Cherwell IT Service Management Blog
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Malcolm Fry’s Take on the Unseen Side of Customer Experience

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questionThe Harvard Business Review recently published an article demonstrating how an approach to customer experience that uses touchpoints, or “critical moments when customers interact with the organization,” does not translate into customer satisfaction, much less a quality customer experience.

There’s a lot to be said in the aftermath of this kind of research in the IT world, like, how do we measure from the customer’s perspective? Or, how do we standardize a better customer experience process? These are important, of course, but possibly the best effect of this research will be correcting what Malcolm Fry calls the industry’s, “screwed thinking.”

Realizing that customer experience is not based on the direct interactions forces IT to look at the customer’s experience when they aren’t in contact. Really, direct interactions are just the tip of the customer service iceberg. The “screwed thinking” Fry finds is based on the misconception of when customer care starts. According to Fry, “it starts before an incident reaches the service desk.”

IT should be proactive in detecting and fixing issues before than can cause a negative impact on the customer. Yes, customer service is important when a customer calls in. Bu it’s a disruption, nevertheless. Offering a quick twenty second work-around hardly addresses the pain of having to call the service desk in the first place.

Fry uses the example of a car warranty. Even when you get your car fixed for free, there’s still the pain of having to take it in to the garage at all. For IT, Fry says, “Eliminate the pain of having to take a detour, even if you offer great customer service.”

Forget touchpoints. Or don’t put so much emphasis on them, at least. According to Fry, “IT should be in the business of providing customer care, not customer response.”