loyal customer relationships is all about providing great experiences. But relationships are complicated, and too many companies make certain mistakes that can push their beloved customers away.

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, we've asked some of the biggest thought leaders in B2B Customer Experience to share the common pitfalls that often lead to unsatisfying or uninspiring customer interactions.

So without further ado, here are the top 10 practices you should avoid in 2021 to keep the fire burning and ensure there's no love lost between you and your customers.

"You've become complacent"

Your customers will not give you a "pandemic pass" on customer experience. Everywhere I look, I see business websites festooned with messages announcing their customer experience will be worse because of COVID-19 'complications' or 'delays'. It's almost been a year. If you haven't figured out how to retool your operations to deliver sound CX during the pandemic, that's your fault, not the virus' fault.

According to new research from Podium, more than 75% of customers expect businesses to be more convenient post-pandemic. So you better stop making excuses, and instead start making improvements.

Jay Baer – Founder of Convince & Convert and co-author of Talk Triggers: The Complete Guide to Creating Customers with Word of Mouth

"You don’t love me for who I am"

Stop sending out generic messages that aren’t relevant to me. Better yet, stop delivering an experience that isn’t relevant to me.

In this day and age, where companies have no shortage of data about their customers, there is no excuse for not personalizing the experience to the customer in front of you. Brands have my feedback. They’ve got the breadcrumbs of data that I leave behind when I interact and transact with them.

Data is at the heart of designing and delivering a great customer experience. So brands need to use that data wisely!

Annette Franz – Founder & CEO of CX Journey, member of Forbes Coaches Council, and author of Customer Understanding: Three Ways to Put the "Customer" in Customer Experience

"You take more than you give"

Companies that ask for new business before providing value will find themselves in a lonely world. To succeed in this new age, companies need to develop value in the product, market that value through useful thought leadership, and then demonstrate value every day of the customer journey. If you’re asking for more business before demonstrating value, then you need to operationalize customer success.

Nick Mehta – CEO of Gainsight

"You don’t even know me"

To effectively provide personalized experiences, companies must leverage data and insights on the voice of the customer and the voice of the employee – without this intelligence, you’re embarking on an exercise in futility. Listen to your customers and your employees to really “know” the people you’re trying to serve.

Take time to get your employees bought into your strategy, and understand what your customers need.

Wendy Richardson – Senior Vice President of Global Customer Care Operational Excellence at Mastercard

"You don't respect me"

While data privacy laws may seem punishing or limiting your content marketing possibilities, the same requirements for being compliant with those laws are what it takes to show customers you understand and respect their personal needs.

Now is the time to look past likes, clicks and email open rates. Respect the individual identity of every single customer while engaging both known customers and prospects with contextually relevant content and media. This not only helps you meet regulatory compliance, but it can also open up new content opportunities to tell the world how we have given control to the audience – and demonstrate to that audience that we respect their privacy.

Tim Hayden – CEO & Managing Partner of Brain+Trust Partners

Forget Sarah Marshall...

We recently teamed up with Gainsight to present a one-of-a-kind virtual panel packed with insights and knowledge from senior leaders in B2B Customer Experience!

Watch it now to learn from industry professionals, including valuable tips and best practices for creating earth-shattering customer experiences in 2021.

Watch the recording

"You don’t see what’s right in front of you"

Too many companies today overly invest in sales and demand generation vehicles to steer them on their hunt for the next big trophy customer and ‘save the day.’ Tomorrow’s marketplace leaders are customer-centric and will dominate by focusing on:

1) Identifying and cultivating their ideal customer profile with product/service offerings that actually keep the voice of customer in mind

2) Crafting customer journeys to fine detail that will guarantee customer retention and loyalty

3) Using customer experience as modern selling! People want to do business with companies with a notable reputation, that will respect them, serve them and appreciate the privilege of earning their business.

Adrian Brady-Cesana – Founder of CXChronicles and host of the CXC Podcast

"You don’t spend enough time with me"

I hate it when I see companies equate "Customer Success" with fixing "troubled customers". Customer Success means striving to make all of your customers successful. Yes, we must help those who are having problems, but often, those that appear to be doing OK could be doing better, and even those that appear to be successful could be wildly successful if we paid more attention to them.

David Parry – Vice President of Customer Success at Bringg

"You ignore the little things"

"Make your bed and then make their day." This is my ethos when it comes to customer experience, and it also happens to be where I see so many companies making fundamental mistakes when it comes to designing their CX.

It's easy to think that CX is all about creating "Wow" moments, and if you can get to that stage, fantastic. But it's important to get the basics right first, make sure your customers have an easy, friction-free journey, and when that's perfect, then and only then you can start to get creative and take it to the next level.

Katie Stabler – Founder & Director of Customer Experience at CULTIVATE, Certified Customer Experience Professional (CCXP)

"I can't trust you"

Users come to you through different doors, like your doc portal, support agents, customer community, marketing site. If the answers and branding they get when going through one door doesn’t match what they find behind another door, they lose trust in your brand.

Many companies “fix” this issue by pushing customers to come through one single door. This won’t work. Instead, think about how you can display all content from multiple sources inside every touchpoint – support portal, CRM, doc portal, inside the product, etc. Unify your customer touchpoints to create a seamless customer experience!

Megan Gilhooly – VP of Customer Experience at Zoomin and author of the Friday Reflections newsletter

"We have different values"

What’s your CX love language? Mine is quality time. This means I don’t want to waste time with my partner in meetings that aren’t high-value. Things like product onboarding, new feature training, how to provide support, etc. – I should be able to easily do these myself when I want to do them, saving our valuable time together to focus on more important topics for long-term success. If I need to contact you in order to be successful with your solution, then we now have a roadblock to success.

Brittany Rolfe Hillard – VP of Customer Engagement & Advocacy at WalkMe

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