Customer Service: Just One Piece of the Customer Experience
Imagine for a moment that you are dining in a restaurant. The food is excellent and the prices reflect a good value. But the waiter didn’t tell you about the specials and the guy sitting next to you is eating the succulent baked haddock you wish you had ordered.
What a way to ruin an otherwise superior culinary experience!
As consumers we often equate customer service with customer experience. The terms are used interchangeably because many times customer service interactions are the most tangible piece of the customer experience puzzle. For example, when your cable isn’t working, you call the customer service 800 number on the back of your bill, wade through a phone tree, and attempt to get your problem resolved or change your service agreement.
But there are an infinite number of interactions that contribute to the customer experience and fall outside of the traditional customer service world. Consider these touch points in a typical B2B customer lifecycle:
- Product/Service Selection: do you have the right balance of products and services to allow customers to map their own journey to meet their unique business requirements?
- Sales Cycle: is it easy for the customer to order the product or service? Are customers aware of other relevant offerings? Are promises made during this cycle kept during the ensuing engagement?
- Onboarding: do customers know how to get the most out of working with your company at the onset of the relationship and at renewal time?
- Information Sharing: do customers and prospects have regular opportunities to learn about new technology, capabilities, products, and services? Do customers understand your company’s strategy?
- Communities: are customers able to turn to their peers for advice, discussion or support?
- Education: do customers have the opportunity to build their in-house skill sets and expertise?
At EMC, we roll in all of the above and more to shape the Total Customer Experience. And our goal is to exceed expectations at each touch point in the customer journey. Delivering outstanding Customer Service is simply not enough for us.
But where was the server when you needed that guidance about which meal to order (i.e. sales guidance)? And did he make sure you knew which dipping sauce goes with each dish (i.e. onboarding)?
Missing one of those ingredients can derail an otherwise favorable experience.
What about you? Where are the improvement opportunities in your customer experience lifecycle?