Customer Experience 3.0
eBook - ePub

Customer Experience 3.0

John Goodman

  1. 256 Seiten
  2. English
  3. ePUB (handyfreundlich)
  4. Über iOS und Android verfügbar
eBook - ePub

Customer Experience 3.0

John Goodman

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Über dieses Buch

Customer Experience 3.0 provides firsthand guidance on what works, what doesn't--and the revenue and word-of-mouth payoff of getting it right.

Between smartphones, social media, mobile connectivity, and a plethora of other technological innovations changing the way we do almost everything these days, your customers are expecting you to be taking advantage of it all to enhance their customer service experience far beyond the meeting-the-minimum experiences of days past. Unfortunately, many companies are failing to take advantage of and properly manage these service-enhancing tools that now exist, and in return they deliver a series of frustrating, disjointed transactions that end up driving people away and into the pockets of businesses getting it right.

Having managed more than 1, 000 separate customer service studies, author John A. Goodman has created an innovative customer-experience framework and step-by-step roadmap that shows you how to:

  • Design and deliver flawless services and products while setting honest customer expectations
  • Create and implement an effective customer access strategy
  • Capture and leverage the voice of the customer to set priorities and improve products, services and marketing
  • Use CRM systems, cutting-edge metrics, and other tools to deliver customer satisfaction

Companies who get customer service right can regularly provide seamless experiences, seeming to know what customers want even before they know it themselves…while others end up staying generic, take stabs in the dark to try and fix the problem, and end up dropping the ball.

Customer Experience 3.0 reveals how to delight customers using all the technological tools at their disposal.

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Designing the End-to-End Customer Experience


Do It Right the First Time (DIRFT)

The key to delivering perfection is to clearly promise what you intend to deliver and then deliver exactly what you promised with flashes of brilliance. To achieve that perfection, you must do three things. First, set customer expectations honestly. Second, design a system that is flexible enough to consistently deliver on the promises as modified by the diversity of individual customer needs. Third, create a culture that fosters inexpensive flashes of emotional connection. The key to the success of all three—consistency, flexibility, and a culture of connection—lies in your technology.
Technology can facilitate the achievement of all three aspects of success. For example, we have all waited at home for repair technicians. Most customers make repetitive confirmation and status calls the day before and day of the appointment to make sure the technician is really coming. New Jersey Natural Gas (NJNG) saves time, expense, and customer frustration by identifying the customer’s preferred channel of communication when the appointment is made; by automatically sending confirmation via that channel the day before; and by providing an updated estimated time of arrival on the morning of the appointment. The NJNG approach is not only a WOW, it makes sense. The customer does not waste time waiting and wondering, and NJNG saves the cost and resource requirements of fielding several phone calls.
Technology can also actually deliver service flexibly, without unpleasant surprises. For example, when my wife and I go to the movies, we now buy tickets online, select seats upon booking, pay for parking through a mobile app, and pick up the tickets at the kiosk. Only in the theater do we interact with an employee, when a quick, friendly “Enjoy the show!” with eye contact is a nice touch. We can even order refreshments at an electronic kiosk, though a person still hands them to us. Technology does not create value beyond preventing unpleasant surprises (such as getting stuck in the first row)—but that’s all it needs to do.
In this chapter, you will learn how to:
• Execute the essential steps of DIRFT without building in unpleasant surprises.
• Build a successful, customer-focused culture achieving both DIRFT and remarkable connection.
• Deliver on the promise every time with flexible processes.
• Establish the right metrics for managing and evaluating DIRFT.

DIRFT: The Essential Steps

The basic goal of DIRFT is to provide an end-to-end customer experience that delivers value without any unpleasant surprises. Although many companies deliver the better mousetrap, they often simultaneously negate it with dumb glitches in other parts of the experience.
Reviewing how your organization performs all the activities, end to end from product design to ongoing product use, will ensure that unpleasant surprises have not been built into the CE. A well-designed DIRFT delivers remarkable value in at least some activities and without unpleasant surprises in any. Books have been written on each activity, but their impact on CE has rarely been addressed. Here I will define the activity, highlight the most common unpleasant surprises to avoid, and give examples of innovative approaches that deliver remarkable value—some by using technology and some by the simple actions of people.
The best approach to reviewing DIRFT activities is to create a process map that shows, from the customer’s perspective, how the customer hears about, buys, takes delivery, and uses your product. In this map, you then build in all the touches the customer has with your organization and any partners such as agents or delivery vendors. Executives of your company are not qualified to create this CE process map because they do not know all the details of the processes your company imposes on the customer. Your best consultants for this process mapping exercise are the frontline staff from each functional department and your Lean Six Sigma or quality staff.
If you review your company’s performance in each activity from a CE perspective, I guarantee that you will find that at least two unpleasant surprises have been built into your CE. Finally, this map should provide the basis of the discussion, suggested later in Chapter 8, that you have with your information technology (IT) department on how best to apply technology to all parts of the CE.

Designing a Product That Improves on the CE

Most improvements address drawbacks in current products. For example, at Avis many years ago, the biggest single problem for customers was turning the car in at the airport and missing the plane because of the wait in the rental return check-in line. Once the damage to revenue was quantified, Avis thought out of the box and started using wireless handheld computers to check customers in, eliminating the lines and accompanying delays. This approach is now ubiquitous in the car rental industry.
Two leading heavy industrial companies, one a chemical shipping terminal and the other a paper manufacturer, wanted to differentiate themselves from the competition. In both cases, the industry norm was to ship the product by third-party carriers on trucks or train cars, tell the customer when it was shipped and by what carrier, and then let customers discover and deal with delays. When the companies began tracking shipments and notifying customers of delays, customers loved it. One customer especially appreciated getting an email if the shipment was going to be up to two hours late and a cell phone call if it was going to be later. In each company, a staff person now spends an hour each evening logging in to the carrier tracking systems from home to check the progress of shipments. Although this is a little more work than the old system was, the process change is a significant competitive differentiator.
A standard problem in product design is making the product so complicated that the customer is overwhelmed and has difficulty doing simple tasks. The TV remote and your auto digital control center are two examples. Elegance is often achieved by deciding what features not to include. The VOC process should be your primary guide to where improvements are needed, as well as for ideas for new products or functions. A second mistake is building the product so cheaply that it seems to be of lower quality. For example, airplanes, major home appliances, and faucets are all made with lots of plastic and reinforced carbon fiber, and many consumers view plastic as less durable than metal. Unless you communicate the rationale and improved value, such as strength and durability, the change is an unpleasant surprise. The key to success in design is to enhance value without any accompanying unpleasant surprises.

Creating Awareness of the Product and Its Value

Creating product awareness has the objective of putting the product message in front of customers in a way that leads to purchase consideration. It usually entails traditional advertising and marketing or fostering a critical mass of WOM. The most common negative customer experiences with advertising and marketing are invasive messages: telemarketing calls, loud TV ads, poorly targeted messages (such as email spam), and initially misleading messages.
The issue of spam is often one of degrees. I am the member of several associations that significantly interest me. But because they each send me up to five emails a week, I have opted out of their email notifications. If presented with the option of one email a week, I would probably opt back in. Another mistake is to combine different subjects into a single option. For example, as an elite United Airlines customer, I am interested in news on their Mileage Plus program, but they have combined such news items with marketing program deals that I generally do not want to see. Again, I have opted out to avoid the avalanche of what I consider spam.
Best practices for creating awareness are to:
• Provide customers with multiple options for how often they receive marketing messages and what kinds of messages they receive.
• Make sure the headline is not misleading—“40% OFF!” may be misleading if it is only on selected items.
• Provide just-in-time notification that is critical to relevance; for example, notifies the customer of special deals when they enter a store or walk past it.
• Encourage your customers to share their referrals, whether Facebook likes at Chick-fil-A or shared emails with special offers at Starbucks.
• Proactively provide tailored product offerings based on a customer’s previous purchases, as Amazon does.
• Properly targeted emails; for example, if your company knows the customer has a dog, cross-selling pet insurance is appropriate and may be a value-add.
The benefits of thoughtful, honest marketing are higher purchase consideration and an image of honesty and caring, as well as no unpleasant surprises later in the CE.

Providing Information to Support Purchase Decisions

As a 2012 Harvard Business Review article points out, customers often research products before purchasing them or even approaching the company.1 Customers investigate partly because they doubt marketing messages and partly because recommendations from friends and reviews on websites can reduce the number of candidates considered. The most companies can do is make their website and marketing material honest, as well as easy to find and understand, and to provide a great CE to minimize negative reviews and maximize positive ones.
Most customers will not expend much effort to log in to a website or read extensive information just to decide whether they might want to buy. The three major company-caused barriers to customers getting decisive information are:
• Requiring extensive information or log-ins before providing answers to simple questions.
• Using ads and websites long on slogans but short on specifics.
• Providing a mass of information that requires extensive effort to digest.
Best practices in supporting customers’ information search include:
• Answering the most common questions on the first page of the literature or website.
• Showing the product advantages on a YouTube video of less than 45 seconds.
• Sponsoring customer communities who provide advice and support to other, less expert customers. For example, Intuit sponsors an online community of several thousand CPAs and other users of its accounting software. Scores of expert users provide advice to newer users. Zappos’ community provides information on which brands of shoes are sized small or large to reduce returns due to poor fit.
• Encouraging review sites. In Europe, TripAdvisor provides feedback cards to encourage customers to comment to the vendor and post on the TripAdvisor website. This becomes a win-win-win for the vendor, website, and customers.
One emerging challenge in the area of customer reviews is the manufacturing of positive or negative reviews. The New York Times reports that there is a cottage industry of companies who will post reviews for $5 each—positive on your site or negative on your competitor’s site.2 A better way to get good reviews is to ensure that your company earns consistently great ratings by delivering an optimal CE, aggressively soliciting, handling, and turning around complaints, and then encouraging customers with great experiences to post about them.

Delivering the Pitch

The pitch is the marketing offer that highlights both the value proposition, including price, and its limitations. It is often the first page of the brochure or the content of the first 15 seconds of the ad. It should be a simple, honest offering. Common mistakes include omitting key facts or exceptions, listing the many limitations using confusing terminology or placing them in fine print or footnotes, and marketing to customers who have existing problems. Misplaced marketing offers can infuriate customers. For example, advertising vacation packages to customers on hold to inquire about their lost baggage is not a smart idea.
The single best practice is to simplify the offer—limit text describing value and price to three or four clear lines. Dan Hesse, the CEO of Sprint, noted at a 2011 conference in Kansas City that when he eliminated 80 percent of the company’s marketing plans and simplified those that remained, customers had higher satisfaction, and he was able to close 23 call centers due to fewer calls and problems created by complex, confusing calling plans. A major auto company had a 100,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty that led to improved customer confidence and satisfaction. However, the dozen-plus footnotes and exclusions in the warranty still caused a large portion of unpleasant surprises. For instance, the battery was warranted for only three years. Reducing the number of exclusions and streamlining the warranty would have led to greater simplicity and reduced unpleasant surprises.
Other best practices include:
• Highlighting limitations of the product or special offer up front—While the marketing department cringes at mentioning limitations, doing so provides appreciated honesty.
• Asking customers to self-segment on what is most important to them—For instance, Avis asks customers to select their segment, such as cars with the latest technology, a basic car for business travel or on vacation with children, and so on.

Purchasing the Product

Companies should make the purchase experience fast, flexible, and accurate. The most prevalent unpleasant surprises include finding o...


  1. Cover Page
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright Page
  4. Contents
  5. Foreword
  6. Introduction: Why Customer Experience 3.0?
  7. Section One: The Customer and the Implications of Customer Experience
  8. Section Two: Designing the End-to-End Customer Experience
  9. Section Three: Key Issues of Implementation
  10. Index