So many urban legends, so little time
Today is my oldest child’s 21st birthday. She has always been observant and obsessed with science. Like most people, however, in her younger years, her imagination tied in with storytelling could get the best of her. One of my favorite quotes by her:
I really thought quicksand would play a much bigger role in my life.
The reality of adulthood, those cartoons depicting someone being sucked into quicksand and disappearing in a flash – is actually just an urban legend.
My 4 favorite (or least favorite?) CX myths
In Customer Experience, there are some persistent legends that simply do not hold up, yet CX practitioners continually have to preach against them to our clients.
The following are the four myths that should already be gone, yet persist:
“Customer Experience equals Customer Service”
While customer service is certainly a big component of the customer experience strategy, it is still just a component. The service is just one communication element between the customer and the brand which usually occurs during delivery/transaction. Customer service skills become vital, but the Customer Experience starts long before then, but more on that later.
“Customer Experience needs to be maximized”
I’ve written many times about a practice that can sometimes run counter to creating a great customer experience – an incentive on ‘the score’. A few industries are known for the post-sale plea of “If you don’t give me a 10, I’ll be fired, lose my home, my wife will divorce me and I’ll be living in a van down by the river.”
Customer Experience should place an emphasis on the most important customers as well. If a customer is costing you money, perhaps “doing everything” so they give you a top score isn’t ideal for the business.
Also, the various CX touchpoints along the customer journey couldn’t possibly be all perfect, otherwise, you will be out of business or the only one left in business. That journey might even be maximized in the areas you can control, but perhaps not in the place that might start earlier in the journey, but more on that now…
“Customer Experience equals Surveying the Customer”
Just as customer service is an element in communication, your customer survey is also an element – albeit an important one – of the conversation with customers. It is a key reason your CX enterprise software platform is an important decision in building your CX Strategy. It should always have tools to manage the customer feedback loop after a survey and the ability to translate feedback into root causes (a key element of QuestionPro’s proprietary NPS+). The communication continues beyond the survey and starts long before then, but more on that later (do you feel the anticipation yet?).
“Customer Experience begins at or after the sale”
When you consider where so much of customer experience measurement takes place, it surrounds a transaction or the service received after a transaction. It certainly is the most intuitive place to field a customer experience survey. In reality, it is in the middle of the customer journey which started long before then.
The customer experience with your brand starts when a consumer hears about you. Could be as a part of a marketing campaign, a conversation between friends about product recommendations or as simple as passing by a branch. The experience starts much earlier than we usually measure. Often, that results in companies missing that opportunity to measure that part of the experience, or creating a transactional survey that is longer Milton’s Paradise Lost. It is the reason that QuestionPro encourages our customers to create more (and shorter) surveys to eliminate the fatigue of recall in long surveys.
For this myth, I like to state it simply:
If the consumer has ever thought about your brand for even a second, the customer experience has already begun.
Yet, there’s one more…
There are so many myths that I could outline, but this one piles up on another myth, so I’ll add it as a bonus:
“No complaints or 100% resolution on closed-loop, does NOT mean that you are customer experience winners”
In fact, complaints can lead to innovation – ignore them at your own peril. The idea that 100% of closed-loop tickets must be listed as “resolved – customer happy” also goes against the idea that not all customers are equal – some are worth the extra effort, some issues you might have to ignore (what can you really do if road or traffic conditions slow the trip to your location).
Customer Experience is a journey, and on this road trip, you’ll need to avoid falling for the urban legends. It will never be perfect, you may actually encounter “quicksand” along the way – during strategy decisions, in implementation, after deployment or in continuing to show the change (usually positive change is demanded).
To this end, I’d like to share a quote from a movie that reflects as well in customer experience as it does in other aspects of life:
“You’re playing and you think everything is going fine. Then one thing goes wrong. And then another. You try to fight back, but the harder you fight, the deeper you sink. Until you can’t move…you can’t breathe…because you’re in over your head. Like quicksand.”
Don’t let myths or quicksand stop your Customer Experience goals.
At QuestionPro, we work on what we believe in. Schedule a demo with Ken and discover how to boost customer loyalty and collect valuable consumer insights through our CX survey and analytics management platform.