When eating a tangerine the other day I did not get quite what I expected and it made me wonder about our customers and how we can improve our customer service experience. How often are we aware of what we deliver? How often do we consider how consistently we deliver and how often do we think about what it is like to be at the receiving end of what we deliver?
I love tangerines, satsumas, oranges and all of the other delicious juicy citrus fruits that seem so readily available. In fact I can’t think of a fruit that I don’t like. There is nothing like the sweet delectable juice of mangoes. The experience of eating them always seems to involve juices dribbling down your chin. The crisp crunch of a fresh apple provides an experience that incorporates a smorgasbord of sumptuous imagery, crisp sound, tangy texture, nectar scents as well as taste sensations that transport you to heavenly realms.
In the world of luxury, our expectations might be higher but good customer service experience doesn’t have to be consigned to offerings for wealthy and unreachable. This thinking should be a part of every business regardless of whether it is serving the luxury market, B2B consultancy or selling sweets in the corner shop.
I personally love growing my own fruit and vegetables when I get time and providing I can successfully do battle with the slugs and bugs who feast on my efforts. It is a real treat wandering through the garden and plucking the freshest of flavours straight from bush, plant or cane. Flavours warmed and ripened to perfection by the sun. That is true wealth and luxury – to enjoy an abundance that thrives in your own garden.
When customer service experience is not quite what you expect ……
Perhaps I have been spoiled by the joys of having an orchard however small it might be but when I buy supposedly fresh fruit from the supermarket, the enjoyment is not always so predictable. Tangerines in their nets, always look divinely glossy with a life-force of delectability. However looks can be deceiving and at times my disappointment is HUGE.
The first bite might be just as you expect. Sweet explosions of orangeyness as your teeth cut into the plumpness of each segment. But the next might be so tart and sour that it lemon-shrivels your face in a nano-second. Or perhaps it is so desiccated that the juice sacs look pale and wan like they have been incarcerated in a concentration camp before being delivered. Then there are the ones that are so full of pips that you are not sure whether you are going to choke or accidentally bite into bitter unpleasantness.
I feel that I have been let down and as a customer my experience of what has been delivered is not what I would hope for. We should not have to report to the customer service team of our experience in the hope of compensation. Complaint should not even come into the equation. I expect to get the experienceI have been told I can expect by the tantalising messages printed on every label and every packet that taunt me with something that should be a real treat.
Ensuring consistency in the service you offer and creating juiciness in the experience each customer gets every time.
The point is that the fruit in my garden has a consistency. I know what I am getting. The enjoyment is as much about the anticipation as it is about the taste experience. However, there is nothing quite so disappointing as being duped into believing that our purchases are going to give us the long anticipated taste sensation.
That makes me much more aware of what I am delivering to my customers. It makes me wonder, are we consistent in what we deliver? Are we reliable? Do we set the right expectations? Do we meet clients’ expectations?
How often do you map out the journey of your customer service? How often do you spend time envisaging the full impact of your customer service experience?
How can we not only ensure that what we deliver is consistent with expectations but also how we deliver the same juicy delectability each and every time?