Customer experience, persons and procedures. A mix difficult to balance, even on a cool bike.

This post started from a personal story: a month ago I decided to buy a new bike for commuting to work. And I fell in love with this one:

Canyon Commuter 7.0, a bike that made me think about the balance between procedures and persons.

I know, it’s not exactly a bargain, but I do commute a lot and I often go to meet clients with my bike, so I decided to buy that as a company bike for my company, Domino.

Canyon is a german company that sells via web only and I took it as a sign: my job is designing digital customer experience, so this must be my bike. Also, I was intrigued by being on the other side after we designed part of the Costa crociere cx and the entire customer site for FCA (my fiat, my jeep etc…)

the Canyon experience

To cut a long story short, for some reasons, my single case (SME corporate billing) did not fit existing procedures, so I had to:

  • ship the bike to central registered office and not in one of our operative sites
  • reissue the payment via bank transfer (initially I choose paypal.)
  • ask for info and updates continuously, with no proactive updates by canyon
  • wait for more than 3 weeks for a in-stock item (the delivery date has passed and no new date has been provided.)

Moreover, I feel left alone by Canyon: their procedures are more important than their customer.

Procedures, what they are for?

Procedures are a series of step to achieve a goal. They are necessary, because the ensure result andefficiency. In short they are easy to follow.

The problem is that sometimes, inside the company, they are perceived as the only way to reach a goal.

If you are not Amazon

Everybody know Amazon experience: once you click you are sure that the product will be at your door exactly when promised, sometimes before.

They have procedures about everything. tested, edited, and reedited. But this takes time and particular categories.

But not everybody is Amazon: most of our customer are simply not there and their product do need personal interaction.

Personalization is better than procedures

Customer experience is about the customer. The moment that procedures are more important than cx, you are in danger.

For example, who needs 10 order confirmation from:noreply?

Just in case, I get another order confirmation. But no bike!

A starting plan for a great Customer experience for a service/complex goods company

  • make the experience personal: assign a person to follow the customer (the customer manager). Most of your interactions will go through that person.
  • make the experience personal as soon as possibile. Create a personal website for every potential client/quotation (see example for Costa Crociere “emotional quotation”)
  • create a Customer experience manager position inside the company. Procedures tend to create silos. There must be a VP-level responsability for managing customer.
  • Create procedures to let the customer manager move accordingly within the company to resolve quirks and exeptions.
Costa crociere Emotional quotation: the website is very personal, about your specific cruise quotation.
Your boat: depending on what kind of customer you are (single, family, anniversary etc..) the same boat is described accordingly: young customers travelling alone (i.e.: single category) will be shown clubs, disco. Family will be shown babysitter services, kid parks.
5 reasons to choose Costa Crociere. The prospect is reminded why Costa is different (again, this part is personalized)
Your quotation. the connection with the person handling your cruise quotation is very important (direct email, phone)

(a personal message for Canyon guys: I am sure you will solve this and the bile will be great. I’d love to talk to you if you find this topic interesting)

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