You’ve probably seen and heard a lot from companies recently about how they intend to change their customer experience in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. They speak of revolutionising their services and focussing more on customer interaction.
Mostly, companies tend to speak in phrases that sound great, but whose meanings are obscured behind the carefully couched language to ensure that they don’t leave themselves vulnerable in some way.
So, what do we do about that? What does ‘Customer Experience’ really mean to us as customers?
The main thing that causes confusion is when people confuse ‘Customer Experience’ with ‘Customer Service.’
Customer service, for example, is when you need to contact a company and speak to someone to deal with your use of their product. Let us use a common example: You’ve ordered an item from Noon.com and for whatever reason, you need to return it – but you don’t want to arrange the return online because you find the returns site confusing. So, you call their customer service number who arranges the return through their system. Simple.
Customer Experience, however, is a much wider spectrum. While it includes the Customer Service aspect of your journey, it also concerns your initial purchase and the reasons for you needing to return your item. You may, after you spoke to the contact centre, have received a small survey asking how they did. Perhaps you were asked to rate them out of five, or indicate with a smiley face?
All of that ties into the data that companies collect to improve your experience with them. For most companies that deal with customers directly, the ideal situation is that you never have to contact them. Customer Experience works on the principle that, by keeping you happy, you will be more committed and happier with their service in response.
Going back to the example before – if you’re not using the online returns because you find the site confusing, the Customer Experience teams would take that feedback and propose changes to the site to make it more user friendly. That is why it is always important to leave your feedback when given the chance. Whether good or bad, your comments will help the business improve the way they serve you.
While you never deal with them directly, most companies will have at least one team dedicated to figuring out problems, and when you put in a bad review or rating, your information joins the flow of data they use to figure out how to make things better for you.
And the pivot of that balancing act is you, the customer. Whether its new systems, different methods of working, or changes to training, a company makes its decisions with you in mind. Your experience shapes their path forward.
Companies survive when you are purchasing from them and making sure your experience hits the sweet spot is how they keep you using their services. We hope the trend continues and companies place a bigger emphasis on developing the customer experience. We will keep doing our part to encourage them to do so with your help and feedback. Make sure to use the Community Forums to share your experiences!
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