I woke up the other day to find that my computer had restarted itself overnight. I knew it was coming, and frankly, it was my own fault; the desktop warning and request that I either pick a time or it’ll happen of its own accord “outside of active hours,” as if a self-employed consultant has such things. Nevertheless, I’ve been assimilated and do expect to fall prey to how The Borg chooses to run my electronic life.
Then again, if such a restart is so vital that it will happen when the computer wants, it seems a bit incongruous to even give me the option to wait at all. As a side note, when my Air Force computer wants to restart, it simply does…I’ve been in the middle of building lesson plans—and for that matter, in the middle of a class in front of a room of cadets—and it’s simply restarted itself. I know I have my own IT department to blame for that, though. At home, it’s all the OS.
I’ve searched in vain for a way to simply turn this “feature” off altogether: Make it so that it never restarts ‘on its own,’ no matter what it wants to do. (And for the techies, yes, I’ve tried to adjust active hours—you’re limited in what you can do, i.e., you can’t make all 24 of them ‘active’…and don’t get me started on gpedit.msc—it doesn’t work either.) This is a very straightforward case of a brand choosing explicitly not to address what its Customers want. And if there’s any doubt to that in your mind, peruse the online forums of people trying to turn this off…people are livid. […]
I wrote a while back about questions raised concerning wide ranges in top-level NPS or C-SAT scores, even for Customers who may have had the same experience. The point I called out there was mostly an indictment of the use of NPS or C-SAT in the first place. These metrics allow for way too much variation in interpretation, even in how they’re asked in the first place (i.e., what’s ‘satisfaction’ mean to you as a Customer, and how likely are you to recommend anything to anybody, regardless of your experience?).
To recap, the concern was that (theoretically, although I’m sure it also happens in practice), a Customer may respond ‘0’ to either question—satisfaction or likelihood to recommend—based on the exact same experience that another Customer may rate as a ‘10’. My point at the time was that’s because both satisfaction and likelihood to recommend are in the eye of the beholder, irrespective of an experience. We all enter into any experience with our own prejudices and preferences…and if mine aren’t the same as yours, it’s unlikely we’ll see the experience (and interpret from it our satisfaction or likelihood to recommend) the same way. That’s because, since what you and I value are different, what will end up satisfying us is likely also to be different. Likewise, since you and I have different levels of proclivity to share our experiences with others by virtue of our different personalities, even if we do value the same things and have identical experiences, our likelihood to recommend will not necessarily be the same. […]
A while back, one of my service providers sent me an invitation to fill out a survey. As I’ve stated before, sometimes CX people can be the best or the worst when it comes to such things. I will usually only fill out a survey when I know that I have something positive to say about an experience. If I have an issue, I’ll usually directly contact the brand and give them some (hopefully, from my perspective at least, constructive) feedback on how they could do better. Why ding the numbers that they’re likely punishing people for if it’s not necessary? If I have a negative experience with a brand that’s no reflection on the people who are trying their best (in spite of the company’s policies, rather than being enhanced by them), I usually surmise that it’s not the agent’s fault…but also that the brand is so poorly run that I wouldn’t put it past them to take it out on the agent nonetheless.
But the other day I received, unsolicited, and unattached to any recent interaction with this company, an invitation to take a survey. To sweeten the deal, they were even offering a $25 Amazon gift card to the first couple hundred people who responded. Now, I happened to be sitting right in front of my email when it came across, so I knew that there was a distinct possibility that I, indeed, if I acted fast enough, may be among those early chosen few.
There’s an old anecdote that’s probably apocryphal—at least for some brands that like to tout it—that certain Customer-centric companies are “so dedicated” to their Customers that they leave an empty chair at the table in the meeting room where their leadership gets together that is ostensibly to signify where the Customer would be sitting….i.e., their place at the table. The symbolic meaning of this is to emphasize that the decisions that are made at that level of responsibility should include a level of deference to what the Customers might want or may think about what’s going on in there.
It’s a little melodramatic (perhaps overwrought), and may not be your style of management, but at the time it came into popularity (or at least at the time the stories about it became more prevalent), it seemed to have some resonance. From time to time the story pops up when discussing some brand that has a reputation (earned or not) for great Customer-centricity, or it shows up in a business book here or there. I may have even mentioned it in my book.
But it occurs to me as I work with clients who are striving to become more Customer-centric: What a waste of a seat!
Why not hire someone to actually, y’know, sit in that seat? […]
I listen to a wide variety of podcasts…I’ve even appeared on quite a few of them myself. (“Appeared”? That doesn’t sound right for a podcast. Anyway.) In the jumble of all the great content, recently I was listening to one on which the guest made a reference to a movie that I hadn’t thought about in years. I wish I could remember where it was that I heard it (I’m not even necessarily sure it was a CX podcast) because I’d love to give credit. If it occurs to me, I’ll update this article, but in the meantime, here is the reference an what it made me think of:
I wrote a while back about how a big-box home improvement retailer made it less convenient for military folks to receive their in-store discount, while saying the purpose was to make it more so for us. My original comment was that, gee, it’s interesting, it seems, that every hassle I go through somehow or another always ends up benefitting them (by, for example, making their marketing to me more streamlined…again, for them).
That’s when I realized…the important three words should be: …for the Customer. When we’re making things easier, that should be our goal. Doing so for the Customer, not for us! […]