This happened less than two weeks ago.
Excerpt: The mom was asked leave her breast milk off the plane. Delta later realized the mistake and offered her $25! Later they saw the barrage of comments, and raised their offer to $150!!!
Let me decipher this from Customer Service viewpoint: The mom was looking for some help, and what Delta responded with was a marketing offer.
Here is another example of a similar storyline (very funny – I highly recommend you watch this):
This YouTube clip has costed United ~$40 million!
Despite millions spent on providing the “best customer experience (CX)” – why would Deltas and Uniteds of the world make such mistakes? One simple answer – they depended on the definition of Customer Experience (CX) that was sold to them!
I’ve mentioned this before – CX is not simply bringing your ecosystems together. It is about reaching out to customers – where they are! Enhanced Customer Experience is “reaching out to customers where they are, giving them what they need – when they need it.”
If this means automating ecosystem, then great! Do it. At the end of the day – have you resolved your customers’ pain? And that is what matters. Good customer experience strives to help customers, and not throw marketing offers at them. Ask Zappos, or USAA about it and they’ll tell you all.
Lets talk about Customer Service, and how CX has changed it.
Think 2001 – you’re in the market for a dishwasher. You shop at Sears, Home Depot, local appliance stores – make your decision and buy one.
Fast forward to 2010 – you’re again buying a dishwasher for your new home. You’re now reading consumer report and making your decision.
Fast forward to 2015 – you’re in the market for a dishwasher again for your vacation home. You pull out your iPad, look at consumer reports. Your facebook page shows you dishwasher offers, the CNN page, your mashable blog.. name the site you go to, and you see a small offer on the side for dishwashers.. You decide on two brands, and then go to Amazon, and compare the two you shortlisted.
Now comes the interesting part. First thing you do on Amazon, is to read reviews. Based on the reviews – you make your buying decision.
I’ve asked a number of people this question – “what kind of reviews do you read first – positive, or negative – when you’re trying to select a product?”
Nine out of ten have said they look for negative reviews. Why? They’re looking for the “experience” others have had with the product. This does not mean the “problems” people have had – but the post-sale experience that includes using the product itself.
Come back to what you just did. You read the reviews, the consumer report, etc.. You’re not looking for “feel good features” (you know them when you shortlisted the product), or problems specifically – but what you’re looking for is what others thought of this product when they bought it (not when they had problems with it). What just happened is that the post-sale experience influenced your buying decision.
This is where the definition of Customer Service changes. It was limited to “Customer Support” in the past. The “sharing”, the knowledge availability, the new channels, and proliferation of mobile/sharing technology has changed it. Customer Experience when it comes to support is not mere “supporting and solving” customer problems. The CX starts when customers walks out of the store with the product in hand!!
What does this mean for enterprises? This means that you’ve to know where your customer is, and be able to reach the customer when there is a need. Do that effectively, and you’ll make your customers happy. At the end of the day – what everyone needs is a friend who can listen to them, hear them out when there is a need. Solving comes later. If you make it difficult for customers to reach you – all your efforts and $$$$ spent on “elevating CX” are down the drain.
Ask United – they know it better than anyone.