When was the last time you walked away from an interaction with a company and raved about it to your friends and family? What compelled you to share the story? Was it only the product or service that you purchased? Or was it the entire experience, starting from when you began looking all the way through your purchase? For most people it’s the entire experience that really matters. Whether you buy a bike, a phone, or a haircut, the product or service must be acceptable, but equally important is how the product is packaged, how the store looks, how you’re handled if you have to call with a question, and how it works if you need to exchange your product for a different one. If any component of this overall journey breaks down it diminishes your perception of the entire company. This is the power of customer experience.
If any component of this overall journey breaks down it diminishes your perception of the entire company. This is the power of customer experience.
I took a piece of luggage into a store for a repair recently. The person staffing the store informed me that I needed to pay $25 to have my luggage shipped out for them to determine a) if my bag was under warranty and b) if the needed repairs would be covered. After pressing I convinced her to call their organization with my bag’s serial number to determine if it was under warranty: it was. At that point I thought I was all set. However I was informed that I still needed to pay $25 to ship out the bag and they would still determine if the needed repair would be covered under ‘normal wear and tear’. I, the customer, could be paying $25 only to be told that I could either fork over more money for repair or get my bag back and have $25 less to my name.
Likely, no one at this organization intended for this to play out like it did as I stood in their store. The employees are probably working very hard within their silos and performing well to their assigned metrics — none of which seemed to focus on my collective experience as the customer, which I will not be for much longer.
Customer experience includes any and all interactions that a current or prospective customer has with an organization. And it is a key competitive differentiator for ALL organizations today. At EMS Software we are launching a program to optimize our overall customer experience — this includes any and all touchpoints we have with our current and prospective customers.
As we roll forward with this program, a key component will be getting input from our customers and we look forward to engaging with you if you have input on how we can improve. To learn more about the new EMS customer experience program, please plan to attend my sessions at our conference EMS Live! 2015 in Orlando, Oct. 26-28.
Follow Jacob McNulty at @jacobboone