This is the second post about Jeanne Bliss’s book, “I Love You More Than My Dog.” As I read it over the holidays, I became intrigued with the idea that its in the decisions that companies make that determine what their customer’s experiences will be. As Jeanne puts it, ” Your company’s key decisions expose their true purpose, who you are and what you value.”
What’s important about that? Well customers today want to feel that you care about them. That you value their participation in your business. Customer’s evaluate whether you “care” about them from each and every action and interaction they have with you. They evaluate your company based on the interactions with customer service agents, with your website, with the IVR, with your email responses. They evaluate your company based on the experiences they have with those touchpoints.
And unfortunately most companies, when they deployed these technologies their values were focused on the company’s efficiencies. They were not thinking or even in most cases, considering how the technology deployment would affect their customer’s experiences. To them, that either wasn’t part of the decision process or it sounded too much like “motherhood and touchy-feely stuff” to even consider.
What’s happened is that those decisions, 20 years ago, to deploy technology to make the company more efficient has created a backlash from customers. After 20 years of very poor customer experiences, customer are mad as hell, and they are not going to take it anymore. What we see today is a reaction to the decisions made years ago.
Flash forward and what do we see? The backlash comes at a time when the evolution of the Internet is in its second phase, Web 2.0. Where customers don’t just tell 10 or 20 people when they are upset, they tell millions via a giant megaphone called social media.
Examples? Dell Hell, United Broke My Guitar and Comcast’s Sleeping Technician videos on youtube.com
If you haven’t seen the videos, here’s some links:
United Breaks Guitars: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YGc4zOqozo
Comcast’s Sleeping Technician: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=viw2TVBygBg
So what does this mean to you and your company?
Here’s the five decisions in: I Love You More Than My Dog:
1. Decide to believe
2. Decide with clarity of purpose
3. Decide to be real
4. Decide to be there
5. Decide to say sorry.
The decision is yours.