I’ve mentioned before that those of us in the CX profession are both the best and the worst Customers: the best because we are sympathetic to those in the Customer-facing trades, but also the worst because we expect so much and are always on the lookout for improvement opportunities—even if they’re opportunities for others to improve. Hey, we’re just here to help, and all that.
This observation will probably fall into the latter category, although it may likewise be seen as ‘First World Problems.’ What follows is in no way a gripe or complaint…just an observation. […]
I was in the post office the other day and experienced a perfect example of how we often miss the mark when it comes to communicating with our Customers. The guy in front of me was shipping some big box, and as the clerk was measuring its linear inches, she asked, “would you like to send this Ground or Priority?” Even standing behind the Customer, I could practically see the gears cranking in his head, just as they were for any of us within ear-shot. What the heck is the difference? I don’t care if you send it on the ground, or if you put it on a plane, because…well, it’s a priority for me that it gets there. I didn’t hear what he had to say (it was most likely a question of his own), as it was understandably delivered in a hushed tone.
The thing is, Ground and Priority mean something very specific to the clerk who works behind the counter at the post office. That’s because those are the brand names the USPS has given to its services. But the names themselves don’t readily translate in any informative way for their Customers to differentiate between them. While the clerk, with all her experience surely would have known, based on the Customer’s desires (read: job to get done), which would be the most logically preferable method of shipment—and the post office’s name for such a service—in the moment, standing at the counter with a line of people behind him all waiting their turn, this guy was having a minor panic. […]
We recently swapped service providers here at home for one of our communication services. The entire experience was a headache and we almost immediately regretted making the switch from our previous provider. What was so frustrating was that, no matter where we went to look for help, be it in a physical store, online, in the provider’s app, or over the phone, nobody could help us with our struggle and confusion.
It made me think about a common theme in CX thought-leader circles: channels. I’ve written before about the importance of being not necessarily just in all the channels, but those channels where your Customers want you to be. After all, if you’re spending resources to put together a chat function on your website, but due to the nature of your Customers’ profiles and your own Brand Promise, nobody really wants to chat online with you, then going to the expense and work of setting that up isn’t a wise use of your resources. “Omnichannel” is a cool-sounding word, but sometimes it’s a little overboard if nobody cares. […]
If you follow my ramblings, you’re aware that I approach CX differently. Rather than promising higher revenue, sales, and market share (at least, rather than promising it directly), my philosophy about Customer Experience is that it should be founded explicitly on your Brand Promise, and its goal should be eliminating the gaps that exist between your Customers’ experiences and that Brand Promise. It’s where I came up with the metric, the Brand Alignment Score.
Let’s peel back a couple layers of that onion. What’s meant by Brand Promise? And what does it mean to be dedicated to it? […]
A potential client contacted me a while back and was inquiring about my framework (well, thanks for asking, of course, you can check it out in my new book!). If you’ve read much of my stuff, you may know that, once you ground your CX strategy in your Brand Promise, the three moving operational parts of your Office of the Customer should be Insights, Process Engineering, and building a strong CX Culture.
Your mileage may vary, but this is a pretty good overall framework and encompasses many of the vital principles and practices of good CX that need to be addressed if you’re going to get CX right: Knowing the purpose for why to do CX in the first place, making it a robust and vibrant, active part of your organization, and seeking Customer insights with curiosity and in a spirit of improvement while supporting your organization in order to help it develop into a truly Customer-centric brand.
This CEO specifically wanted to know how much effort she should expect to have to put into her CX efforts. The company in question didn’t have much experience with a deliberate, dedicated CX function and was interested in investigating what a true Office of the Customer—led by a Chief Customer Officer—would do with itself. […]
Last week I wrote about an interaction I had with a large well-known brand that provides services for homeowners. It was a cautionary tale about how challenging it is to actually communicate with some brands.
A brief overview of that instance: At home, we had a service provider with which we’d had a pretty mundane failure, and they fixed us up right away. In the course of that incident, however, we discovered a more severe potential issue, but we had no way to communicate—or even look into—our concern about that, because it wasn’t related to the actual support incident itself and Support was actually an impediment to us addressing it. Again, that brand is a huge, well-known name in their market, and my conclusion was that they likely simply didn’t care because they were so big; corporate inertia, and so forth.
As it happens, at about the same time we also had an incident with a smaller, start-up brand, that just happens to be in the home-services sector as well. This is that story, which actually has some curious similarities, even though the brands are in such different places. […]