Beware: Destructive Customer Experience Advice is Everywhere!

by Jeannie Walters

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When it comes to customer experience, there is no shortage of advice. Maybe your boss read “that book” on how to map your customer’s journey. Or maybe you were tasked with being the “customer experience” guy and dove into the many blogs, books, and podcasts about customer experience.

There is just. so. much.

It’s easy to start down a path and drive yourself crazy with options. At what point do you stop, trust your own instincts, and keep moving ahead? Here are a few ideas on what advice is actually OK to ignore. Really.

customer experience advice

1. You need robust and expensive software to get customer feedback.

The options available today are amazing tools to gather tons of customer feedback, help you sort through it all, and understand what is most important. But customers are available to you even before you get your procurement department to approve the contracts. It’s not all about the tools. Start wherever you can in gathering feedback, whether that’s a daily call to a customer or a quarterly customer meeting. Low-tech still works. Don’t let a lack of tools get in your way.

2. (Sexy metric) is the ONLY metric that matters!

NPS or Customer Satisfaction or whatever the metric is in your business…there is never only one. These are also tools in your customer experience kit, not the end-all. Humans are nuanced, which means your metrics should be, too. Sometimes the combination of metrics and analytics and qualitative feedback paints a different, more truthful story than metrics alone. Beware when your company is so keyed into just one metric of success. Humans aren’t quite that simple.

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3. Become Obsessed with Your Metrics.

We went up .01%! Time to celebrate! Those same metrics can become an obsession unto themselves. So a few more customers report you aren’t failing to meet their expectations quite as much as the week prior. This isn’t really cause for celebration. And you better know what caused the bump. Was it a particular process improvement? Or was one employee in one location exceptionally great that week? Don’t get so tied to the numbers you forget why you have them in the first place.

4. You need to validate everything with customers.

Yes, this can be taken too far, just like anything. There is no law stating that once you are on the inside of an organization, you don’t know what’s right or wrong. I’ve watched many customer issues stagnate while executives set up elaborate ways to validate what they already know with customers. If you know it’s a bad process and you wouldn’t want to be treated that way, then trust your instincts. You don’t need customers to tell you it stinks if you know it already.

customer experience advice

5. Customer experience is easy.

Since we’re all customers ourselves, how hard can this be? We know when we are treated well and when we aren’t. So what’s so challenging about this? There are myriad reasons. Gathering the right feedback on an ongoing basis, measuring and prioritizing that feedback, these are no small feats. Toss in the political landscape of your organization, who owns what, and layers of customers and you have yourself a complex ecosystem to navigate. It’s not easy. It’s not simple. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

Customer experience is changing and growing just like any industry today. As we become more sophisticated in our tools and operations, we need to remember not to overcomplicate what is already complicated enough.


 

Image credits: inkycogdogblog via Creative Commons license

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Jeannie Walters

Jeannie Walters is the CEO/Founder of Experience Investigators, a global Customer Experience consulting firm. She has 20 years of experience helping companies improve loyalty and retention, employee engagement, and overall customer experience. Jeannie is a Certified Customer Experience Professional (CCXP,) a charter member of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA,) a Professional Member of the National Speakers Association, a Forbes Coaches Council Member, a C-Suite Network Advisor, a LinkedIn Learning and Lynda.com instructor, and a TEDx speaker. Learn more here.

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