When you think about improving the customer experience, it's important to ensure that your own organization, which is, most likely, organized and evaluated by product line, doesn't get in the way. Customers don't care about product or service lines, channels or silos. They just want to have their needs met, or their problems solved, and your firm might help them do that or it might not. So you should "mystery shop" your own company to see what it really feels like to be a customer and to ensure that your own organizational imperatives don't confound your efforts to deliver great service.
Another criterion driving a great customer experience has to do with customer expectations. Even the world's best customer experience can be undermined if the customer actually expected something better. You may ask, why would this happen? Sometimes it happens because, as marketers, we are often tempted to trumpet our plans for service enhancements and improvements in advance of actually implementing them. We put plans into development to significantly improve the user interface, or service at the call center, or the training of our point-of-sale personnel, and we announce those plans publicly, in an effort to improve the public perception of our brand. We may even put these plans in our advertisements. The problem this creates is that our customers now expect much better service, and if the service has not improved as substantially as they were expecting (based on our clever and chirpy ads) then they will actually be disappointed.
Hear more in Creating Customer Value, a SearchCRM.com monthly podcast series with Peppers and Rogers.
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