It’s been an atypically long break between blog posts. (Some might call it a welcome respite.) Lots of work travel, and we’re just back from a lovely vacation in Spain. Thanks for your patience.
Support ultimately owns the post-sales customer experience, and has tremendous influence on the pre-sales experience, too. (I think it’s not a coincidence that two of the executive sponsors of our work are VPs of Customer Experience.) At a recent Consortium for Service Innovation meeting, Executive Director Greg Oxton asked each attendee to reflect on a great customer experience that they’d had recently. What impressed me was not only the diversity of responses—there’s nosingle path to delighting customers—but also how much positive energy built in the room as people were telling their stories. I tried to capture the characteristics that people mentioned:
- It takes less effort than I expected to get something done. I can easily do things myself on the web or on a mobile device. The company cuts out unnecessary steps
- The company stands behind their product or service, and makes things right for me, even if it’s not technically their fault
- The company follows up with me—it’s proactive about my success. It’s thinking ahead about what I need
- The company meets me where I am. (Example: a child got her first library card at a special child-sized desk that she could easily see over.)
- The company provides me a high degree of control, and is transparent about what my options are and how things are going to work
- The company is very responsive
- The company takes care of things for me, even when they’re 100% my fault
- Help is there just when I need it, in the context of what I’m trying to do
- I get more than I deserve
- I get an unexpected bonus—maybe a little thing, but it’s still nice
- If they make a mistake, they go out of their way to make it right
- They’re sincerely empathetic—they care about me; they’re not just reading from a script. They know me
- They work with me in my preferred channel, whether that’s a KB, in person, or something else
- They encourage, challenge, and develop my skills. (Another great children’s library example: reluctant young readers are encouraged to “read to the dog:” they go in a special room with a friendly, calm dog who sits and listens nonjudgmentally to stories)
- It’s easy for me to exit the relationship when I want to
- They do the right thing for me before trying to upsell me
- They take responsibility for getting my situation resolved. If a hand-off is necessary, it’s a warm handoff, with a personal introduction
- They make me feel special–like a rock star
- They display sensitivity to my needs and styles
I’m reading this list, and thinking about most of the support organizations we work with, and wondering how on earth we can afford to create these wonderful experiences? But then, the more I think about the way the people talked about the companies that delivered these great experiences, I wonder, how on earth can we afford not to create experiences like these?
Have you experienced something wonderful recently? Have you thought about how you and your organization can deliver great experiences to your customers?
ps – Interested in learning the ins and outs of running a successful knowledge program, or becoming KCS Certified? Join us in Northern California next month! Find out more at http://www.dbkay.com/get-training