We often hear requests for the best practices in Customer Experience. We understand why, too. Who wants to endure trial and error if there is a tried and true idea guaranteed to get results?
However, no tried and true idea always gets results. Instead, there are only expert opinions served as advice about what has worked in the past. These are often the “best practices.” We argue that best practices, no matter how solid a suggestion they are, could use a bit of challenge and a dose of skepticism.
Moreover, calling them best practices stifles creativity. They encourage people to follow the well-trodden path to an outcome without divergence. As a result, many people use them as an excuse to implement them blindly and wait for results. However, this strategy will not prevail, and success could remain elusive to those who follow this non-divergent, uncreative path.
In this episode, we explain why best practice stifles creativity and the best approach to accept best practice advice.
Key Ideas to Improve your Customer Experience
When people ask me about Customer Experience’s best practices, they know I have 20 years in the industry. They also surmise that I have seen a thing or two that worked for other organizations along the way. They probably want to avoid the mistakes the organizations I have worked with and I might have made along the way, too. To be clear, I don’t take issue with this approach. People ask for my informed opinions, and as an expert in the field, I should offer those when asked.
My issue is with the meaning behind the term “best practice.” It implies that you should do it without questions and expect results. Unfortunately, that type of thing doesn’t exist. Instead, it would help if you learned what worked before, challenge that with what you know from your expertise in your field, and adapt the practice, so it is “the best” for you.
Here are a few key moments in the discussion:
- 02:57 We empathize with why people find best practices desirable and then why we think the concept is flawed.
- 04:36 Colin takes a counter argument that experts should know what best practices are, so their advice is valid.
- 09:07 We discuss why people don’t always take experts’ advice anymore, and the spectrum of reaction between gullibility and total skeptic.
- 11:27 Colin shares a useful tool he picked up at a client meeting that encourages debate in a healthy way.
- 17:33 We discuss the dangers of convergent thinking for your long term success.
- 20:51 We share the advice we have for people moving forward with “best practice” advice.
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Customer Experience Information & Resources
LinkedIn recognizes Colin Shaw as one of the ‘World’s Top 150 Business Influencers.’ As a result, he has 289,000 followers of his work. Shaw is Founder and CEO of Beyond Philosophy LLC, which helps organizations unlock growth by discovering customers’ hidden, unmet needs that drive value ($). The Financial Times selected Beyond Philosophy LLC as one of the best management consultancies for the last two years. Follow Colin on Linkedin and Twitter.
Click here to learn more about Professor Ryan Hamilton of Emory University.
Why Customers Buy: As an official “Influencer” on LinkedIn, Colin writes a regular newsletter on all things Customer Experience. Click here to join the other 22,000 subscribers.
Experience Health Check: You already have an experience, even if you weren’t deliberate about it. Our Experience Health Check can help you understand what you have today. Colin or one of our team can assess your digital or physical Customer Experience, interacting with your organization as a customer to define what is good and what needs improving. Then, they will provide a list of recommendations for critical next steps for your organization. Click here to learn more.
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