If you haven’t already heard, a picture is floating around today showing what appears to be a Taco Bell employee “taste testing” taco shells before the customers do.
It is very easy to focus our disdain on this particular act, or the employee, or the Taco Bell franchise. If indeed this is an employee making the conscious choice to create a poor customer experience (even if they don’t know it), we should indeed shudder and demand accountability. But we should also allow this to teach ourselves a lesson. Are we intentionally or even unknowingly providing the same poor customer experience behind the counter of our own business?
Customer experience extends beyond traditional touchpoints. It happens in the call center after the representative hangs up the phone and talks about the “idiot” on the other end of the line. It goes back in time before the customer signs for her package to when the shipping clerk in need of a bathroom break makes a choice to cut corners on an important quality process. It extends into the IT department that chooses to ignore valuable customer metrics in favor of a one-size-fits-all reception point on the web.
If the driving force behind every process is not customer experience, this picture is a reflection of what is happening in your organization right now. If every employee is not motivated by goals to create quality experiences for the customer, then the customer will taste the fruit of that demotivated labor in the form of a bad experience.
For example, I have had nothing but bad experiences with Zynga. I sense, based on my experiences, that Zynga’s goal is to part me from my money instead of to provide me with a pleasant social gaming experience. I have felt this way for two years now, and I have dropped games solely based on a degraded experience. Today, Zynga announces that it is laying off 20% of its workforce. There is a concrete connection between the core values of the company and its profitability.
Contrast this with Evernote, whose sole purpose seems to be an ongoing enhancement of features that enrich my experience.
Take the opportunity now to ensure that your company’s vision and strategy flow from the wellspring of customer experience. Whether you do or not, your customers know. They can taste it in the final product.