Being a customer experience (CX) consulting professional, I am always intrigued about the nuance of knowing more about events and occurrences that makes for customer delight or frustrate.  In my same quest, I closely monitored my interactions with a leading credit card service provider as a customer this time! Well I went through the whole nine yards of enrolling for a credit card – submitting documents, getting repeated calls validating the same details over and over again, getting the card – to finally using and paying my first bill. 

Perhaps I started with minimal expectation so was really pleased with the entire on boarding process, getting access to my online account, understanding loyalty program and life would have been happy ever after…until my pleasant experience so far came to a shocking-end thanks to the robots managing the customer call service canters, who are dictated by rudimentary processes.

In spite of notifying the customer service that there will be a delay in payment by a day, I was told late payment fee would be changed and later reversed in the next billing cycle provided I call them back. Wearing my CX consultant hat, I was intrigued to know, if the payment has been made and notification done, why I will still be charged late fee.  Even more intriguing is why I asked to call again (waste my time as well time of the call center agent) to get the payment reversed.  I am sure many of us have been through similar experience.   It clearly points out to the fundamental deficiencies of the customer experience approach and dire need to move from process centricity to customer centricity to be successful in today’s digital world.

Customer Experience is not just giving great and friendly customer service when customer calls. It’s about keeping customer in centre of your business strategy. It’s about looking through the customer lens in whatever you do that has an impact on Customer.

Why it’s important today than ever before:

  • Digital disruptor’s like Apple, Uber, and Flipkart have raised the bar of Customer Experience. Customers expect seamless and pleasant experience across all channels and in all the touch points they have with the company.
  • Switching to different Service Provider has never been so easy. As we all know today customer has many options to choose from. Ola or Uber when you need a cab, Flipkart or Amazon for online shopping.
  • Customer Experience is one of the cost effective lever that executive can useto reduce customer churn. It costs five times more to attract new customer than keeping an existing one.
  • Good CX helps in building company’s brand value over time and increase customer advocacy. Increased customer loyalty helps reduce company’s marketing cost.
  • It lowers the cost to serve. In my above example of calling back again has not only gave me bad customer experience but has also increase the cost of serving another customer call.

How CX can be improved:

  • Identify key customer journeys. Instead of looking at just specific customer touch points/interactions, companies need to look at entire customer journey to get a complete picture. Put yourself in customer place and see what interaction channels are available throughout the journey.
  • Measure current customer experience across the journey. It’s important to have a base line in place to show real benefits and improvement at later point.
  • Identify customer’s pain points. Look at all the touch points to identify customer’s pain points that lead to bad customer experience.
  • Bring cross-functional teams together to find solution that address the identified pain points. Usually bad customer experience is due to the department silos within the company, processes and systems that are created over time without keeping customer in mind.
    The Journey based transformation is not easy for incumbent organization. It takes years to perfect the customer journey but the rewards for higher customer experience is immense and can improve both top and bottom line of the organization.
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