Customer Experience is not discovered in a Survey


So, the leadership decides to survey their customers; please tell us how we are doing? Most all organization perform this exercise some so much it's annoying and some hardly ever. The results are always the same our customers love us, our customers would most definitely buy from us again, and our customers say that they are happy. Oh yes, there is always one or two who complain and wish they never meet us, of course, most of the time we determine the complainers are unreasonable.

Yes, knowing how your customers feel is important. However, customer satisfaction is not a true measurement of customer experience. Too many confuse Customer Experience with Customer Satisfaction. Let me explain my thinking.

Customer Satisfaction, I define as a relationship-driven process based on our customer’s satisfaction with the current circumstances of our product or service. The customer bases this satisfaction with an unawareness of what could be better. They evaluate what and how things currently are.

Customer Experience, I define this way. Customer Experience lives at the intersection where Customers and Products or services meet. Their Experience is determined by how easy they can navigate through this intersection an intersection where the roads are paved more and more with digital asphalt. Great Customer Experiences will always win against Customer Satisfaction. The customer was completely satisfied with an outdated or complacent deliverable until a new better Experience became available.     

These definitions of mine are what influenced me to pen the following quote; “You can be the vendor with the greatest relationships in the world and lose to the new unknown competitor who delivers a better experience.”

There are many examples where Customer Satisfaction lost to a better Customer Experience such as the Taxi industry, the Hospitality industry, the retail brick, and mortar industry are a few. So, let’s use Amazon the disrupter of the Brick and Morter industry as an example:

The brick and mortar leaders sent out their surveys; they asked how the stores looked? Were they clean? Were the clerk’s friendly? Did you feel safe in the parking lot? Then they ask, were you satisfied? They ask for a rating from 1 to 5.  

Well, more than half the surveyed customers filled out the survey, and nearly all did it online, and after they hit send they resumed filling up their Amazon shopping cart. The customer was indeed satisfied with the current circumstances of their local brick and mortar store. However, these customers were beginning to realize the benefits of the Amazon shopping Experience most determined shopping online was a better Customer Experience. The convenience of traveling digitally through the Intersection where they met the products they want and need is proving to be an Experience the brick and mortar stores are struggling to match.  

Obviously, some will argue that Amazon is terrible, or their customer service is deplorable. Of course, Amazon is not concerned by a few. Amazon thrives because of the millions and millions who traded in old vendor relationships based on temporary satisfaction for the ever-improving better experience.

In Closing:

“It’s easier for the old way to modify through reinvention and keep their customer than the inventor to invent and seek the customer.”

The quote above is the reason that every business leader must work tirelessly to ensure they control all aspects of operational cost regardless whether their current circumstances are satisfactory or even thriving. We all should know that temporary is a shorter than every tenure. Cost control is what affords the company the resources to modify constantly ahead of forced change. Today a company’s speed and their discipline to transform or modify quickly is the greatest asset to ensure survival.  Today’s leaders must understand the Importance of the phrase “Currently this is how we do it.”

“Customer Experience is what feeds Customer Satisfaction, don’t let your Customers starve in Satisfaction.”

R.J. Stasieczko

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