Customer experience is made up of each interaction that your customers have with your organization, and how they perceive those interactions. A great customer experience is no longer an added benefit to a company, it is now an expectation of customers today.

We all know what a bad or frustrating customer experience looks like, but what about an exceptional one? To help you stand out in a good way, we have complied the top five mistakes you first need to avoid in order to provide an outstanding experience for your customers.

1. Not listening to your customers. In order to know what your customers want and provide them with an outstanding customer experience, you need to listen to them. It’s important to give your customers ample opportunities to be heard and ensure that your organization is actually listening. Survey your customers, take the information you learn and treat your customers as the valued individuals they are. Foster customer loyalty by gathering and acting on information about your customers such as birthdays, purchase history and other data that allows you to personalize their customer experience.

2. Neglecting your employees. Your employees are the backbone of your company, and they are essential in ensuring your customers receive a good experience. If your employees are unhappy, any customer experience strategies you put in place will not be effective. The way you treat your employees is how they will treat your customers. Make your employees true brand ambassadors by exceeding their expectations and providing them with worthwhile perks and incentives. This will pay off ten-fold when your company is full of happy employees, and in turn happy customers.

3. Overcomplicating things. The harder it is for customers to get in contact with your company, the less satisfied they will be. When people think of customer service experiences, they often think of a long and frustrating process. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Interactions with your customers can be an opportunity to surprise and delight them. In order to do this, directly and quickly answer your customers questions where they appear. Additionally, ensure that your customer service staff is polite, patient and willing to go the extra mile. It’s also important to give your customers adequate resources to figure out their problems for themselves.

4. Not emotionally connecting with your customers. According to McKinsey, 70 percent of buying experiences are based on how customers feel they are being treated. Emotions are a strong driver of purchasing decisions and the ultimate goal is for your customers to feel emotionally connected to your brand. In order to achieve this, take the time to figure out which emotions your customers associate with your company and how you can genuinely appeal to them across the customer experience.

5. Not defining clear goals. Everyone wants happy, loyal customers as a result of their customer experience. But without clear, actionable goals this isn’t possible. In order to accurately quantify your results, define specific goals for your customer experience efforts. For example, a goal could be to increase your customer satisfaction rating by an average of 10 percent. Whatever your goals are, put them in writing make them accessible to your organization and keep track of the progress being made towards achieving them.

Happy Marketing!