I am now back from my holidays, and I am getting a chance to catch up on the blogosphere (yeah!). In Doug Karr’s entry today on his learnings from 2006, it was the little things that caught my eye. In particular, his entries on Starbucks (#75) and Verizon (#77) brought a giggle to my lips as well as agreement.
Both entries have to do with managing the details of the customer experience. When companies look at their operations from the internal perspective, they don’t see the hard chairs or the long lines that Doug mentioned. When companies put themselves in their customers’ shoes, they notice the small details that can make or break the experience. Before Christmas, I mentioned Best Buy bringing cookies around to customers in the store during the holidays. They put themselves in their customers’ shoes and recognized that they might be tired and hungry.
Let’s look at a few examples of Customer Shoes, Company Shoes:
Customer Shoes: PG&E asking me if I want to get a call-back rather than wait on hold for 30+ minutes.
Company Shoes: Time Warner Cable keeping me on hold for 70 minutes so I can tell them I need to move my installation appointment.
Customer Shoes: Walking by any employee at my local Vons supermarket always elicits, “Are you finding everything you need?”
Company Shoes: Waiting for employees to stop talking to their friends and notice that I need help (pick almost any retail store with holiday help here).
One of the best things you can do as you enter the New Year is to walk in the shoes of your customer. What does it feel like? What works, and what doesn’t? Don’t mess with what works, and go fix what doesn’t!