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Customer Experience: What was your best or worst?

Customer Experience: What was your best or worst?

What is Customer Experience? Is it a new name for Customer Service? What’s in it for you? Arti Gupta tells you why a good customer experience isn’t utopian at all.

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March 14, 2012 3:05 by



But to begin with – Who am I to write about it? Why should you spend your time and energy reading my article?

I am a Customer Experience advocate. I believe that every customer is entitled to a good experience for the money they paid.

Over the years I have worked in various customer-facing roles and have developed a sense of what matters to customers and how organisations can develop long-lasting relations with their clients?

Founding Lead On Consultants, a consultancy with a primary focus on enabling organisations to “deliver WOW” to their customers, I’m on a quest for a time when none of us dread calling a call center and having to talk to an agent there; and that we don’t get stressed about calling for maintenance when something breaks down at home. I want to see a time when customers can be confident that wherever they go, they’d be taken care of.

Sounds utopian? Not really. It will happen. It’s just a matter of time.

Organisations the world over are realising that having a rightly priced product coupled with large-scale marketing are not enough. Product is no longer an advantage.

Take Apple’s first iPad launch as an example. Within a short span of time, the market is flooded with other competitive tablets, which are cheaper and offer almost the same interface and features. Products can be copied easily hence do not provide sustainability.

Besides the homogenous quality products are taking on, the battle ground for market reach is now more difficult to manage, with the addition of well-connected customers (thanks to social media). After all, how many cases have you see where organisations have dissatisfied customers, resulting in far from fantastic results.

Check some here: United broke my guitar, Heather Armstrong’s washing machine, Vodafone messed up. Of course a lot more examples are cropping up, but the point is that companies need to realise that they still have the power to manage these very public conversations.

One way is by perfecting the Customer Experience. Make sure the brand’s every touch point of interaction with the customer is flawless and intuitive. And I’m not just talking about the process from when the customer decided to research about the product online all the way to the cash register when they make purchase. I’m talking about including what happens after the sale, such as during maintenance calls and upgrades. This is something that brands in the region still need to perfect.

The funny thing is that after sales customer care is lacking in the region, despite this understanding that the more you’re good to your loyal customers, the more your brand will be recommended to their peers.

Here I start a journey with you, Kipp reader, where I share my knowledge and experiences with you and, hopefully, I can encourage you to you share your experiences with me.

In my upcoming articles, I would share some tips to get your issued resolved with organisations. I will also share some examples of what great customer service looks like. So watch out this space.

Meanwhile, tell us what has been your best or worst experience?

Arti Gupta is a Managing Partner at Lead On Consultants, a consumer experience consulting firm.

Check out their blog here.



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2 Comments

  1. samer khalidi on March 15, 2012 7:29 am

    My pet peeve is the constant question from employees of major companies such as Etisalat, Du and any of the banks: “who did you speak to?” It is as if customers are not dealing with institution but a series of independent contractors or bakalas. If I can’t get consistency of action and information from employees of the company that tells me that they dont have the systems, processes and procedures to mangage the customer experience. As a result customers pay in terms of wasted time, frustration and even financially even when the mistakes or problems stem from the service provider. What is the compensation: “we are sorry.” That doesn’t compensate me for coming to your premises 3 times to fix the same issue

     
  2. Arti on March 19, 2012 9:46 am

    @ Samer Khalidi

    A very valid point you have raised here. It happens with us so many times. And also when our call is transferred to multiple people, we have to tell our story all over again to every new person.
    Systems are the basic need for any department to function well and most big organizations have them in place to some extent. What really lacks is customer centricity, both in people and processes.

    It is so common for organizations to toss customers from one dept to another like a ping pong ball and over time customers have also become used to such a treatment. Customers need to escalate the issue sooner and not wait for the last straw…. remember “Mother also feeds the baby when the baby cries”.

     

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