In our customer experience consultancy, we find there’s one thing that consistently prevents companies from adopting a more customer-centric approach.
It’s not (as you might guess) cost!
Instead, the problem is priorities, and specifically the priorities of people who make critical company decisions. You see, as people move up the chain of command, they get further and further removed from the average customer. Executives spend their days dealing with big-picture strategic issues, personnel management and company finances. They’re not greeting customers or closing sales. Even lower level employees at company headquarters are far removed from day to day exchanges with customers.
And unless there’s a concerted effort, decisions made at headquarters tend to be about the company’s goals, not the customer’s needs.
Turning this around doesn’t have to be complicated. It’s simply a matter of reminding the people “in the office” that customers matter. Here are 7 ways to do just that.
A lot of people give the millennial generation a hard time, but when it comes to customer experience, the millennials’ thinking is spot on.
While we older folks spent our 20s and 30s buying new couches, bigger houses and fancier kitchen gadgets, millennials are spending their money on concerts, vacations and dinners with friends. In a survey for the event promotion site Eventbrite, 78 percent said they’d rather spend their money on an experience or event than a product. About three quarters of respondents said they’d made some of the best memories of their lives at live events, and a similar number said that going to live events deepens their relationships with family and friends.
As a customer experience consultant, this tells me that millennials understand something very important about happiness and customer experience, and if retailers and brands don’t listen, they’re going to struggle.
The thing that millennials seem to get has been described by Cornell University professor Dr. Thomas Gilovich, who has been researching the connection between money and happiness for longer than some millennials have been alive.
I have lied about this. I’d wager you have, too. Moreover, per Groupon’s latest survey, most people lie about being happy about the gifts they receive at the holidays.
When I read this study, I wondered if we lie to people about our gift receiving experience, isn’t it also likely we lie about other experiences too? Does that also mean our customers lie to us about how they feel about their Customer Experience?
For my part, I’d say the answer is a resounding yes.
The Groupon survey revealed many significant findings:
73% of respondents admitted to faking their reaction to a gift on a regular basis
Eight out of ten people will pretend to like a gift they receive even when they don’t
Only ten percent of respondents said they would tell the truth if they didn’t like a gift
Women are more likely to fake it than men (77% vs. 63%)
Only 8% of the 55 and older group would tell the truth about how they feel about a gift received.
Imagine going on a cruise and having the ship know your every desire – sometimes even before you do.
That’s the goal of Carnival Corporation’s new Ocean Medallion technology, a wearable device that will debut on the Regal Princess cruise ship later this year. It follows on the heels of Disney’s MagicBand and a similar device on Royal Caribbean cruises, but it goes even farther in predicting and responding to customer needs and desires.
Each passenger will receive a personalized token that can be worn around your neck, on your wrist or carried in your pocket. The token interacts with 7000 sensors throughout the ship to track where you are, and what you’re doing. And it uses that information to predict what you’d like to do next. The sensors interact with 4000 high res screens throughout the ship to provide personalized recommendations.
The Wall Street Journal has released its annual scorecard of U.S. airlines, sizing them up according to factors that matter to travelers, including delays, on-time arrivals and lost baggage. Overall, the newspaper reported, airlines did a better job on some measures in 2016 than in 2015, with 7 percent fewer late arrivals.
Alaska Airlines earned top rank for the second year in a row, but as a customer experience consultant, I was just as interested in the airlines at the bottom. American Airlines ranked ninth out of the nine carriers rated, and budget carrier Spirit Airlines came in eighth.
American Airlines blamed problems at its hubs and its merger with USAir, and said it has a new training program to improve customer service. But Spirit, which was dead last in the customer complaints category, seemed to feel destined to do poorly. This is no great surprise: CNN Money ranked Spirit 10th out of 10 airlines rated for customer satisfaction in 2015. Another budget carrier, Allegiant Air, came in ninth.
Let’s face it; the holiday season is well over and becoming difficult to even remember. It’s time to get cracking. With a little effort, we should be back on track in no time.
If only it were that easy! The truth is the hot mess we return to makes us want to pack up and head right back on holiday. Unfortunately, for the majority of us, this solution isn’t an option.
So, we try. After all, the inbox so full it’s bursting isn’t going to empty itself, is it? What is needed presently is some good, old-fashioned elbow grease—and more than a little efficiency.
While some people are terribly efficient without much effort, others of us have much to overcome to optimize our efficiency. In these cases, having efficiency requires recognizing what is getting in the way of it.
Recognition can take time. To that end, I have three major mistakes inefficient people often make that get in the way of efficiency, which include: