Almost every business now recognises that providing great customer experiences is the key to brand differentiation and competitive advantage. In my working life I very rarely encounter an organisation that has not invested considerable time, thought and money into improving the customer experience. But as a consumer or service user the experience of feeling let down is all too common.
The other day I was travelling to the US and wanted to leave my car at the airport. A quick Google search found an online parking service. Great. I completed the online form and ticked another item off my To Do list. Fast forward to my arrival at the airport and I realised I’d not been sent any confirmation of my parking space. A few calls put the situation right, but I could hardly describe this as a perfect customer experience.
This experience illustrates one of the paradoxes of today’s connected world. I have access to everything at my fingertips but the disconnect between the online and physical worlds is becoming more and more pronounced. And as a consumer, I’m increasingly frustrated by poor experiences. And this illustrates a failure of joined-up thinking by CX leaders, or perhaps more accurately the organisations they serve.
The CX mismatch
My own experience it seems is not an isolated one. Two reports published in 2019 so far highlight a worrying trend.
The first, Forrester’s Predictions 2019 , confirmed that CX performance has been flat for three consecutive years. It reported that 89% of CX professionals do not believe the ROI of customer experience is established in their companies. And Forrester observed that “There is a strategic and structural mismatch between what CX needs to do and what CX is allowed to do or is capable of doing. 2019 will see that mismatch continue to play out.”
The second, the 2019 Customer Experience Benchmarking Report from Dimension Data, highlighted the gap between CX ambitions and capabilities. It revealed that for just under one third of respondents in its survey, customer experience is seen as relevant in some business functions only and there is no organisation-wide ownership of CX.
And this CX mismatch, I think is probably the biggest challenge CX leaders face.
Inside-out or Outside-in?
At West UC we are committed to not only articulating the problem, but to helping our customers address the challenges. And one of the biggest challenges is the lack of an organisation-wide approach to service design.
Essentially too many companies are taking an inside-out approach, when they should be taking an outside-in view of their operations. Instead of looking at the customer journey from the customer’s perspective, brands and organisations are expecting customers to work around their existing company’s structures, systems and processes. And, let’s face it, these are not typically designed with the customer in mind. This results in poor experiences, disjointed interactions, failed transactions, customer churn and ultimately financial losses.
It is time for CX leaders to embrace outside-in service design which the traditional model on its head by putting the customer perspective first. It’s all about focusing on the individuals who make up your customer base and intentionally designing the interactions that occur between these customers and your business. This inevitably will involve some organisational change.
Want to know more about customer-centric service design?
We’re hosting a series of Master Classes to help CX and contact centre professionals gain hands-on experience of outside-in service design. We are giving attendees the opportunity to find out how to deliver better customer experiences by:
- Making it easier, faster and more enjoyable for customers to deal with you.
- Looking at what your customers need and how this differs depending on where they are in the customer lifecycle
- Understanding how the customer experience ecosystem of your organisation impacts on customer journeys and influences their behaviour.
If you want to help your organisation bridge the gap between customer expectations and organisational ability to deliver on these, then I urge you to sign up for our Service Design & Customer Journey Mapping Master Class. Join like-minded peers for practical advice and hands-on experience so you can take the next step on your own customer experience journey.
About Martin Wyatt
Martin is an experienced and dynamic sales leader, with extensive knowledge of the UCaaS, CCaaS and CX Communications space, and an impressive track record of success for global technology companies. He joined InterCall in 2008 and steered the EMEA Enterprise Acquisitions team through a highly successful growth trajectory, until 2017 when Martin joined the senior leadership team, as part of the global transformation program when West was acquired by Apollo Management. His energy is legendary amongst his colleagues and his passion for success and "being a good human" drives loyalty from his team. In his spare time Martin enjoys playing squash and snowboarding and spending time with his wife and two kids. He is also a keen follower and collector of modern and contemporary art.