Five practical tips to start your customer excellence journey - first of nine practical guides on Customer Experience basics.
When it comes to Customer Experience the title of this post is misleading. Here's three reasons: when you hit good enough you are accepting customer dissatisfaction. Unless you have a business case that shows you can afford to lose customers, good enough isn't good enough. Second the infamous Kano model. This tells us that the things that delight lose their shine with time. If your customer experience starts at 'good enough' you will start to dissatisfy your customer even earlier.
But my favourite reason is attitude. As soon as you start to accept good enough, you start to accept compromise. Accepting ‘good enough’ places the customer second. Aiming for good enough introduces the risk of failure. So we aren’t really going to consider the balance between perfect and good enough. We are going to look at what happens when you fail to balance perfect and good enough.
In another blog, I consider the impact of planning mop-up activities in an IT project. In the IT example, the cost to the business is far higher than getting the project right first time. When it comes to customer experience the same applies – in my humble opinion.
Let's be honest
Organisations which manage costs will only spend money to improve the customer experience if there is a financial return on investment.
Let’s use banking as an example
Consumer or retail banking is one of the industries with the highest levels of dissatisfaction – only utilities regularly score less well. As more disruptors come online, we see banks changing their customer experience. But, I for one, have the impression that the underlying attitude is ‘let’s aim for good enough’.
Like many of you, I have a number of financial products; I also shop around to get the best possible experience. My customer experience has five steps and like many others, I have had a poor experience at each step. In the table below you can see a short customer experience ‘map’. Any bank that wants to satisfy its customers would do well to do the same, albeit it with more ‘points of data’. And then take action.
Banking - five stops on the customer journey
|My activity||Problem||Impact||How to avoid|
|The research stage||I can't get the information I need (quickly and when I return). When one website delights me, I add that factor to my research.||If I can't get the information I need online, I tend to drop that provider. I don't really want a chat and I certainly won't call.||Ask customers, look at the competition. Get some 'mystery' shoppers to help with requirements and testing.|
|Making my application||With more than one bank I have had an application process bomb out. Some lost my business, with one I persevered and now wish I had paid attention to the warning signs.||Loss of custom, but I imagine a great deal of internal costs too.||Test, test and test again. Be honest and thorough about the scenarios. For example, design the process to work with slow internet connections and dropouts.|
|Getting started (on-boarding)||Oh boy, do I dislike a confused on boarding process? Seemingly endless activities, poor communications and technical glitches. And the workarounds the help desk have built to address the glitches.||Of course, by now I am hooked. I don't want to start all over again, so I hang in. Now-a-days, I am likely to leave a poor review and hope to save someone else.||Map out the customer experience. Check every necessary action is presented and easy to follow. Make sure each process works. Listen to customers and your front line - they can tell you what is broken. All you have to do is fix it.|
|Day-to-day and month-to-month activity||Logging in is a nightmare - mainly I blame the fraudsters, but some banks make this easy and some are dreadful. Ever been asked to describe a recent transaction to prove your identity - even when you can't log in?||Switch. Switching is easy. And regular switchers have a good understanding of which banks are good and which to avoid. We share that information and there comes a point when the financial perks don't outweigh a bad experience.||I would like to see everyone in every bank using the online service, chatting to get help and phoning the call centre. Once a month they should get together and be honest about their experience...|
|When things go wrong||Not listening - infact let's be honest fobbing off. I particularly dislike the sense I have that banks assume we complain to get money.||Sure we leave, sure we bad mouth the bank. But most importantly (?) it misses out on fixing a problem and delighting other customers.||I love this simple yet thorough approach to managing customer complaints. I don't know the company or have any affiliations. Nor is this a recommendation, but credit when credit is due...|