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We’ll come to you.

It’s not a secret that customer service has become more and more self-service. In certain situations that is quite alright. If we are in the service of each other within a community, for example. It is counter-intuitive, yet we tend to be more helpful to others when the mechanisms of reciprocity are engaged.

Companies that are listening and participating can and will be welcome into those communities. Leigh-Duncan Durst wrote a thoughtful post on Forrester’s Customer Experience Index for 2008. Understanding what a company delivers in customer service today is a starting point.

Many companies however, are too aware of what needs to be fixed to bridge the gap. It’s not that easy to align business groups to make the 360 experience happen. Many services are also becoming more complex to deliver and customers are learning more about what they want through personal connections and research.

The experience frankly would start with alignment between business strategy, go-to-market and service delivery. Is what happens on the outside and near the customer more important tan what happens inside a company? There needs to be balance between the two.

If I were to design a 360 customer experience, I would work to align what is said, with what is meant by it towards what is acted upon. The integration would happen by following some simple steps:

* Listening to what is going on - we do a lot of that today, for example with the Net Promoter Score.

* Sensing and engaging with customers on communities or forums begins to shift the company to participating within peer networks.

* Acting upon many of the suggestions and comments will bring the learnings from the community inside the organization and the dialogue with colleagues back outside into the community.

For 360 to work, everyone needs to take into consideration the feedback received and given at any point in time. After all, value propositions are situational, too.

Valeria Maltoni | Conversation Agent