I just read an article in the September 2013 Harvard Business Review titled, “The Truth About Customer Experience” by Alex Rawson, Ewan Duncan, and Conor Jones. This article really made me think about traditional customer experience surveys and how the results are often used. The idea behind the article is that individual experience areas do of course contribute to customer perceptions of Satisfaction – but the picture may be distorted; suggesting that customers are happier than they actually are. The article promotes the idea of evaluating the entire customer journey, not just the individual areas. If you are involved in customer listening, I highly recommend you take a few moments to read this article.
For me, the key takeaway was the authors’ discussion on what to do with the journey experience results. The word that caught my attention most was “helicopter”: “Once a company has identified its priority journeys and gained an understanding of the problems within them, leaders must avoid the temptation to helicopter in and dictate remedies . . .” Ha! I think this struck a chord because I have been accused of being a helicopter parent. I liked the idea it could apply to business managers as well.
The authors continue to suggest that even if the solution seems obvious from the outside that the cause of the poor customer experience stems from the inside and often from cross-functional disconnects. The recommendation is to get the various departments together and utilize cross functional teams to see the problems for themselves and also design solutions collectively. I think this is a great idea and worth a try – maybe it is the “handoffs” between the various experience areas that are problematic. Maybe from a customer experience evaluation standpoint, we should look at evaluating various “journey” impacts on overall customer experience as well as the individual areas.