I recently posted a real life example of one of my experiences as a customer. It was a tale that related a true story of customer friction. A minor tale of woe, and I told my whole network.
Most of the articles I post here are borne of personal experience. You see, while I’m a technical support and service leader, I’m also a customer. We all are. I just happen to have this slightly privileged position of being able to articulate my experiences in a medium where other leaders will read them. And, I have the inside knowledge to know how things look on the other side of those experiences, so I’m able to relate how I think things should be handled differently, or better.
But, essentially, I’m a customer like you. And, like you, I’m much more likely to tell all and sundry about a negative experience with an organisation that a positive one. In fact, Americans tell an average of 15 people about a poor service experience, versus the 11 people they’ll tell about a good experience.
And we listen, too. When was the last time you quoted a great article you read about the theory and trends in customer experience? Unless you’re in business, I’ll bet it was a good while ago. But we can all remember the personal stories our friends and family tell us fro their latest retail outing – online or on the high street.
As customer service professionals, my colleagues and I will habitually translate those stories into our own theories and trends. But I wonder if, in the translation, we forget the stories that sparked those conversations. And I wonder if, in the translation, we lose a sense of the real impact of the experience at an individual, human level.
This is why, then, it’s important that we talk not only about revenue, not only about growth and retention, not only about NPS and CSAT, not only about response times, social support and self service. It’s important that we are able to cite real life examples for all our theory. Without the people, the story becomes meaningless.
So, I will keep telling my stories. I hope they continue to spark conversation. And I hope, even more, that you will take your own theories, and tie them to your own experiences and those of your customers. Customer service will be a lot better for it.
This article first appeared on my Linkedin publications in March 2019