My week in CX

Beginning a regular review of my own good, bad and indifferent customer experiences, in the past week. If this seems like an unnecessary insight into my fabulous life then apologies but, as Socrates almost said, ‘the unexamined customer experience is not worth having’. Here we go with some highlights and lowlights…

Winging it

Some kind person clipped my wing mirror of my new-ish car the other week. Unfortunately I wasn’t around when it happened and it may even be that the driver of the too-wide-for-London streets Chelsea tractor (I assume) didn’t notice but what initially appeared to be a simple snap-on replacement turned out to require a whole new unit. My Vauxhall dealer quoted a figure around 10 times that of the clip on replacement so I turned to my local Halfords Autocentre. Pleasingly, albeit frustratingly, they told me they would be at least as expensive as Vauxhall and declined to quote, but did refer me to a body shop that they thought would be cheaper. So far this has been the only good customer experience in this little saga: both of the repair shops I visited have required a phone call to chivvy them into providing a quote. It may be a small job but, given the likelihood of any car on London’s mean streets needing more substantial attention in future I’d expect a little more enthusiasm for my meagre business.

Streets of shame

The UK social networking website Streetlife has been acquired by US version Nextdoor. Good news for the founder and investors but for the customers (including me) the transition hasn’t been managed in a particularly customer-centric fashion.

Full marks to Streetlife and Nextdoor for enabling customers to transfer swiftly – on the day the deal was announced – but in their haste to make this happen someone seems to have omitted to find out what the customer valued about the original site and what changes they would need to make. I’ll post on this in a bit more detail as my feedback to Nextdoor elicited a chunky response but the crux of the matter is that Streetlifers enjoying a degree of anonymity on the old site found their full names and street addresses visible on the new site. Apparently it’s only viewable in a member’s much smaller area and not visible externally, but a large number of Streetlifers were so disconcerted by this change that they have declared they won’t be bothering with Nextdoor.

Actions and insights over breakfast

To the Savoy on Thursday for a breakfast briefing from consultancy The NextTen Years in conjunction with CX data wranglers SandSIV. Always good to spend time with fellow CX-obsessives and I took a lot away from the session to think about. My key take-aways were:

  • From NextTen’s Charles Bennett: CX will always be competing with other equally important initiatives, so it’s sometimes a difficult sell, despite the evidence (from a recent Forrester review) that companies with good CX scores have three times the average growth of the S&P500. The key is both to play to the ‘what’s in it for me’ drivers for key stakeholders and to generate actionable insights from the existing customer data.
  • From SandSIV’s CEO, Dr Federico Cesconi: data can pinpoint the areas that cause customer dissatisfaction enabling improvement action to be targeted effectively. Developments in natural language processing mean that it’s possible to get a lot more data to provide insight into the drivers of customer satisfaction
  • Focusing on what the customer is trying to achieve gets you to a better understanding of where to focus efforts on improving the customer experience, e.g. Ryanair have now realised that customers don’t just want to take a flight, they have additional needs that the company can also meet and as such they are beginning to shed their earlier reputation for mediocrity in customer service.

There will be more to say about much of the above in future posts.

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