About six weeks ago, I shipped a piece of art via a highly reputable shipper. I will spare you the details of this fiasco, but needless to say, for a company prides itself in its branding as delivering the highest level of customer experience, I have to wonder how much truth there is behind their claim. My misfortune brings up the point that every company looking to maintain a good reputation with their customers should always be asking themselves, "Would our customer experience be considered positive or negative?"
There are probably very few companies that do not have a customer experience (CX) strategy in place. However, one has to wonder how often companies fail to provide this critical element in the eyes of their customer. After all, isn’t this what it’s all about? It’s clear in the case of my art shipping experience that the process used has never been thought through from a customer’s perspective, which is where a customer journey map would be useful. This is evidenced by the complexity of my having to weave through multiple barriers to resolution. I begin to wonder how many other companies own CX strategies built on a house of cards?
I am afraid I find that delivering the customer experience is more challenging to most companies than they realize. Organizations are learning that there is much more to the job of engaging and retaining customers than just putting something in place and moving on to the next challenge. While they may recognize the need to provide superb experiences, they are challenged along the path of designing, developing, executing, and delivering an integrated customer experience.
For example, I wonder if time is regularly taken to get feedback from customers on their thoughts as to what matters to them and the outcomes they hope to achieve. Actually, I shouldn’t really wonder, as many of companies I have spoken with have not; they feel they already know, and that is simply not so!
Today, the challenge is to move the game to the next level by taking an approach that links strategy, vision, measurements, technology, organization, engagement, etc., as well as to have nailed down the customers outcomes and, for the company, to strategize around this. You can no longer be good, you have to be better and then best, and any lesser than this no longer suffices. To move from delivering a good experience to a great experience requires that you set aside past practices and consider some changes:
Depending on how you answer these questions will give you the insight on whether your CX effort is built on a house of cards like the carrier in my art shipping fiasco, or built to execute and show off a team capable of delivering that customer loyalty building experience.
Post Date: October 1, 2015
Dennis Gershowitz is the founder and president of DG Associates, a consulting firm that specializes in driving service revenues and profits through the development and implementation of customer experience management (CEM) strategy and service operations improvements. DG Associates is a TSIA Consulting Alliance Partner.
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