Not every customer experience needs to be characterized by remarkable, memorable moments of surprise and delight.
Sometimes the best and most appropriate customer experience is seamless and rather unremarkable. It’s frictionless at every touchpoint and requires little to no ongoing communication. And it’s this kind of CX that contributes to patience, understanding, loyalty, and grace when businesses let their customers down. It’s also the kind of experience we likely all desire when it comes to our trash and recycling service.
I’ve lived at the same address for almost 15 years. For 14 blissful years, I had no communication with my waste management service, and that was exactly how I wanted it.
I’m Ethan Beute, Chief Evangelist at BombBomb, host of The Customer Experience Podcast, and co-author of Human-Centered Communication and Rehumanize Your Business. Today, I share the story of change management so awful that it made the local news and caused garbage to physically pile up on the streets of Colorado Springs.
Earlier this year, our waste management company changed – our local provider was acquired by a much larger conglomerate. And with that change came a change in CX.
The new experience? The acquiring company didn’t integrate the new customer base well, causing a lot of crossed lines of communication and problems with billing and logistics. They also didn’t communicate with customers, and we were forced to use inefficient, tech-heavy channels that lacked human touch in an effort to resolve ongoing problems. When we did try to make contact, they often couldn’t be reached directly by phone or online. And when they could be reached in person? They gave canned, unhelpful answers.
The channels were choked with digital pollution. Some streets were choked with actual garbage. And there was little relief or remedy in sight.
In short, over the past four months, I (and members of my household) have communicated with the waste management company numerous times in numerous channels and not been well served — when the best CX for the situation, the appropriate CX, is for communication not to be needed at all.
In this short episode I also discuss:
• Why the best customer experience delivers an appropriate experience
• What the channels and touchpoints were and how they failed
• How not to manage change
• Why customers bail when communication is unhelpful
• How an appropriate CX fosters loyalty
CX Lessons from My Trash and Recycling Experience
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Other Episodes You’ll Enjoy:
- Episode 17 with Jonathan Bolton, “The Best Customer Experience Delivers an Appropriate Experience”
- Episode 48 with Ethan Beute, “5 CX Lessons from My Car Buying Experience”
- Episode 135 with Ali Biggs, “Creating Conversational Relationships with Thousands of Customers”
- Episode 157 with Shep Hyken, “Why Repeat Customers May Not Be Loyal Customers”
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