Recommended Fast Company article for all customer experience and contact center professionals: “For Customer Experience, "Just OK" Is Not OK,” by Camilo La Cruz.
I won’t cover the whole article, but here are some highlights and comments:
- Excellent customer experiences fuel growth, drive loyalty, are emotionally rewarding, and inspire people to become vocal champions of brands and the organizations behind them.
- In 2012, three out of every four organizations recognized this and told Forrester that their goal was to “differentiate on the basis of customer experience.”
- In real life, most brands scored in the “OK” or “very poor” categories, according to Forrester’s 2012 customer experience index. Only 3% were ranked as “excellent,” a sharp decline that started in 2007 and is now at an all-time low.
- The 3%...are able to seamlessly synchronize their products, services, and stories to consistently meet, exceed, and often anticipate customer goals throughout an end-to-end experience. [COMMENT: Defining overall customer experience as including products, services, and stories is good. Bright Pattern focuses on the customer service part of that equation.]
- They quantify and monitor the business impact of the different elements of the customer experience, and they compensate and train partners and employees around goals associated with a holistic blueprint.
- Making connections among…the three essential components of the customer experience and seeing them as inseparable not only results in an upgraded experience, but can be a powerful catalyst to innovation. [COMMENT: True! But before you can make connections among the three, you need to be able to make connections WITHIN them. The reason Bright Pattern exists is precisely because no existing customer service solutions provide a unified view.]
- What proportion of our marketing budget is invested in being useful? Being useful is not only part of the ethos of our no-nonsense digital age, but also a better way to build meaningful, long-term relationships with key customers. [COMMENT: Good question, as marketing corresponds to communications. But ask the same question with regard to customer service? Seen in this light, customer service is not overhead or just an expense to be managed, it is an investment in a holistic approach to customer experience.]
The author concludes with this summary: “Considering the end-to-end experience as a source of competitive advantage is often taken for granted, as more and more organizations continue to discover the silos that result from (often much needed) specialization. Brands should start with examining existing maps and other communication tools to understand the end-to-end experience, identify if there is a customer experience lead in the organization, and quantify the cost of opportunity and overall business impact of what works and what doesn’t along the customer journey. Sounds basic, but in large and complex organizations sometimes all it takes is asking the right question.”
To me, that is a prescription to learn more about how the ServicePattern platform can help you jumpstart your customer experience program where it might be the hardest: in customer service.