Brands should ‘stop spending money on marketing’ and address customer experience – says Precedent head of digital Lindsay Herbert

Brands that are struggling to retain consumers need to focus on addressing issues with their customer experience rather than throwing money at marketing efforts to gain new ones, according to head of digital at Precedent Lindsay Herbert.

Speaking to The Drum ahead of its Joy of CX conference on 16 October, for which she is a speaker, Herbet said many businesses are failing to realise that their biggest issues could be solved by addressing the user experience.

“I hear this all the time; we’ll get a new client come in and they’ll say ‘our sector is really terrible, people in our sector are disloyal and our customers keep leaving us’. But no, [the reason is] your customers are really unsatisfied, that’s why they keep leaving you.

“They think that if they could just get new, different customers, those customers won’t be disloyal and they’ll just put up with all of their crap.

“They think they won’t care if their order doesn’t arrive or the part isn’t in stock; but those people don’t exist. The disloyal people are just the people who have human needs that need to be fulfilled. Address that and stop spending so much money on marketing.”

Herbert said the best examples of brands employing successful customer experience tend to sit within the travel and destination sector, an area that was forced to adapt when sites such as TripAdvisor exploded.

She cited start-up AirBnB as a favourite as well as UberRush, a courier service venture from car sharing app Uber, which Herbert said offers an “up-front, transparent business model” for its customers by being honest with its business proposition.

“They [UberRush] will say the best time period for Uber Rushing something is between certain specific time periods.

“That’s just a really lovely, upfront thing to say as opposed to pretending that every time of the day is the same. They could try to cover up the fact that they’re really crappy at 4am for delivering stuff or they can be upfront, and that instantly cuts out all the negative reviews they might get on line.”

KLM is another brand that Herbet feels does customer experience well by directing its customers to the KLM Facebook for any comments they might have. The airline also promises to contact those who post within a two-hour time frame, something Herbert said shows they care about the customer’s experience.

Tickets for the The Joy of CX, which takes place 16 October, and more information on the speakers and venue can be found on the The Joy of CX website.

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