Customer experience can have numerous meanings, mostly likely driven by where you work in a company. I have been polling people for a while now about what Good Customer Experience means, the other kind doesn’t much matter, and have distilled those replies into the following definition.
Good Customer Experience: An engaging, differentiating, experience with the best possible outcome for the customer and the company that leads to repeat use and loyalty.
It’s not perfect, nothing ever is, but I think it gets at something that’s often missing when the discussion turns to customer experience. That’s the juxtaposition of customer and company in the same sentence, and the inclusion of best possible outcome. Let me stress that it’s not a balance between experience and profit. You can have both in the long run. Some transactions / interactions favor the customer, some favor the business. If you always leave out the customer you will not have as many of them as you want, and will lose them much faster. If you never include the company you won’t have enough profits to reinvest in your business. It’s lose / lose or as we called it in the ’90’s, zero-sum game. The trick is to always include both the customer and the company every time. If you begin using this lens, you will open up new ways of thinking and unlock approaches on how you might design products, services and interactions in the future.
I constructed this simple chart which took a life of it’s own and reminded me of what a daunting task it is to provide a good customer experience consistently.
It goes without saying that there are very few firms able to deliver in bristol fashion across the board. My experience is most do very well in some areas and very poorly in others with the balance being extremely unremarkable. If you tried to tackle all this at once you would probably be very frustrated. “Don’t boil the ocean” as the saying goes, but I highly recommend you be a steeping pot on the verge of boiling over, complete with a rattling top and an annoying whistle.
You will need to be a change agent. Find the places where your company is not as strong in the customer experience and be the catalyst for change.
It’s not what you do, it’s what you change that makes you successful.
It’s important to remember that you can’t change everything, but you don’t need to. Work with what you have. Change what’s changeable. Find like-minded people in your company and form a strong alliance. Above all, track and measure your results. The only way senior managers will buy in is if it will move the business. It will.