Ryanair has a customer-centric approach, but it’s not what you think

I recently co-wrote a report on customer-centric strategy for NextTen – more on that later – that included Ryanair as a (positive) case study. The recent problems with pilot scheduling might cause me to make a hasty edit – but I think not: Ryanair is thoroughly customer-focused, but their low-cost approach illustrates the challenges of maintaining such a strategy when things go wrong. In fact, pursuing this strategy appears to be more likely to cause these problems. Continue reading “Ryanair has a customer-centric approach, but it’s not what you think”

When great service is good enough – but could be even better

I’ve just had a great service experience with BT and now that more than 10 years have passed since I was responsible for their customer service strategy, I’m not blowing my own trumpet to praise them. It made me realise that when you get a great service it’s sometimes unremarkable. In this case, having a better understanding of customer outcomes could have moved it from great to outstanding.

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Tales from the sharp end #1: M&S Food

Starting an occasional series in which I report back from the front line of customer experience. As well as an obsession with the minutiae of customer experience I have an obsession with keeping things as simple as possible (but no simpler as Einstein once put it) and so a recent experience with M&S Food reminded me, once again, how introducing even a small amount of complexity into a transaction can result in a poor customer experience, despite the heroic efforts of front line staff… Continue reading “Tales from the sharp end #1: M&S Food”

Five objections to The One Rule

In last month’s post I identified The One Rule for strategy in a customer-driven organisation.

Everything relates to delighting customers

The use of the word delighting is important: it means achieving the customer’s desired outcomes.

The word everything is important as well as it’s likely to be the source of a number of questions or objections that might be arising. Let me deal with the ones that I can think of… Continue reading “Five objections to The One Rule”

Service Smackdown 4: Man vs IKEA

During a period known in these parts as ‘between contracts’ I have been doing a fair bit of home improvement and, inevitably, this has involved a trip to the temple of home-furnishing-and-lifestyle that is IKEA. Time then to put myself into the ring to take on the Swedish behemoth in possibly the most one-sided bout in the Smackdown series. But first a bit of history…

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Service Smackdown 3: Olympic Special Part 1 – London 2012 vs the World

A colleague once passed on the received wisdom that when a business starts to use sporting metaphors it’s a sure sign that it’s in trouble. Be that as it may, this post offers some lessons from the London 2012 Olympics for delivering superior service and a terrific customer experience. This means changing the rules for the Service Smackdown – which, since I made them up and they are basically unfair, I’m at liberty to do – as I’m not able to compare London 2012 with anything even vaguely similar – the scale and uniqueness of the undertaking makes that impossible. Consider this to be more of an exhibition bout then since, on the basis of my direct experiences so far it’s at least podiumed* on customer service.

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