Opinions about branding by Dr. Dannielle Blumenthal

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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Lip Service to Customer Service

Just came across a fascinating article from MarketingProfs.com. It
highlights the striking contradiction that no matter how much Fortune
100/500 executives SAY they care about customers' experiences, they
don't actually back up those words with any meaningful action.
(http://www.mpdailyfix.com/cant-buy-customer-love-sxsw-reflections/)

Key findings:*

--82-85% of executives "agree that customer experience is the next
competitive battleground."

Yet strangely, they don't seem to do much to find out what the
customer wants in the first place--

--Only 29% meet with customers regularly themselves, presumably to get feedback.

--Only 17% dedicate someone to "improving customer experience across channels."

--Only 26% have an integrated system of measuring customer performance
so that it can be compared "across the organization."

Nor do they seem to make customer service a priority in the workplace:

--Only 24% think their employees know how to "delight" the customer
(odd wording - I would settle for "treat decently"). This is not
surprising when you consider that only 27% think their organization
defines clearly employee expectations for customer service.

--Only 29% think employees are empowered and equipped "to solve
customer problems."

Despite their apparent complacency, the executives polled seem to be a
very honest group--

--Fewer than half, "less than 44%[,] believe their companies deserve
customer loyalty."

--Similarly, "about 42% say their product/service is not worth the
price they charge."

While I look at these results with a grain of salt, because I don't
have the original research and can't tell who was really speaking,
they still seem to echo the stuff I read and hear from other sources.

Which begs the question:

If the private sector, which lives or dies based on the customer's
decision to purchase, doesn't care about the customer, then what does
that imply for government?

Further:

--Whether in business or government, is it true that nobody at the
highest levels really cares about the customer (didn't Henry Ford say,
"you can have any car you want as long as it's black")? External
customers and internal customers alike?

--Or do we care, but for some socio-psychological reason, have
difficulty coping with the need to focus on the emotional care-work
needed to "delight" the customer? So we do superficial things and call
them "responsiveness" and "customer interaction channels"? (lame
attempts at social media come to mind)

So odd considering that we are in the "customer service" economy...so
contradictory given the opposite experience, of being hounded by
customer service reps at retail stores lately and of seeing a waiter
be visibly humiliated when he got our order wrong on Sunday.

I am scratching my head wondering what's going on and trying to make
sense of all this, appreciate all insight.

---

*Note: The writer, customer experience consultant Leigh Duncan-Durst,
states that the statistics are "extrapolated" from research conducted
by Forrester Research, Strativity and Destination CRM.

All opinions my own. OK to repost with attribution.

Posted via email from Think Brand First