When it comes to making a difference in customer experience, we often hear of companies making grand gestures with big budgets or cost cutting in other areas to create funding. Whether it’s channel resource cut backs, new IT platforms or call centre overhauls, the scale of the ‘improvement’ often matches the size of the CX challenge the business faces.
But is that really the best way to respond? Are these changes driven by the clarity of what really matters to customers or are they the desperation of the business to demonstrate it’s trying to fix its own inadequacies?
Reassuringly there are brands that think differently and understand that thinking small can deliver a big difference to customers (which will ultimately benefit the business).
I’ve recently come across three great examples of, “Making what matters to customers, matter to the business”. The wonderful thing about each of these ideas is that they cost next to nothing to deliver.
18th June 2013…update….before we get to the examples, on the back of this blog posting a couple of weeks ago, I have been asked to build a new ‘hothouse’ approach to help clients arrive at their own small ideas | BIG impacts. With a requirement to be able to take it from the ideas board through to putting them into market, so we have. A copy of how it works is attached if you are interested. If you like this blog and want to achieve the same, give us a shout, if not sorry for the intrusion and back to the small ideas…..
1. Virgin Media’s 2 x AA rating
I heard this story at a recent CX conference. As part of the home installation service, the Virgin Media service reps need to check through a number of technical points and pass on instructions to the customer. It’s a comprehensive briefing. In fact, it’s so comprehensive customers can often be left unsure if they’ve had everything covered and so call up just to check everything has been covered (which of course it has).
What happens to customers is a perception that they may not have had the full benefit of the service reps wisdom because they do not know when the ‘end’ point should be in the briefing (as it’s all new) so they worry they will be left with a shortfall of knowledge that they may need later when operating the equipment. The reality is that they have typically had everything they need – however in CX it’s all about perception. Virgin Media found the smallest adjustment to the service reinforced customer assurance. By checking the customer’s remote control and changing the batteries they gave the customer the confidence EVERYTHING had been covered so uncertainty dropped away as customers expressed, “they even changed the batteries so they must have checked everything.”
2. From batteries to dusters
Home installation is an area where customer experience can make or break all the good work up to that point. I recently heard about a European electrical goods company that found that despite their pride in looking after customers’ goods from factory to delivery, the delivery van man’s stereotype profile of a ‘dump and go’ type left their customers worried about damaged goods.
So to change customer’s perception they issued their delivery team with dusters. So when the delivery man put the packaged box down in the customer’s home they blew the top of the box and then dragged a duster over it. The customer’s perception of ‘a company that cares’ was achieved.
In fact, customers cited ‘if they care this much when it’s delivered, imagine how much it must be looked after in the factory!’
3. easyjet – telling customers upfront; we care
The easyjet experience in my opinion is great too. Recently they reintroduced allocated seating, so no more stressed bundled queuing at the boarding gate.
But I noticed an even simpler demonstration that they cared. It came in the form of the opening page in their excellent in-house magazine. It’s an article titled ‘Making Life Easier – How online check-in at all our airports will lessen your travel woes’. It’s written by the CEO. Rather than sprouting ‘we are great at customer experience’ platitudes, the CEO is talking about actions delivered to customers. And it’s not buried on page 28 either. Instead easyjet has given up prime publishing real estate and chosen the in-flight magazine lead article to talk about what matters to customers. First class from the budget airline.
So before the IT platform is ripped out again, a loyalty programme is bolted onto the retention strategy or a channel closed down for a major rework, take a step back and think ‘what really matters to customers?’ You may find that something as old fashioned as two AA batteries, a yellow duster or an A5 page of copy can be the solution customers blog about (NPS gold dust).
Posted by Christopher Brooks.
At Lexden we work with brands to attract and retain customers. We achieve this by helping them to understand what makes their customers tick, build memorable customer experience strategies and create engaging value propositions.