We demand lower taxes, but we don’t want long line ups when we go to renew our passport or driver’s license.
We don’t like to hear stories of big companies exploiting workers, but we want lower prices at Walmart.
We don’t want to contribute to harming the environment, but we want fruit and vegetables shipped to us out of season.
We want a lot, sometimes there’s a choice.
I’m watching a woman sitting across from me on the train reading a book that I have read and it makes me wonder … How is she experiencing it? What are the pictures she sees in her mind as she brings the story to life? Do the characters look the same? Do the voices sound the same?
I doubt it. Her experience, her background, all of her points of reference are different than mine. How could they come together to create the same images?
That makes me wonder about my work out in the world. Does it create the images I intend it to?
What do you do to check that you are creating the images you intend to?
Two levels of customer service is a recipe for underwhelming.
Recently I had problem with Airmiles regarding some ski passes I ordered. I needed them fast, their delivery commitment was slow. So, I went to the website and filled out the email form, following the rules like a good customer. The response I got told me I could expect to wait 4-5 days for a response.
On what planet is that delay acceptable today?
So, I tweeted my displeasure and got an immediate response suggesting I email the company’s Twitter email address. I did, and that email was answered the same day. After a little back and forth we solved the problem. Then I got the response from the the original email form submission from four days prior. In my mind – as with all customer interactions – I wasn’t talking to Joe, or Suzy, I was talking to Airmiles; so what the heck?
One of the problems this highlights for me (and there are a few to choose from) is a lack of connection within the company. Consumers today have access to many channels to talk to brands. Many of them use multiple channels. If those experiences aren’t aligned, you are not consistently delivering on the brand promise. There has to be consistency, and there shouldn’t be secret clubs for those who find the right channel. Unless of course you are trying to change behaviour, but then shut the channel down. Don’t under deliver.
A lot of people – myself included – never ask. They think about asking. They imagine the conversation, have it in their mind a dozen times. Each time answering for the other person until it seems pointless to ask because the conversation has already happened.
Only it hasn’t.
Well, today I asked. And I got an answer; a real one. It wasn’t the one I wanted, but I have it and now I can move on. Move on to the next question, and ask that one, too
Choosing a strong, bold brand to stand out is a great strategy. Choosing that path and then watering it down when you get nervous is worse than choosing the mediocre to begin with. It confuses staff and customers alike and no one knows what you stand for.