Customer Experience – a new world or a new word?

Customer Experience Word Cloud over white background

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. It’s 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.

Don’t 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 R’s (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 don’t 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.

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About Derek Finch 7 Articles

Derek Finch has over 25 years’ experience in managing contact centres across a wide variety of sectors including Government, Not for Profit and Commerce.

Derek was the former national Chair of the ATA has been elected Life Member of the Auscontact Association and is currently a senior consultant for CX Consult who specialise in providing consulting services to contact centres in Australia.

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