CX Lessons from My Trash and Recycling Experience

Last Updated November 30th, 2021

Ethan Beute, BombBomb, The Customer Experience Podcast, trash and recycling, trash service, waste removal, recycling service, customer service, customer service story, Colorado Springs, Colorado, Waste Connections, Springs Waste Systems

Listen to “172. CX Lessons from My Trash and Recycling Experience” on Spreaker.

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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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Listen to “172. CX Lessons from My Trash and Recycling Experience” on Spreaker.





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Video and Article Highlights


The Gazette:

Waste Connections acquires major Colorado Springs trash company





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Ethan Beute | About The Author

Chief Evangelist at BombBomb, host of The Customer Experience Podcast, and Wall Street Journal bestselling co-author of Human-Centered Communication and Rehumanize Your Business, Ethan Beute collects and tells stories of clearer communication, human connection, and higher conversion through simple, personal video messages. BA: University of Michigan. MBA: University of Colorado-Colorado Springs.

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