Great Customer Experience Should Not be a Public Relations Ploy

Though it is for many companies…

This week Jack Cummings shared with us:

“I recently had the unhappy experience of calling ATT internet support 8-9 times over a couple of months trying to get my ATT DSL fixed. Unfailingly each different, and they were always different, person to whom I spoke was polite and somewhere during the call said some version of “what can I do to make this a great customer experience for you?” However, they all failed to fix the problem. I ultimately switched to Charter Cable.”

Jack went to share “I think the greatest customer experience is providing good service at a reasonable price, and not public relations ploys. I hope Mr. Tyne is writing about this too.”

When Jeof and I were working on The Customer Experience Revolution, we interviewed Gary Tucker, Senior Vice President of Global Services and Emerging Industries at J.D. Power and Associates. At the time of the interview, they were about to release a whitepaper about customer experience. Their main findings were people will pay more for a better customer experience. But more importantly, and to Mr. Cummings’ point, they learned that companies generally fall into one of three categories:

  1. Companies that really understand the customer experience, and recognize its value as a competitive advantage.
  2. Companies that pay lip service to the overall customer experience. They understand the concept, but aren’t fully committed to it.
  3. Companies that just don’t believe customer experience matters. They don’t think that customer experience is a place to differentiate. Such companies tend to be in more commodity-driven businesses.

What was astonishing to Jeof and I – and what Mr. Cummings experienced first hand – was that there are only a few companies that really understand how to determine, develop and deliver a great customer experience… a handful that pay lip services – like Mr. Cummings experience… and the vast majority that just don’t get it.

I truly believe that this will work itself out… that in the experience economy that we live in today, the Experience Makers will rise to the top and continue to change markets and peoples lives for the better.