”Living backwards!” Alice repeated in great astonishment.
“I never heard of such a thing”.
“-But there’s great advantage in it” the queen said kindly, “in that one’s memory works both ways”.
- Through the looking glass
Remember the time when you started your current role…the issues and opportunities were manifest and you could see multiple obvious opportunities to take steps to improve customer experience and a range of other people and business improvement dimensions. Your quest for knowledge and understanding was prodigious and you expeditiously transitioned to planning the steps to change the way things are done around here. What we forget though, is the new incumbent in the role we just left probably has similar clarity of insight. So what happens to those ‘amateur eyes’ that allow us to see the world through a customers’ lens?
The answer lies somewhere in the reality of us getting “busy being busy” across a multiplicity of different challenges and issues each with varying degrees of urgency and importance. We still find time to do the right things, with the right intent and immerse ourselves in the lives of our customers and teams. Execute our plans and to differing degrees change, improve and transform the ecosystem around us. Whether we like it or not though, the clarity of our sight dims and we become inured to and in many cases protective of the new status quo we are responsible for.
Having provided an external perspective for a range of clients recently, what’s surprising is the consistency of a number of themes we observed and heard, that are the unintended consequences of myopia in our environment.
“I thought we did”! – Despite our best efforts things, sometimes don’t happen in the way we expect or desire on the front line. And although we stay connected by establishing different quality monitoring and listening systems, what we think is happening, often isn’t.
What’s important – Our management systems are finely tuned to deliver pre-defined outcomes. Though the conversation framework our teams employ is often more a function of the compliance we impose or the rewards available for certain actions than customer needs.
Right first time – Resolving the customers’ reason for contact is a key driver of satisfaction. However our metrics may not cover the entirety of this experience as customers who can’t complete their transaction online need to call or contact in my patch is resolved first time, but duplicate processes or additional costs are passed to other areas.
Customer journey – Whether we like it or not when we walk in a customer’s shoes their style and size of footwear is different to the ones we wear when we are the provider of the service. We often assume the incorrect driver or miss an unexpressed need.
Unlike Alice as she ponders what the world is like from the other side of the mirror, there’s no magic alternative world to step into. Restoring our visual acuity is dependent on the extent to which we are able to recreate that independent and objective view, unencumbered by internal preferences, priorities and sometimes beliefs.
Our approach at the customer experience coach to this is to conduct a systemic review of hundreds of customer conversations, to build a deep data set to allow for the analysis of the flow, frequency and velocity of transactions across different customer segments and products, to identify strengths and opportunities. This translates to clear measureable and outcome focused actions designed to attend to the areas that deliver the greatest benefit, with a longitudinal customer view and assist in optimising how management systems and departments work together to deliver value. Using this methodology to change the game we have:-