What the Customer Experience Is and Isn’t!
Following is a link from Disney Institute on Customer Service versus Customer Experience: What’s the Difference. And Why It Matters by Bruce Jones, Senior Programming Director.
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There is so much that makes up the customer experience. Service leaders like Amazon and Metro Bank London have several things in common. Topping that list is… Make it easy for customers to do business with you. Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, and the 4th wealthiest person in the world said, “If you want more of something reduce the friction. If you want less of something increase the friction.”
This Is What the Customer Experience Is
Amazon is one of the most customer driven firms in the world. Probably the best in the world. They understand speed, price, technology and everything is built around customer service. With Amazon, you receive communication within 1-2 seconds. If you ask them to call you on their help line they call in 1 second. You can order 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I just ordered a cell phone for my son for his birthday. About $663, a lot of money. I might have saved $30 on eBay but what is the risk?
Would they take it back? They had limited payment options. And, there was NO way to order. I do not trust eBay and am leery of the lack of communication to me, the customer. What if my son did not like the phone or there was a problem, how easy would it be to get my money back or how long would it take them to replace it if it were lost or broken?
I definitely trust Amazon. Frankly, I order every week from Amazon. Amazon had the order saved under my shopping cart. When I was ready to buy I had several options:
1. Where did I want it sent? (I have about 20 locations all saved on Amazon).
2. Which credit card did I want to use? (I think I have about 12 and for a variety of people in my family and on my staff).
3. What was the address for the credit card? (I had about 10 addresses saved).
After I placed the order, I received a confirmation in 1 second. My son called to find out when he would receive the phone. I clicked on the order (Since I am Prime, shipping is free and I get it in 2 days). The speed of delivery was important to my son.
Vernon Hill, CEO and Founder of Metro Bank in London started a new bank in London on July 29, 2010, with 60 employees and 4 locations. They had a call center that operated 24/7. You can reach them at 44-20-3402-8312.
Today, they have 42 locations (48 by year end) and 2,400 employees. The company went public in January 2016 at 20 £ it is now 27.50 £. The market cap is $2.8 billion. Assets are now $12 billion. All in 6 years.
The bank hours are:
Monday to Friday: 8 AM – 8 PM
Saturday: 8 AM – 6 PM
Sunday: 11 AM – 5 PM
Does your bank have these hours? They also open 10 minutes early and close 10 minutes late. Can you walk into your bank Friday night at 8 PM or Sunday at 11:30 AM? Would you like to? This is what the Customer Experience is. Some of you would think this is stupid.
By July 30, 2020, Metro Bank will have $39 billion in assets. Very few CEO’s are prepared to handle this type of growth. Too much value and money.
This Is what the Customer Experience Is Not
I wanted to order some buildable Lot signs. I checked out firms on the Internet and found one about 8 blocks from my office called FastSigns. I called on a Saturday and left a message. It turns out they are not open Saturdays or Sundays and close at 5 PM on weekdays.
Screw up number 1, they never returned the call. I called 6 days later and complained about poor service and asked for a bid.
Screw up number 2, the employee couldn’t email the bid as she could not do it before leaving work that day. Had to be the next day.
Screw up number 3, I never got the email. So, 4 days later, I wanted to move forward on the 4 signs. I drove over and asked for the owner.
Screw up number 4, it turns out they copied my name wrong for the email. They forgot the T in Tschohl. (Listening is one of the critical skills in customer service). The owner said they had the best customer service in the Nation and among over 450 franchises. Most owners feel the same way. Frankly, they should change their name to SlowSigns. No speed, no convenience. I think the prices are fine although I really did not shop. Most customers would have given up and never driven over or asked to speak to the owner.
The previous firm I used, Lowen Sign, was in Kansas City. They had lousy service and also bragged about their incredible service. The owner of this firm will stay very small. Less than 1 percent have vision and passion toward the Customer Experience. About 99 percent feel they rate above perfect. Both Lowen Signs and FastSigns have no speed, no empowerment, poor customer service. Hours convenient to the owners of both firms. Lots of friction.
I am called a Service Strategist because I understand the financial impact of awesome service. Few leadership teams understand how money falls from the sky when you build a brand around the customer experience. Focusing on delivering exceptional service every hour of the day and by every employee is how you grow faster than anyone else in the market. It is designed for firms that want to crush their competition. Best Buy, Walmart, and Target fear Amazon more than anyone. If your organization wants to advance its customer experience, you must make it a strategic business priority.