3 Reasons Why 'Customer Experience' Often Doesn't Cut It

I have a problem with 'Customer Experience' or CX. I think the idea has some merit, but Customer Experience alone has some flaws which start to erode your goals for providing the level of service the customer wants.


It puts the focus in the wrong places


Let's start here, Customer Experience puts the focus on what the customer 'experiences'. This comes directly from 'User Experience' which is a helpful way to think about how people use your products especially in the software realm. 'User Experience' is also great to keep at the forefront for web design to understand what people do when they visit your site. So why wouldn't we want to know about the customer experience? I'm not against knowing, but it goes wrong quickly because it doesn't address your active responsibilities to the customer. This environmental and somewhat ephemeral way of putting things leaves out what the customer needs and wants. While an experience could be something a customer wants, I would say that most of the time a customer wants service to get what they need. I don't care what hold music you choose if no-one is answering your phones. I can appreciate your decor, but would love it more if your staff had more expertise and can give valid advice in what they are selling or fixing.


It gives your reps/customer service agents the wrong idea


This focus on 'experience' can muddy what your representatives need to achieve with the customer. I like coffee or tea being offered, but I really like products I need delivered with expertise in a reasonable amount of time. I would much rather more and better service than cups of tea. If you actually want to exceed my expectations... start with meeting my expectations. Many businesses go wrong here and emphasize 'exceeding the customer's expectations' when the basics aren't being met. Until my needs are being met I can guarantee my experience isn't going to be great. Service is what I need from your people, helpful actions.


It paves the way for one size fits all excuses and automation


If there is one thing 'Customer Experience' really leaves at the doorstep, it is that all of your customers are different. It doesn't matter if your surveys say that people enjoyed their experience if their needs weren't met. You need to get at what is important to the individual customer and the experience will follow. Some customers are in a hurry, some need explanations, some need to reassurance and warranties, some need to get to know you. On top of that, they have a thing they need to purchase, fix, find, or understand. There are programmers out there who know they can automate some of your services and they will make millions... but you will lose out as customers will always rather be understood on a far more fundamental level than any bot can achieve. Leave out the warmth aspect of professionalism and warmth at your peril.


Service is a powerful thing. Good service is more than powerful, it creates loyalty and respect. Experiences can be nice, but good service is rare and memorable to your customers... don't let it slide to be replaced by the latest buzzword.




-Mark Dawson


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