Dentist, car mechanic or customer service agent?

Mouth checkupRod Butcher at Rod’s Round Up tells about a great quote he heard at a conference when a speaker said that “we’ve moved from a world where companies had better technology than their customers, to one where the consumer has the better technology at their fingertips, than the companies we do business with, many of whom are hampered by old, complex, and multiple systems”.

Now, that’s just one element of a shift in power towards the consumer – but there are more. There are so many technology and internet savvy consumers who are sharing their observations and experiences of great (and shocking) customer experience that they are becoming rapidly more expert in the field. They know what great customer experiences should be like – and they know when they receive a bad one. And they expect it to be resolved or they are more than willing to share it with their networks. They may sometimes be more worldly in their knowledge of experiences than the service staff who are trying to assist them.

Imagine going to your dentist having done a course in dentistry or going to a mechanic with a deep knowledge of car engines (a mechanics worst nightmare). Now, maybe this would lift the dentist’s or mechanic’s game, but we generally have trust in their skills – or we’d go elsewhere.

It’s getting to be tricky for customer services as people are becoming ever more expert in their field when something goes wrong. But that’s technology advancement and life getting better – not something to complain about. Where we can assist customer services of course is by eliminating the poor experiences from the initial customer interaction – the first interaction that required the subsequent call to customer services.

So it isn’t just the technology that our customers have that is more advanced than the company trying to service them – it’s their knowledge of a broad set of customer experiences. Customers are rapidly becoming customer experience experts.

As a business, if you think the cost of providing customer services to remedy bad experiences is costly now, just wait. It’s getting more difficult and rapidly more expensive to support poor customer experiences. If you don’t get it right now your head of customer services will wish they’d become a dentist or a car mechanic instead!

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