There are several storms blowing across the business landscape. The one everyone talks about is digital. The other one on people’s lips is “customer experience” and being “customer centric.” The third one, perhaps not as acknowledged, is how easy it has become for the customer to switch from one brand to another. Put these three storms together and then it becomes clear, that persuasion is not going to keep your customers loyal. Instead it is usability, the customer experience, that will keep customers coming back.
Put it another way. Instead of spending inordinate amounts of resources on convincing people to try something, spend that money on making the experience better. Design the service, not the communication. Even though your story may make them chuckle, if the product or service doesn’t live up to the promise through all touchpoints and all channels, then the customer will be disappointed. And, depending on how important your product or service is, choosing another service provider will be a piece of cake for the customer.
This film by the Design Council does an excellent job of describing the importance of service design. Not as a business or as a discipline, but as a continuous activity that needs to be undertaken, if your business is not to become a relic.
Sign of the times
A mobile operators contract used to be a nightmare of conditions upon conditions, which, if you tried to get out of it, you’d be penalised. Today, because of the push from internet services such as streaming, where opt-in and opt-out are equally easy, it isn’t possible to punish people to be your customer anymore. Instead, only by delighting them continuously, will they stay loyal. For more context, check out the Kano model of product development.