Photo by Ketut Subiyanto
“In the business world, everyone is paid in two coins: cash and experience. Take the experience first; the cash will come later.” – Harold S Geneen
Did we just say overdoing customer experience? Providing top-class customer experience is something that all companies must strive for, as it is a top demand for customers. Overdoing it would be seemingly impossible. In fact, making a great customer experience possible each time would be the competitive edge of a company.
It can gain the company’s customer advocates, robust relationships with existing customers, and enhanced possibilities of gaining more business through positive word of mouth. So how do you think overdoing customer experience could happen? Is there a line between ‘crowding and overwhelming’ customers with too much attention and information vs providing them with just the right amount of help, support, information, and attention? Companies can invest in tools to improve customer experience. With the Interactive decision trees tool, you can improve customer satisfaction and deliver the right information to customers.
Overdoing customer focus
While focusing ‘too much’ on customer experience is impossible, overdoing the focus when applying it practically is a real possibility. In fact, it could be the undoing of companies. Customers are already overloaded with information and facts. Constantly hankering for customer attention could only serve to irritate them. A company may have the best intentions when trying to make a top-class customer experience possible.
However, the experiences can only be top-class if they are relevant and value-added for the customers. In addition, while one team could be the ‘owner’ of customer experience, it could spread across several teams. Each one should have a budget allocated for this critical aspect.
It could lead to a silo mentality
Overdoing customer experience for a company could mean that the relevant actions may sometimes ‘fall through the cracks’. Each team may believe that the other should take ownership. Given such a situation, marketing/customer service teams often believe that they must make the customer experience their ‘sole’ responsibility. The problem with this is the dreaded silo mentality within an organization. Teams are then unable/unwilling to match pace and step, leading to bigger and deeper-seated customer experience problems. The intention is to serve the customer to the best of their ability. However, a lack of an ‘owner’ and the silo mentality gives rise to several problems.
Co-workers can divert efforts
Enhancing the customer experience is a high-profile and extremely ‘visible’ function. Those responsible for it can gain the ‘right kind’ of attention, which could be the cause of envy and ire among the other co-workers. While co-workers may be ‘seemingly’ cooperative, the possibility of them trying to upstage the efforts is very real. While making effort to enhance customer experience is required, it should be done by getting ‘buy-in’ from everyone in the organization. They should ensure that each person is mentally prepared to contribute towards this endeavor. That is irrespective of which ‘team/person’ the ‘owner is’. For a company, it would be necessary to recognize the individual contributions towards making top-class customer experience possible. Rather than showering praise and attention only on a select few.
Employee training on customer experience
The fear of overdoing customer experience will not exist if each person in the organization understood the implications of not delivering to the optimum on this aspect. Each person must receive adequate training to ramp up their skill sets. It ensures they are able to understand and anticipate customer needs. It also ensures they provide the kind of experiences that would delight customers.
Not too much and certainly never too little. Any kind of change within an organization is often met with resistance if it is inconvenient. For example, employees who need to learn new technologies or apply a different set of processes. A company can either prepare its existing employees for their new set of responsibilities or hire people to form a specialized and dedicated team to lead the customer experience endeavors. They should also assist the current employees to see the benefits of doing so.
Customer experience should be a top priority
Overdoing customer experience and not delivering, even the bare minimum, means that the company is not doing a good job with its customers. The reason could be that this critical function lacks the support and mentoring of the company’s top leaders and CEO. We know that employees emulate their leaders. Without enthusiasm and direction from them, providing optimum customer experiences would be possible, and the endeavor would probably be doomed. Delivering optimum customer experience should be the endeavor and priority for each person within a company. That is, given the benefits of doing so, and the ill effects of overdoing customer experience or providing bare minimum experiences. Research shows that despite these facts, customer experience does not rank in the top three priorities of some companies today.
It can lead to using more company resources
Companies do realize, however, that customer experience is a critical measure of success for their business. Each company should have a different set of monitoring and tracking methods for customer data. Overdoing customer experience can amount to spending more resources without achieving the desired business results or enhancing daily interactions with customers. These interactions could be through any department/team/individual.
Meaning that a fall in experience through any of these touch-points could leave customers frustrated and irate. When a company uses a structured and ‘scientific’ approach, the chances of underdoing or overdoing customer experience are remote. It is vital to support customers through each stage of their ‘journey’ with the company. At the same time, the company should evolve and improve to match the changing demands of its customers. The right set of tools and technology can help a company improve and provide the optimum customer experiences throughout the customer’s journey.
Consequences of overdoing customer experience
Both aspects – under-delivering and overdoing customer experiences are a result of looking at customer needs from the company’s perspective. For example, customers may expect round-the-clock customer service. If a company has fixed operation hours and no possibility of providing extended support, it would fail at delivering customer experience.
On the other hand, if the company sends messages and communiqués constantly to their customers, without considering whether those messages are relevant and valued by customers, it would be committing the faux pas of overdoing customer experiences. These two aspects are the result of a gap on the part of the company in understanding its customers. Soon, it would frustrate customers enough to leave the company and find another ‘suitable partner’ from amongst the competition.
To sum up
Customer experience is a vital and critical measure of success for any company today. It affects several areas and departments within the company. Customer experience affects the company’s ability to build durable and robust relationships with customers. It is essential for a company to gain loyal and profitable customers. It would be necessary for a company to find ways to enhance the experiences customers have with it. This would mean ensuring that the company does not under-deliver or overdo customer experience. Keeping customers happy is a challenging task. It is not impossible, but it does require consistent efforts and dedication.