Customer Experience Programmes Falling Through the Cracks


Customer Experience programmes are some of the most difficult for large corporations to manage, and many end up falling through the proverbial cracks.

I remember when I first heard the concept a few years ago, and applied it to my company newsletter, FirstCuts.

I found myself undertaking an out of body experience that was difficult. I had to imagine what it was like for a subscriber to go through all the touch-points that they would encounter, regardless of whether or not I had control over them or not.

Luckily, I subscribe to many newsletters, so I had a way of thinking about the service I was providing in terms of what I would have liked to see someone provide to me. It still was not easy, however, and resulted in my having a to create a tool to understand the different experiences that a customer could have at each touch-point (The Service Inventory.)

The problem is compounded tremendously in corporations.

Unfortunately, the touch-points that a customer experiences don’t all fall into one nice department called “customer experience”. In fact, most customers’ first touch-point has nothing to do with service in many cases. Instead, people’s first impression might be through the company’s advertising, a speech given by the CEO, what their cousin told them about the company, or the fact that they couldn’t find parking when they made their first visit.

These are all critical touch-points that help to create the emotional bundle of experiences that customers are left with at the end of the day.

What makes this all hard for companies, and for the heads of customer experience departments, is that they must somehow find a way to influence the entire company to provide a different set of touch-points for customers.

And this is why customer experience programmes often fail — companies either reduce them to mere customer service, or they fail to get the entire company to buy in on the importance of looking at all the touch-points, from the CEO on down.

It takes a total commitment to deal with all the touch-points that customers experience, and the truth is that customers don’t care which department is failing to give them the experience they want at the moment, all they know is that the company is bad.