Customer Experience Management seems to be all the rage these days, from global brands to individual consultants, everyone seems to be talking about it. Even traditional contact centre outsourcers are getting familiar with the term. But is it actually something new or are people just doing what they have always done and calling it something different? From my experience it’s a bit of both.
As someone working in the industry I like to think that I do work on developing and implementing a real customer experience. From our website you will see that we talk quite a bit about it. We didn’t always get it quite right at the very beginning but I would probably now say that we are experts…in our core industry at least. Designing, creating, developing – whatever term you prefer – is fine. But the important part around the concept is mapping each experience point to business performance. It’s not just that ‘wow’ factor, the style of your retail store, the pleasant staff you talk to on the phone or how easy the website is to use. Each of these elements, and more, need to be mapped to a driver and an outcome. The business, and everyone in that business, needs to understand what drives the customer in the first place and the impact of getting it wrong – the failure point. Things do go wrong. If you have identified those potential failure points then you will be able to have a contingency or support structure in place…yes?
Well my recent experience as a customer says no! I have been a customer of a major mobile network for around 13 years and, to be fair, I have had very few issues in all of that time – hence why I have stuck around. They clearly have a good infrastructure and some of the best technical experts I would imagine. That’s what keeps things running so well. What they appear to have missed is the failure point. When something has gone wrong, something pretty major as a failure in their network, the support has been nothing short of astonishing….astonishingly poor. I have now made contact with them through every available channel – social media, email, telephone and an ever-growing forum. None have come up with an answer and no one has owned my issue and taken it away from me…instead one person just wants to pass me to the next and I have to do all the leg work. It’s now three weeks and several conflicting messages later and still no resolve. My issue is now with Customer Relations who are apparently ‘extremely embarrassed by the poor service’ and only too happy to help me. Needless to say I haven’t heard from them since last week either.
So one of the biggest and most recognised brands in the UK says they do Customer Experience well. There is no one better placed than their very own customers to tell them that they don’t.
Is customer experience something new? Do you have examples of organisations that do it really well? Leave a comment below as I would love to hear your views…and I will keep you posted on my progress.