Wouldn’t it be great if all customers were like Buddy, the naive character played by Will Ferrell in the popular holiday movie “Elf“? All customer experiences would be completely perfect, as demonstrated in this scene where Buddy stumbles on “The World’s Best Coffee.” Even though the coffee being offered in the clip is clearly sub-par, the sign next to it says it’s the “World’s Best”, so Buddy thinks it must be. It’s a customer service agent’s dream.
He’s the perfect customer – he believes everything he reads!
“Truth in comedy” is a commonly used term. It means that the funniest things in comedy are based on our everyday reality. It makes this scene particularly amusing for those of us in the customer experience world, as we often see marketing commentary that doesn’t necessarily match real life. In fact, most of us have our own version of the “World’s Best” signs hanging up for the world to see.
What we really need to understand is whether there is a “customer experience gap”: a delta between the perception we advertise and the reality we deliver. Moreover, we need to understand whether or not that gap is problematic.
Read: Ten Quotes to Inspire You to Amp Up Customer Experience
What is an excellent customer experience?
If you Google the definition of customer experience, Wikipedia provides you with the following:
Customer experience (CX) is the sum of all experiences a customer has with a supplier of goods and/or services, over the duration of their relationship with that supplier. This can include awareness, discovery, attraction, interaction, purchase, use, cultivation and advocacy.
What I like about this definition is that it clarifies that customer experience dynamically changes over time, as well as across every aspect of the customer lifecycle and functional organization. Customer experience is a real time measure that rises and falls depending on each and every interaction.
This thought leads me to create a simple equation to better define and measure the experience gap. I call it the XGap equation and it goes like this:
Customer Experience = (Perception of Experience) + (Actual Experience)
The closer the sum of (Perception of Experience) and the additive inverse of (Actual Experience) are to “0”, the higher the likelihood of success. I’m not sure if anyone’s ever mentioned an elf and an additive inverse in the same blog post before, but you get the point.
Read: Ten Stunning Customer Experience Facts
Make customer experience central
In the end, customer experience is comprehensive, so include all aspects of your organization in your customer experience strategies, plans, and actions. Make sure that sales and marketing claims can be delivered upon, and have an equation for success that enables you to continually discuss, monitor, manage and close the gaps. Only when all stake holders across the organization are aligned with and committed to this process, will you be able to provide the best possible customer experience.
Just don’t tell Buddy.
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About Glance Networks
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