In my previous post talking about 'Measure' I introduced you to a company called Clickfox (www.clickfox.com) The more I speak with them the more I realize how far the 'Customer Experience' can be taken. She shared with me how a client of theirs was using ClickFox in the typical way by charting the paths of a single client across multiple interaction channels. She was working with a telecom company and explained how they followed a large number of customers who first started on the web site looking up orders and then called in to ask about orders and identified the large amount of time helping these customers. It seemed like an odd pattern so they started digging in deeper. They started looking at keywords that were used on-line, in the IVR and within the customer management system and found that all of these customers were following up on service technicians that were dispatched to their homes because they had missed their appointments. This led the client to have the logs from their dispatch system included as one of the channels that ClickFox was monitoring as well to show how many interaction events were from people with open service calls. Brilliant!
Many times a company will focus only on the customer service side of the business and monitor patterns there and not find any 'silver bullets' to help reduce the calls, increase customer satisfaction and get customers promoting the company. What the example above showed to me is that while companies have customer care departments, they exist because of the services and offerings of the rest of the company. Many customer care departments create their KPI's for only those items that they can control while sometimes ignoring that the volume of calls and the main driving reason for the customer call is NOT in their control.
The Customer Experience is more than just how the support, service or customer care department deals with the customer. It is ANY TOUCHPOINT that a customer has with the entire organization and all of them should be considered. If you look at the lifecycle of a customer this includes all of the activities in targeting customers, procuring customers, signing up customers, helping them when issues arise and proactively reaching out to them with new service offerings, renewals and other information (that they are interested in). When evaluating the customer experience, you have to look across the entire enterprise and see how customer interactions outside of customer care are creating/avoiding larger volume in the contact center.
A recent Gartner study indicated that it is rare that the entire Customer Experience is actually planned. It happens more by accident as companies figure out how to work with their customers (usually in silos... Sales is focused on procurement, operations is focused on fulfillment, customer care is focused on support). It is rare that someone thinks across all of the touch-points and plans out the experience from beginning to end and says 'This is good'. Perhaps it's worth looking at.