Consistency of experience counts
Posted by Becky Carroll on October 26, 2007
When it comes to customer experience, there are a lot of factors that contribute to positive word of mouth. In particular, a consistent experience is critical, whether it be across visits or across locations. Doug Meacham of NextUp has recently joined the ranks of road warrior (ie. consultant – welcome, Doug!) and shares with us his story about the Hertz Gold program. Doug loves the convenience of the service (so do I).
Unfortunately, some of the comments on Doug’s blog indicate the Hertz Gold experience is not consistent across Hertz locations. Doug responds to the comments:
Clearly, the quality of a company’s customer experience is determined by its ability to execute the great experience CONSISTENTLY over time.
Once customer expectations are set, it is important to ensure they can be met each time, in each location. This is a key area where many customer loyalty programs fall down. Travel customer loyalty programs have become so popular, nearly everyone is “gold”. It used to be a great day when you could board the plane early or get the choice cars. Now, there are so many people using these services, it can sometimes be more the rule than the exception. What happens when a frequent flyer/driver/stayer is one of many and there isn’t enough capacity for the “special treatment”? Expectations are not met, and deep customer dissatisfaction occurs.
For this reason, customer experience isn’t just about giving employees incentives to treat customers nicely or to deliver great customer service. It is about creating a strategy for how customers will be treated, across all touchpoints, and for the extent of the customer’s lifecycle.
Does your company have a customer strategy? Tell me about it, and I will feature you and your company on the Customers Rock! blog.