Customer Experience Killers
First, let me start out by saying I’m not an expert in customer experience. There are very talented people out there who work brilliantly to ensure their company manages the experience customers have in their stores or offices, online, even over the phone.
This post, however, isn’t about those who brilliantly orchestrate inviting, consistent experiences that evoke customers’ admiration and loyalty. Unfortunately, in the 21st century, there are still plenty of businesses who have the equation backwards when it comes to achieving customer loyalty nirvana: value to shareholder > ease of interacting with your business.
For those managers interested in changing the equation, several common hurdles must be removed. The following come to mind as I’m reminded of the horrible experiences I had over the past several weeks with a few businesses, of which I spotlight below.
Dear AT&T, you suck! Who does it serve to force your customers to call you to find out what deals you’re offering? Oh, that’s right. It serves you and your shareholders. If there was one decent phone company out there, I’d switch. But I have only crap, crappier, and crappiest as choices. I realize there is no differentiation in your services. Oh, wait. What about your customer experience?
Poorly Designed IVR
I just love it when a company’s toll free number forces you to get automated information first. Bank of America is great at this. The only time I call my bank is when I have a problem. I don’t want to hear my balance first! I want to speak to a human.
Call centers are great places to observe outdated management and leadership practices. From scripts to measurements that force agents to get customers off the phone quick, command-and-control thrives. Whether it be a call center or a retail store, when only the manager has the authority to make a situation better the employee is motivated for mediocrity.
Poorly Designed Website
Netflix may be an alright service, but the online company’s website isn’t designed for online users. It’s difficult to find new releases. The number of film genres and sub-genres is ridiculous. And that damn scrolling feature to look at movie titles is slow and limiting. Don’t make me think how to use your site, Netflix!
I don’t want to be confused by how to interact with a company. Take for example McDonalds – masters at marketing. The fast food franchise is struggling to maintain its superiority in the US market. Like all good companies do, they look to innovate. So why not extend the brand into coffee drinks. Huh? Sorry, the two are at odds with one another. Fast food and laid back coffee shops = identity crisis. I can’t imagine hanging out at McDonalds drinking McCafe’s and working.
Customers are overwhelmed with choices when choosing a product or service. Make it easy to interact with your company. Be consistent. Make us want to come back.
Focus on the experience you want us to have and then remove anything that creates noise. Our attention span is short. Tap into it wisely.
Photo courtesy of Craig Thomas