10 years ago when I phoned the cable company in Canada they would answer my call with my name, “Good afternoon Ms. Gordon”. Back then I thought it was the norm; but what I wouldn’t give to get this basic service from my current cable company.
Let’s think about it for a moment; the key companies I deal with in Holland (phone company, cable company, bank, etc..) all know who I am. I have trusted them with my person details. They have my name, address, birth date, passport, bank account info, phone numbers, email addresses, etc. So they know everything about me yet treat me like they do not know a thing? How much does it really cost to put in a little more effort in the delivery of a valued customer service experience?
I have witnessed countless companies explain their goal of cutting costs by implementing a self-service channel. Few have stated they are delivering it for their customers, or have done the research to show that their customers have requested it. It is the start of a vicious circle. Organizations build a self-service channel, the customers do not use it as they find it unfriendly or not hosting the required functionality, organizations need to cut costs and start to force customers to the self-service channel, customer complain or leave. To add fuel to the fire organization friction erupts as marketing and operational departments point the finger of blame at one another.
Is there a solution…? Absolutely, make every interaction with your customer count by designing and executing a customer experience blueprint for your service organization. Move away from the one general service for all and make use of the customer insight information to design tailored customer experiences that balance the value of the customer against the investment of the organization in servicing the customer.
Is it as easy as it sounds…? Unfortunately not. There are two key successful factors; first know your customer and what their needs are. Do not limit this research to what the customer wants now; ensure to look forward to the future so your organization can build a sustainable customer experience blueprint that evolves as the customer evolves. Stay one step ahead! Second, invest in and cherish your organizations workforce. Invest in implementing the infrastructure and tools needed to efficiently execute the customer experience blueprint; but do not stop there. Invest in training to ensure the workforce can effectively use the tools and have the right soft skills. Then the secret weapon: cherish. Build an engaged and enthusiast workforce, one that places the customer experience first and takes pride in the service they deliver. Trust me, your customers will notice!
For more inspiring information of creating a differentiated customer experience visit: http://www.accenture.com/Global/Research_and_Insights/Outlook/By_Subject/Customer_Relationship_Mgmt/default.htm