We’ve all been there. That grudge payment we have to make. And on top of it, to make it, we need to go and stand in a queue that are usually extra long. Today was no different. I stopped at the traffic department to pay my license, saw the people queuing out the door and decided to come back a bit later (hoping that things would calm down a bit).
When I walked in half an hour later the queue was gone and there were only 3 people in front of me – amazing! A well dressed, friendly and competent looking lady came to me (in the line) to ask if she could check my paperwork and make a copy of my ID so long. And then it clicked – she was making this experience an experience of magic rather than misery. No more surprises when you get to the counter. She was streamlining the process and really just getting the basics right. Something so small had such a huge knock on effect.
In this I realised once again that the time spent on creating huge gourmet journey maps, looking at NPS scores and other ROI in the business world to create a business case for awesome customer experience is necessary, but in that, we are losing sight of what is right in front of us. We are blindsided by the fact that although people aspire to have great, beautiful experiences, they really just want to have businesses get the basics right. They really just want businesses to solve their problem(s) – and do this in a respectful manner.
I think most companies are great at planning journeys. They unpack beautiful customer experience journey maps. They look at NPS scores and Voice of the customer results. My question is, how many companies are really traveling – going ON the journey themselves and not just talking about it. How many companies are courageous enough to take the first step towards uncomfortableness. My fist boss always said – if you get comfortable get uncomfortable. How comfortable are you about the customer experience journey in your company?
As a customer experience professional I am always amazed (and sometimes a bit taken aback) by the revelations companies have once they start to look at the experience through the lens of the customer. To have some empathy for customers and not to be focused mainly on their own processes, procedures, technology, systems and products, usually leads to small changes that has big effects for the clients. I am not saying that systems and processes are not necessary, I am merely implying that the companies that can look at themselves critically through the lens of a customer will ultimately stay standing.
Get back to the basics. Make the experience seamless and that will already be a great experience – in South Africa it may even be seen as a surprise to most consumers. Only once the basics are right will you be able to innovate and create out of this world, never thought of experiences. But, until that day, focus on simplicity and ease for your customers. Stop talking about great CX and start doing great CX!