A common but potentially fatal flaw for any service based business it to mistake their customer experience for customer service itself. Admittedly, I think we’ve all been guilty of this before–I know I have. Of course, it’s recognizing this flaw and turning it around that can make all the difference.
With the focus for many organizations being zeroed in on employee training and improvement practices around customer service that’s offered, many businesses miss the point of a bad experience in the first place. In this scenario, the majority of resources a business has for customer service are spent on ensuring that each touchpoint during the customer’s journey creates an exceptional service experience. It’s a great tactic, but it certainly does not guarantee you have a happy customer at the end of the journey. After all, if the process of obtaining, using, or troubleshooting a service or product is faulty, the customer experience may still be a negative one despite ideal customer service.
For an organization whose customer service record is excellent but who is still experiencing significant dissatisfaction from its customers, a simple shift in the way they approach the customer experience is needed. For example instead of the benchmark being, “Was it a pleasant experience?” it’s probably more valuable to ask, “Did your get what you needed today?” or even, “Did we answer all of your questions today?”
An excellent example of this would be in tech related home services, such as internet providers. Let’s assume each touchpoint in the process is well served by customer service reps that are genuinely interested in ensuring a smooth transition from potential customer to loyal customer. Here’s the hitch: the experience of the service itself is faulty. That being said, no amount of good customer service is going to resolve the issue, right? Whether the difficulty is the technical aspects of the service or a lack of useful information that would prevent a customer from having to call technicians for troubleshooting, the lack of simple and clear processes is not easily fixed.
A robust strategy for creating not only excellent customer service but, and more importantly, a complete and effective customer journey, has to start from the top of an organization. How? It comes about with a willingness to evaluate data from a perspective of seeking the points where customers start to feel they lose value or aren’t getting what they need instead of simply using data as a staff evaluation tool. Valuable information can be found in data on the most simple things. For example, look at the most common customer requests or the most common troubleshooting matters that your business gets calls on from customers. Is there a way you can get ahead of those requests and fix the problem before your customers have to seek assistance from you? In business, especially small business, getting ahead of the request curve is huge in matters of overall customer satisfaction.
The total customer experience needs to be a well designed flow. It should encompasses not only great customer service, but also a streamlined process with a huge amount of foresight to address potential and avoidable difficulties before they ever become a reality for a customer. That is Purple Goldfish (and Blue Goldfish) at work together.