Stop Asking: Investing In Customer Experience IS Worth It

Filed in Customer Experience, Customer Service, CX Beat by on September 14, 2017 0 Comments
Customer Service Articles

This week, our CX Beat rounds up some interesting customer service articles all focusing on how different industries are experimenting with customer experience investment and how important that investment is in order to remain competitive in today’s challenging business landscape. From one company that is investing in the latest technology to test customer experience, to an industry that should be prioritizing customer experience and frankly isn’t, these articles provide a good look at the state of customer experience today. Ultimately, it is time to stop asking if investing in customer experience will pay off in the long run, as these articles all prove that it can sometimes be the greatest and most important investment that any business can make.

 

Domino’s® and Ford Begin Customer Research of Pizza Delivery Using Self-Driving Vehicles

This article provided a look at automation and self-driving cars in relation to business instead of the typical consumer experience aspect that has dominated discussion as of late. With Tesla and other companies investing in this new technology, there is no telling the impact it will have on businesses that rely on cars as a vital aspect of their delivery procedure.

Matt’s thoughts: While most of the discussion around self-driving cars has been centered on safety and the individual consumer’s experience on the road, I thought it was nice to hear the topic covered from a different perspective because it forced me to think about the impact this technology could have in different industries like food delivery. Domino’s considers themselves a leader in delivery technology, and their customer experience investment a few years ago by letting people view the status of their order in real time online (with as much detail as learning the name of who is making your pizza) has certainly paid off as the brand is now known for this feature. While other car companies have invested heavily in this technology on the consumer side, I thought it was a nice change of pace to see Ford, one of the largest auto manufacturers in the world, committing to customer experience investment for both consumers and businesses that they partner with. The CEO of Domino’s argues that the hardest part of this automated delivery process where they have the most to learn is the final 50 feet where customers would be coming out to the self-driven car to receive their food. I completely agree with the Domino’s CEO that the physical retrieval of the food by the customer is going to be the most important aspect of this entire exchange because that is where the customer will gain a lasting impression which could be either good or bad depending on the level of service they experience. If all goes well, the customer could fall in love with automated delivery and count on Domino’s any time they have a craving for pizza. Whether this works out or not, other companies in the delivery business will be smart to pay attention to the outcome as they will either need to adopt this technology to remain relevant, or learn from the mistakes that Domino’s makes in order to get their automation done right.

Dawn’s thoughts:  I think it is great when people and companies collaborate for any purpose, especially one that will ultimate improve the customer experience. The development of self-driving cars presents an interesting opportunity for many companies and I’m not surprised that Domino’s is stepping up earlier than others to be at the forefront of this technology movement.  Although the customer experience investment is substantial, ultimately it could pay off in efficiencies and making the delivery process a more effortless experience. The research during this experiment will also be interesting: if people order in because of the convenience of not having to leave their home, will they stand for actually have to walk outside to get their food?  Are we missing out on the human connection by completely automating (no pun intended) the ordering and then delivery experience? Will consumers have to pay more for delivery? These are many questions we’ll see answered as the testing commences. The piece of the article I found most interesting is that Patrick Doyle, Domino’s President and CEO, referred to them as “delivery experts” and that didn’t necessarily come to mind for me when thinking of Domino’s, but he’s absolutely right. All companies should be thinking of themselves beyond simply their product or service in order to optimize the customer experience.

 

Medical Practices Failing in Customer Service by Dylan Fisher

In this article, Dylan Fisher reveals shocking statistics about the customer service mindset that is severely lacking from many medical practices across the healthcare industry. In arguably, one of the most important industries for staff to have a customer-centric mindset, data and polling are showing that many consumers agree: improvements must be made.

Matt’s thoughts: I think everyone can relate to this article, because we have all had that experience where we leave the doctor’s office thinking one of two things: “Wow, that was great I should really recommend this doctor to anyone who is looking,” or “I waited two months for an appointment and that’s how they treated me?” It would almost seem to me that office staff in some doctor’s offices are too comfortable and gain the mindset that patients will continue coming to the doctor no matter what their experience is, because if they are sick that’s the place to go and changing doctors can often times be a hassle. However, there are many simple customer experience investments that can be made in offices that would drastically improve the level of service and the overall patient experience. I think the biggest thing that plagues many medical practices is the mindset that customer service is everyone’s job. However, this mindset is detrimental to the customer’s experience overall. If a commitment to customers is everyone’s job, then it ends up being nobody’s job. By simply delegating customer experience monitoring to one person in the office, medical practices would be able to more closely read and then take steps to improve the patient’s experience. I think the first step to improving patient experience is dedicating one person in the office to check in with patients and ensure they have a good visit each time they come to the office, and if not, find out what the office could be doing differently to change that.

Dawn’s thoughts:  If you ever go to a doctor’s office you always see signs about their commitment to the patient experience and that they want to hear what you think. However, sometimes the office staff can appear too busy or over-worked to even care. In this article, Fisher shares with us some polling data of medical practices that indicate the same thing: staff members need training in customer service. Since the poll was of medical practices versus actual patients, it begs the question: if you see customer service is lacking, why not make it a priority? The article makes the point that customer service needs to be a state of mind and not a department. The customer service mindset applies to everyone:  the physicians and the office staff. Implementing some type of training, goals and measurement is a customer experience investment that has a real ROI. At the end of the day, no matter what business you’re in, if you don’t treat people well, they won’t return.

 

Why Investing in Customer Experience is Essential to Brand Survival by Shawn Lim

This article provides a specific case study that focused on how brands in Asia are committing to customer experience in different ways. However, the message is clear and can be applied to businesses across the globe. Without customers, businesses will not survive and this article drives that point home.

Matt’s thoughts: While this article bases its argument on research conducted in Asian-Pacific markets, the message remains clear and can easily be applied to any market in the world. Without customers, businesses will not be able to survive which is why it is essential for them to consistently monitor and interact with customers in order to improve their experience and keep them happy and returning. Despite the fact that this point seems obvious to me, I am constantly surprised by the lack of customer experience investment by major companies and the fact that customer service is often times prioritized below other items in order to lower operating costs and increase profits. One major takeaway from this article is that in order for any business to guarantee a consistent and positive customer experience, all customer-facing departments need to be working together and operate from the same mentality. If customers are being shifted around from one department to another, and experiencing an entirely different approach each time, they are not going to have a consistent and positive experience. In order to remain competitive in this ever-changing market, it is essential for businesses to value their customers and in order to do that they need to get every team on board with the same goal in mind: delivering exceptional customer experiences that make people want to return.

Dawn’s thoughts:  Although this article is based on research not-specific to the US, the findings and messaging can be applied globally. Customer experience investment, like technology and training, is essential for any business that wants to stay afloat. In the other two articles, we see examples of the investments companies are in the process of evaluating or need to evaluate. This article ties it all together and demonstrates how essential the customer experience is. The point in the article that resonated most with me was that “becoming a customer experience-led organization, is critical to long-term survival.” But more than that, companies need to act quickly. You can have a customer experience mindset, but if you spend all your money strategizing instead of implementing, you’re still going nowhere.

 

Well, there you have it folks. Another CX Beat in the books, and you’ve gained some insight this time on why investing in customer experience should be a priority for any business no matter how big or small. When it comes down to it, no business would be able to survive without customers so above all else, customers should be at the forefront of almost all discussions being held by decision makers. Do you have any suggestions or thoughts on this topic? Reach out to us on Twitter or Facebook to share them, or simply comment below and get a conversation started. We love hearing from our readers!

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CX Beat is brought to you by Matt Searfoss and Dawn Kirspel of The Center For Client Retention.  They have scoured the web tirelessly for relevant articles and otter videos to share with you.  Care to join the conversation?

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