Three Myths About Customer Experience Exposed

Customer Engagement Magazine publisher Ray Stendall, interviewed Mike Wittenstein for their debut issue in February. Current ideas surrounding Customer Experience were explored and discussed, including some popular myths floating around today that businesses are following in an effort to improve the experience for their customers and gain brand loyalty.

Mike tackled three popular myths from a leadership or manager’s perspective and from a front-line perspective.

CEM deep dive

Myth number one: Focusing on the numbers is the best way to better Customer Experiences.

Numbers are important in understanding behavior of your customers, especially when you are talking about thousands or hundreds of thousands of customers. But the numbers alone don’t make your experience better. For instance, a restaurant that has a 99% score for cleanliness may not perform well in areas of service or atmosphere or physical design. The customer experience is holistic, a combined feeling of everything all together. The customer cares about how the business makes them feel, the value that they received from engaging with the business.

Myth number two: If you build the “perfect” customer you can design the perfect experience.

Businesses trying to coordinate the Customer Experience across many silos often think that building the perfect customer and lining up the efforts of each silo to that “perfect customer” will work. The problem with this scenario is that people are complex. With any luck, you may get it right for one out of several thousand people because each customer comes with their own expectations and past experiences.

The best solution here is getting the right design. The right design takes into account the needs of the individual customer and the employees. The design also needs to account for back-of-house efforts that will enable your employees to deliver a great experience. Great design (and a few other variables like hiring the right people and providing good training) will give your employees more decision making authority and flexibility which allows them to serve your customers better.

Myth number three: Creating and marking off a checklist of to-do’s is the way to great customer experiences.

Customer Experience is a way of working, a perspective and an ongoing process. It is not something that you can do to your business, employees or customers and then let it roll. The businesses that make continuous little improvements see the most dramatic results.

All three myths may have a bit of truth in them. Numbers, personas and checklists play a part in being able to deliver great Customer Experiences but without the right Customer Experience Design element they fall far short of excellence. Excellence is when your customers are delighted, your employees are engaged, and your shareholders benefit.

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About the Author

During 25 years in 25 countries with 400+ companies, Mike and his clients have co-created over $1.5 billion in measurable impact with his guidance on their experience and business designs . Under the Storyminers brand, he helps retailers design and deploy Store-of-the-Future initiatives that create new business opportunities and rekindle investor interest. Mike is a top 25 customer experience influencer (as ranked by SAP and MindTouch), a global speaker, and founding member of Global CX Panel and the CXPA.