More often these days we get calls at our headquarters with Customer Experience champions wondering what happened to the huge gains in their Customer Experience metrics they used to get. The problem is many of them have implemented Customer Experience measures, had great improvements to metrics like their Net Promoter Scores®, and then watched the score plateau.
They are scratching their heads now, wondering what’s next?
The answer is simple: What’s next is the next level of Customer Experience improvement. How to implement this next level, however, is not as simple. But it is possible and requires a new way of thinking about it.
Gretchen Rubin, New York Times Bestselling Author of The Happiness Project(and fellow LinkedIn Influencer), wrote an article, “The Positive Perspective: Replacing ‘Despite’ with ‘Because’.” She describes how substituting the word “despite” with the word “because” is the key to changing how she sees an issue. One of the examples she gave is how she was puzzled why people who trained for and ran a marathon quit running. When she changed these words around, however, she saw the difference between the two statements and it helped her change her thinking, e.g.:
Despite the fact that they successfully ran the marathon, these runners quit running.
Because of the fact they successfully ran the marathon, these runners quit running.
See the difference there?
This same framing can work in Customer Experience quandaries as well. Let me explain. When these calls from Customer Experience champions come in, we hear them say:
Despite the fact we improved the Customer Experience, our Customer Experience metrics have now levelled off.
So what happens when we switch the word “despite” with “because?”
Because of the fact we improved Customer Experience, our Customer Experience metrics have now levelled off.
See the difference there?
The first statement doesn’t solve your problem; it only states it. But the second statement presents the problem as the solution and opens your mind to the possibilities of why improving the Customer Experience has now resulted in the stagnating growth of your metrics. It’s just one word that’s different, but the meaning and its relevant implications transform.
What the second statement tells me is this: the easiest improvements have been made. The gains associated with those easy improvements have also been made. Now, to move the needle, you must move your Customer Experience to the next level. Now, it’s time to dig into the deeper concepts—the rational, emotional, subconscious and psychological reasons behind why Customers do what they do. And then, design moments in your experience that play into these natural instincts.
All the greatest organizations that champion Customer Experience know this and continue to explore the possibilities. It’s why Amazon continues to dazzle us with what’s possible for Customer Experience. It’s why Apple continues to reign supreme in both products and stock price. It’s why Disney makes you wonder if they really do have a little magic working on their side. They are always improving their experiences, moving them to the next level and leaving their competitors behind.
The fact is improving your Customer experience is a journey not a destination. Will you sit there scratching your head about your Customer Experience using the word despite? Or get back on the road to move it to the next level after switching to because?
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Colin Shaw is the founder and CEO of Beyond Philosophy, one of the world’s leading Customer experience consultancy & training organizations. Colin is an international author of five bestselling books and an engaging keynote speaker.
Follow Colin Shaw on Twitter & Periscope @ColinShaw_CX