See Your Customer. Be Your Customer.

I hear a lot about the “Customer Experience” and how businesses are trying to improve and enhance the customer experience using various technologies, changing practices, and in general, trying to utilize every tool available to ensure high customer satisfaction levels and retention. The one thing I think is missing from many of these initiatives, is the customer.

Companies think they know their customers using a variety of data points, and profiles, but have they actually watched their customers interact with these tools they are implementing? Here is a test for you. Take someone in your organization not associated with your projects – a VP perhaps – and watch how they interact with what you think is a improvement to the customer experience. Let them, and I encourage you to do the same, be your customer.

Look at your world from the customers’ eyes. Is the interface user friendly? Is it really mobile friendly or just accessible using a mobile device? When you call in to talk with someone, how many steps does it take to actually reach a person, and how much time have you wasted trying to reach that person? Does your customer actually have digital access to interact with you? There are many folks who do not have internet access or even devices to digitally interact with your business, as we are witnessing with the problems in education and online learning. How do you address their needs or do you even care?

In My View

In order to improve and enhance the customer experience, you have to be a customer yourself. Designing, developing, and implementing technology with an ivory tower view, will not work well and may even backfire on you.

Take time to be a customer and look at your business from various angles that include both having and not having access to the internet. Try calling in to your sales and service departments to learn and understand what your customer experiences. This same approach can be used for the finance department and every department that interacts with internal and/or external customers.

If you want to provide a great customer experience the best approach is to see your customer in action, and be your customer to experience what they experience. The results may surprise you.

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