The Customer, Employee, Vendor, Job Candidate, Security Guard, Taxi Driver Experience

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The more my colleagues and I discuss “Customer Experience” the larger and broader the topic becomes. The “Customer Experience” really has to be the “Customer, Employee, Vendor, Job Candidate, Security Guard, Taxi Driver Experience.”

The big, big question becomes: What is the experience any person has when interacting with your company?

I’ve drawn this conclusion due to a number of personal anecdotes and media accounts of companies, who may have been focused on treating the customer well, but handled an interaction with another type of constituent inappropriately. Poorly handled transactions with others outside of your company such as vendors or job interview candidates can, publicly or privately, negatively impact your company and your customer’s image of you.

Take for example, a job candidate. You’re hiring a director level developer in your IT department. The hiring VP comes to the interview 30 minutes late and is distracted by her Blackberry. To top it off, HR never gets back to the candidate with even a polite “the position has been filled.” Thirty days later, that same developer was just hired by your largest prospect. Will this negatively impact your company? It could… or could not. But why take the chance? Your employees should treat any and all people with respect.

Or another example was shared with me by Rochelle Vergalito President, Creative Director at MakobyVergalito Advertising. By way of gentlemen’s agreement, Rochelle routinely created, and was paid for, design comps for a manufacturer. Unfortunately her contact at the company passed away. Rochelle verified with his replacement should she continue the work, and she was told yes. Afterwards, the company refused to pay her for her services because there was no formal agreement. Unfortunately for them, Rochelle had close connections within the industry and had ample opportunity to voice her opinion.

I find Rochelle’s example happens far too often, even occurring with myself a few times. Many companies are so focused on their customers that they fail to treat their vendor partners well. While the effects of this may not be readily apparent, for some it could become a public issue.

One example I have seen occur was a situation when vendors were routinely paid late. The vendors began to complain on an industry discussion board. Soon the company’s top client picked up on complaints and questioned if the company was experiencing financial difficulties. At least this customer asked. Think about the countless prospects who may have seen the same complaints and decided to not do business with the company.

For me, it all comes back to Bruce Temkins 6th Law of Customer Experience: You Can’t Fake It >>>. Bruce states, “You can fool some people for some of the time, but most people can eventually tell what’s real and what’s not.” With the rise of social media, your customers, your employees, your vendors, and yes, even the taxi driver, are far more connected than you could ever imagine. All it takes is a quick search on SocialMention.com and your dirty secrets are revealed.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Raelin Musuraca
Customer Experience Strategist, Musuraca LLC
Raelin Musuraca is versatile and energetic customer experience strategist with twenty years practicing marketing, digital strategy, and user experience. She has led multidisciplinary teams in the development of award-winning marketing and customer engagement programs.

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