E.Kolsky said some interesting things this week in his blogs: Why managing experiences is not a technology, nor a strategy and Why do you want te be the same mediocre loser. The essence of both articles is that companies should stop comparing themselves to others and stop being happy when they have reached industry average. Companies should also realize that software nor any other technology is going to bring great customer experiences. In fact, as E.Kolsky puts it, creating great customer experiences is not even a strategy, it is about choosing to be a true customer driven organization, in which all work on delivering better value to the customer.
In my own (contact center / customer services) experience I can surely relate to what E.Kolsky said. I believe I’m even guilty myself. Why is it so true that we often choose the easy way? Why do we all want COPC-certificates and why do companies that (intend to) outsource their businesses, demand these kind of quality systems from their potential partners (which start seeing the certificate as a goals in itself)? Why do we all want sales and service to blend in contact centers, even without proper research if that’s what your customers want, expect or find a great experience. Why did we all implement e-mail response management tools, including poor FAQ/self-service “option” and worse “suggested answering”? Why are we now all choosing similar “talking heads” on our websites to serve our customers?
Why did all those “things” become goals in itself. Why are we all chasing the same goose?
Someone I know concluded, in his 2003 PhD thesis on Tractable Morality (ISBN 90-5892-051-8), the opposite: He concluded that there are clear differences in moral behaviour between banks and bankers towards customers and customer relationships. (With “moral” you have to think in statements like: when a customer is in financial difficulty we are more focused on helping the customer than on reducing the financial risk of the bank). Yet he also concludes that there will be differences depending on who you encounter with at the bank and that the differences are subtle.
From a scientific perspective on morality there might be differences how banks and bankers think about their customer relationships and there might be subtle differences in the way they act. In real customer life I don’t think these make a true difference for the customer experience. The credit crunch is the proof.
We all know what happens when somebody new comes into your company: You will ask: “how did you do this in your previous job” (that’s why you hired the employee). In return this new employee will eagerly say: “why don’t we look at it this way. I have good experiences with that”. The result: we all end up doing what others do and comparing ourselves to others. If not because we do not know, then because we do not want to put in the effort to challenge the way things are done, or do we not dare to be different?
If you really want things to change, if you really want to create great customer experience you need not to be lazy, you need not to copy, you need to find your own Voice. The Voice that creates value for Your Customers.
@Ekolsy: I’m in!