Un-common courtesy

There’s a lack of common courtesy in business today.

It has crept up on us, seeping across from society as good manners and a sense of decency evaporate, almost unnoticed. Anecdotal evidence and opinion provided by our network over a period have revealed a shared feeling of dismay and irritation at the way people behave. Some notable examples include prospective clients who ask for proposals and then fail to notify agencies of the decision, and recruitment firms who either don’t bother to acknowledge receipt of an application or, at best, acknowledge with a response based on the Duke Ellington/Bob Russell song ‘Do Nothing ‘til You Hear from Me (And You Never Will).

Of course the problem is more widespread than the simple examples given and there may be mitigating circumstances. Clients may be busy serving their own customers and responding to changing priorities whilst agencies may be overwhelmed with the response to their advertisements, particularly in today’s over-supplied and competitive job market. Alternatively, the current economic climate may have put even more pressure on cost control, causing businesses to repeat the mistakes of the outsourcing boom of the 90’s, when cost, not quality, was the driver of seeking out cheap labour in India and elsewhere.

We all know what happened then and it was no fault of the outsourced service providers.

However, the root cause may rest in a view of customer journey that is too narrow. Organisations that are truly committed to providing a great customer experience will ensure that all channels/touch-points are aligned in terms of their service ambition and delivery quality. They will take a 360? view of their brand promise including touch-points managed by third parties and the experiences of people who, while they may not be customers do nevertheless experience the brand in action.

An organisation’s reputation and success will be damaged by poor brand experiences; by their customers, by suppliers, by employees, by people acting on their behalf or otherwise closely associated with the brand. Bad news spreads: all the research shows that one person will tell 8 others about a bad experience.

At Customer Journey Consultancy, we help clients to design the experience they want to project via the people they engage to act on their behalf. This ensures a positive and reinforcing experience, perhaps before disclosure of a confidential business relationship. If our client requests it, we can gather insights from people who have experienced a brand remotely, either knowingly or unknowingly. We then use these insights to design a journey that will reinforce the brand promise rather than undermine it. Alignment across all touch-points and stakeholders will help to create a memorable customer journey that can be provided consistently over time.