There seems to be a growing interest in The Customer Experience, but it shouldn’t be surprising to learn that the concept is not uniformly understood or applied. So what is this thing called The Customer Experience?

A Customer Experience is an interaction [a touchpoint] between an organization and a Customer as perceived through a Customer’s conscious and unconscious mind, Unlocking The Hidden Customer Experience, Colin Shaw.

Since we’re going to have a Customer Experience whether we like it or not and whether the Solution Provider planned it or not, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Solution Providers would at least try harder not to antagonise us customers, especially me.

And here come my examples …

Recently I needed to update my webhosting service, so instead of taking the easy way out and defaulting to my incumbent provider of almost 10-years, I performed rudimentary research such as a web search for “the best web hosting services” and I asked a client. My client recommended (advocated) a service I’ll call I-Can’t-Be-Bothered. I visited I-Can’t-Be-Bothered’s web site. I found that they had interesting if not great environmental responsibility values, but they did not acknowledge my email pointing out that their FAQ page did not work properly, and nor did they get back to me when I left a message wanting to enquire about aspects of their service – Customer Experience: disappointed. In contrast, let’s circle back to my current webhosting service provider 1st. Domains. Whenever I call them, they answer within a few rings, and every person I have talked with is friendly, patient, and effective – Customer Experience: grateful and amazed.

For my last example, I’ll recall my experience of Tue 14 May 2019, when I parked in the Auckland Transport Civic Car Park for 3hr 47min and I got charged $24, when I expected no more than around a $12 fee. After having paid the fee so that I could get home, I naturally enquired about the ‘mistake’ the following day. No mistake, the fee was $4/hr up to 6pm, and $12 flat fee after, therefore $24 is correct. How is this fair, and, how is this treatment going to encourage me to visit the CBD to support the local businesses (rate payers) there in the future? Customer Experience: Outraged.

In summary, it is inevitable that Customers will have experiences at every touchpoint. I’m not suggesting that it is appropriate to provide every Customer a Disney Land type experience, instead, every solution provider should think about all of their touchpoints, and as a minimum, design every touchpoint such that they at least do not antagonise Customers and consequently drive them away, or worse, turn them into anti-advocates, like me.