Customer experience is becoming increasingly important to corporate IT departments and the people they serve. For those who provide workplace IT, customer, or end-user, experiences need to improve in order to match consumer-world equivalents. Failing to do so only increases the potential for employee discontent with corporate IT services and support.
The terms “customer experience” and “customer satisfaction” are often used interchangeably, but they are not quite the same thing:
Feedback solicited and collected at the point of experience has more weight because it’s closest to the situation the customer recalls, both in context and timing. And a delay in collecting feedback is one of the biggest mistakes when surveying for satisfaction, along with asking too general a question, asking about multiple encounters, or covering too long a period.
In (better) understanding customer experience, it’s important to understand something called “moments of truth” (MOTs). I’ll get to that soon.
The lifecycle of an experience can be viewed from the customer or the provider perspective.
The customer perspective typically has three major stages: before, during, and after consumption or use of a product or service. The provider perspective is more of a marketing view and can span reach, engage, convert, serve, retain, reference, and grow.
Both perspectives offer important insights into where the customer experience happens, and can be influenced to translate satisfied customers into loyal ones who return time and time again, as well as those who become advocates and promoters.
There’s no shortage of points within an encounter where a measurement can be placed. But, if you want to take stock of the customer experience you are providing, then you should focus on those MOTs I mentioned above.
There are six traditional MOTs, and you’ll likely recognize some:
Hopefully, you’ve been welcomed into establishments such as restaurants, bars, or hotels, for example, after first calling to reserve a table or a room (“first contact”). That welcome was a “greet” MOT. Similarly, you’ve likely been checked upon during your stay (“use”), and thanked when leaving (“exit”). You may have even been called by the sales representative who sold or serviced your car (“last contact”), which may have also been used to sell you on something else (“next contact” or upsell/cross sell).
But have you ever stopped to think about what the MOTs for internal IT service delivery and support are? And how well your IT department fares?
Below are five key tips on how best to blend these customer experience concepts into an existing IT service management (ITSM) initiative or ecosystem:
Keeping in mind the limited scope within traditional ITSM courses and books – of their coverage of customer experience – an IT department can certainly learn a lot from how B2C organizations, such as hotels, for example, respect and manage the customer experience. But remember, the customer experience is just one of the things that customers will value – alongside a successful outcome and cost.
Ultimately, every day, each one of us, at home and at work, has many service encounters, with the associated customer experiences – some of which shape expectations, influence our perception of the value of a relationship, and inform our decisions regarding loyalty and advocacy. And, importantly, this now applies more and more to internal service providers such as IT.