It seems every other organisation is now appointing a Customer Experience Manager or changing the name of the Customer Service Manager. Customer Experience is the new black!
Over the last couple of years I have had the opportunity through consultancy and contract roles to look into a number of organisations and how they handle their customer interactions and there seems to be a trend. Its great that organisations are looking at multi channels and big data but it seems they are losing sight of the basics. Now I admit this is an observation and not backed by wider research and empirical evidence but I am having more and more conversations along the same lines with others.
Back in the day (well when you are old as me you remember call centres and single media i.e. phones!) customer service was all about AHT and good service. Little measurement of customer satisfaction in those days but as our ability to measure and develop has grown so has the customer expectation. But they still want the call answered quickly and efficiently. If fact even more so.
However I am noticing the trend for senior executives to want the nice bright shiny things and not concentrate on good old fashioned customer service. More demand to introduce web chat, measure customer effort, multi layered sales strategies etc. However I also notice that sometimes they have ignored, or at least place less priority on, average wait times, agent training, recruitment process or full integration of technology all of which would provide better basic service standards.
Dont get me wrong. There is a place to have high end deliverable strategies to improve customer interactions. But get the basics in place BEFORE you introduce them! Divert marketing budget to your contact centre so you know the next advertising campaign will deliver the service standards and customer expectations you have in your adverts. Go back to the contact centre equivalent of the three Rs (in my case the 5 pillars) and get the basics in place before you embark of mass customer surveys and build customer expectation. Get the foundations right. It seems that more organisations are forgetting the basics or have managers who dont KNOW the basics.
I gave a presentation a while ago at a conference. Its title was Back to the Future. Revisit the old to get the future right. The trouble is I am still seeing the trend. The best Customer Experience is good old fashioned good customer service.