Is Your Customer Experience Initiative Hurting Your Relationships?

You can lose more customers by not doing the right thing than by doing the wrong thing.

It is certainly true, the old adage of persevering until triumphing does not apply to managing customer relationships.  You never have a second chance to make a first impression.

Customers today are becoming more discerning and expect that your organization will both keep pace with innovation and new technologies and do it right the first time.  Demanding, but it is the reality of business today.  Deploying a not-fully-baked solution when interfacing with customers could hurt your business more than if you don’t do it.

Take for example Southwest Airlines.  Back in the old days they knew that they were not prepared to deal with emails adequately.  Even though their competitors were offering email as a contact option, they chose to plan it properly, deploy the right tools and train people, then deploy email.  As a result, their customer experience did not suffer, merely added a channel successfully.

Contrast that with another airline that tried to use Chat as a tool for customer interaction, but placed it in the wrong page in their web site and it resulted in several minutes delays to answer chats, under-utilization of other tools they had deployed, and even the loss of long-term customers – which were the intended recipients of the new tool.  Lack of planning resulted in loss of business and a tarnished customer experience reputation.

This applies to the “new” social media tools as well.  Putting your organization on twitter, or blogging, even creating a community without properly planning and integrating it into your overall customer experience will yield negative results – no matter what your intentions.  Anything you do to alter or improve customer relationships must be deeply embedded across all your channels and part of your customer experience.

Are you hurting your customers more by trying to help them? Is that your strategy?  Let me know your experiences…

5 Replies to “Is Your Customer Experience Initiative Hurting Your Relationships?”

  1. You’ve got me thinking about my on-line eperiences. I tried to use Comcast’s website and they just have too much information. There are too many different choices, and too many ways to get around. I couldn’t actually find what I wanted.

    There must be many of these websites that aren’t designed properly.


  2. I feel like this is the story of my life. I understand at a high level how it’s difficult for a company to change it’s entire culture and become better at listening and engaging with customers. However, when you really think about it, how hard is it really to be honest and actually engage with your customers? The fact that companies STILL cannot manage to have a good email program is astounding! We’ve moved on to new tools (Twitter, Facebook, blogging), and yet, they cant even get their act together and just offer good email support.

    I recently had an experience(well, it’s still going actually) with a retailer who has great phone support, but I choose to email them to get my order issue resolved – BIG MISTAKE! The have now sent me the same form letter/email four times! If they simply didn’t offer email support, my opinion of the retailer wouldn’t be suffering, and I would have had a much better order experience. I might have to think twice about placing another online order with them.


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