Real Life Customer Experience

Real Life Customer Experience

Difficultly delivering CX in the real world

Over the last decade customer experience has evolved into it’s own discipline. Structures, theories and models are being developed that are solely dedicated to how customers interact with organisations - it is truly becoming a sophisticated and elegant practice. However, when this is applied in the real world, it tends to break down.

Automating and tracking your customer’s journey digitally is a great way to guarantee an excellent customer experience. People, however, cannot be automated in the same way. They are motivated by emotion and there is always the risk that, following their gut feeling, they will break all of the rules that the CX model suggests they follow.

What the experts have to say

Some have attempted to figure out why people make de such as these - a prominent example being the 2009 book Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely. Ariely argues that many of the irrational and emotional decisions people make are actually very much predictable. The idea that seemingly unpredictable behaviour (such as how your staff will follow your CX rules) is actually predictable leads smoothly onto the argument that it is preventable. This is where this knowledge becomes useful in the CX world.

‘Transformation is affecting everybody' - this statement, and ones similar, have been a repeating conversation topic when discussing customer experience. When they say everybody they really do mean everybody from private to public, from retail to government. Digital transformation is increasingly becoming an important factor for governments, with many facing competition from government agencies and the private sector to provide the same level of services. A 2015 Gartner survey supports this argument:

CEOs should assume that business-model change will be forced by new digital entrants or an adjacent competitor within the next two years.

Finally, there are tons of glib statements floating around such as 'technology changes everything'. Technology changes a lot of things however, what it doesn’t change is the person at the end of it. Customers are still very much human with complex needs. Technology, whilst presenting amazing opportunities for your organisation, should not be the motivation for change - change should always be motivated by your customer’s needs and delivering a excellent customer experience.

It’s time to make things personal

Digital transformation affects how things work, but it’s doing it in two major ways:

  • How are you interacting with people?
  • How are you delivering value?

At the end of it all the person you’re delivering value to is just that - a person. This is when what Forrester Research calls ‘the three E’s’ comes in handy. This provides a spectrum that can be used to measure whether your customers’ experiences are good or bad - spanning from positive to neutral to negative. The three Es are:

  • Effectiveness
  • Ease
  • Emotion

These are what people are looking for when interacting with any organisation and should be the end goal when developing a customer experience framework.