Tuesday, November 3, 2009
NACCM 2009: Managing the Customer Service Experience
Two companies, Disney and Howard Johnsons, have influenced his thinking about the customer experience. In working with Disney, he found that their management was concerned more about the customer experience, i.e., concerns over the melting rate of ice cream in their different theme parks, the scent of chocolate chip cookies to enhance the experience, down to the design of Main Street in a way that visitors perceived a long entrance that went on forever and perceived a quick exit after a long day at the park. Compare this to Howard Johnson’s model which lost its customer focus over the years.
According to Carbone, the economy has affected how we look at customer service today. One way a business can differentiate itself is through the service experience. Companies must move from a “make and sell” product-based mentality to a “sense and respond” experience-based mentality. The “sense and respond” mentality focuses on what our customers really want from the service experience and examines the impact of cultural influences and psychological needs. When we factor these into the service experience, we can significantly improve customer loyalty and retention.
An experience audit can help us compare a current customer service experience with a desired customer experience. We can audit our current customer experience with a variety of tools including, language analysis, clue scanning, one-on-one customer interviews, etc. Clue scanning, for example, allows us to look for clues in a service experience that can be improved to better meet the needs and desires of the customer. By using these tools we can close the gap between the current and desired customer experience.