Magazine article CRM Magazine

Fix What Works: The Ever-Evolving Journey toward Exceptional Customer Experience

Magazine article CRM Magazine

Fix What Works: The Ever-Evolving Journey toward Exceptional Customer Experience

Article excerpt

MUCH HAS BEEN WRITTEN about the importance of companies understanding and addressing customer needs. The majority of the efforts we have witnessed focused on identifying areas of dissatisfaction, planning to address those problems, and resolving them.

As the new period of strategic planning is drawing near, I would like to propose a new perspective: Fix what works, not what's broken. Focus your strategic planning on the areas customers are most satisfied with--and improve them. No--do not merely improve: Redesign. Move those elements from consistent to exceptional.

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Why bother, if customers are already satisfied with those aspects of their experience? Shouldn't we work instead on the areas that dissatisfy them? Well, consider that every organization has a core competency, an innate ability to produce an experience that makes customers keep coming back. Customers appreciate this experience and reward it with repeat business and loyalty. And yet every organization also has areas of weakness. Each organization seems to perform well in certain areas--let's call these experience delighters--and fail in others--experience disappointers. Customers keep purchasing from a company because of the experience delighters--and despite experience disappointers. To put it another way: Your customers are willing to endure the disappointers if you provide great experience delighters.

Those experience delighters are your core competency--and they have to stay competitive and cutting-edge. These are the reasons your customers keep coming back. They expect you to excel in those elements. Therefore, your top priority is to make sure your experience delighters remain top-notch and continue to define your industry.

That doesn't give you license to ignore your experience disappointers. In a perfect world you would excel in them as well. …

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