Customer Experience Management is Uncommon Sense

Updated: November 16, 2010

Motives Determine Customer-Centricity:

Motives are at the heart of our listening habits. Think of your personal friendships. When a friend doesn't listen, you can bet they're preoccupied with their own agenda. They may believe they've heard it all before, and perhaps they believe your thinking is inferior. Maybe they're too rushed, or deep-down, they fear what they may hear, or maybe they can't wait to tell you what they think. Contrast this situation to an instance when a friend listens intently, then strives to gain a deeper understanding and then adapts to accommodate your preferences. The former scenario is a recipe for relationship disaster, and the latter exemplifies real customer experience management.

A pure motive in any relationship is "to make it easier and nicer for the other party to get and use the solutions they seek". When this motive takes first priority over your own agenda, you're customer-centric. It takes a bit of faith to believe that your own needs will be met as a natural consequence of this pure motive. Yet you've probably observed this advice to be true in nearly any setting. Acknowledging this fact and demonstrating faith in it are indeed uncommon sense.

Easy & Nice to Get?

Far too often, customers find it's neither easy nor nice to get the solution they seek. For example, a software program I've used daily for years suddenly announced in a popup box on my screen that a complimentary download of a new version was highly recommended. There was no supplementary information about what changes would be made, how the changes might affect the look-and-feel I'm accustomed to, or how I might invoke the changes at a more convenient time. In the absence of this desirable information, I was left to assume "no action" on my part could result in security or operability issues. What was intended by the software company to be an easy and nice download was certainly not, from my perspective: the program I've been loyal to for so long suddenly re-arranged content and controls at a time when I was under significant pressure to complete urgent tasks using the software.

Uncommon sense: don't just assume what is easy and nice to get; ask first, and avoid the temptation to assume that what works for one customer will work for all of them. Segmenting voice of the customer data by customers' circumstances (rather than demographics or psychographics) is a better way to make it easy and nice for them to get the solution they seek.

Easy & Nice to Use?

Far too often, customers find it's neither easy nor nice to use the solution they seek. For example, the upgrade to another software program I've used for 15 years included extremely significant changes in the menu's look-and-feel. The situation was akin to the New Coke snafu: in the pursuit to adopt features prominent in the major competitor's product, loyal customers were taken by surprise, and an unpleasant surprise at that. Over the years, I've contributed time and again to this software company's revenue stream. To add insult to injury, I paid for this upgrade not only financially, but also with significant time and stress in transferring files and re-learning how to use the product that I've already been using for 15 years. When I looked for answers to some of the challenges I encountered I had to obtain a password to search through a mountain of frequently-asked-questions. Why weren't these surprises anticipated, with simple, stress-free guidance before and after my purchase?

Uncommon sense: know each customer segment deeply, double-check your assumptions, communicate clearly before their purchase, make it easy for customers to absorb and welcome the changes you make, and reward — don't punish — your loyal customers.

Featured Research
  • The New 2017 Contact Center Comparison Guide

    We’ve put together a comparison guide that covers over 40 of the top call center software options, providing details on pricing, features, support, and integrations. If you want to save time and still make a great investment, this guide is a must read. more

  • Phone Systems Comparison Guide: VoIP for Small to Midsize Businesses

    It was a painstaking process, but to help B2B companies start 2017 off on the right foot, we recently compiled a comparative list of the top 43 small to midsize business phone vendors. more

  • 16 Mistakes to Avoid When Buying a Phone System

    Purchasing a phone system for your business is a major investment. With the average business changing phone systems only once every seven years, it’s important to make the right decision. more

  • 2017 Video Conferencing Trends

    New advancements are also making video more beneficial to a greater range of business areas including marketing, HR, and internal operations. Many solutions are economical, easy to use, and very effective at making communication more personal. more

  • [Infographic] Top 11 VoIP Vendors

    A good VoIP provider will offer additional benefits as well, but many first-time buyers find assessing each option to be difficult. Nevertheless, this is an important step in the buying process because a substandard provider can easily waste both your time and money. more