The Customer Service Survey

Well-Oiled Company = Well-Oiled Experience?

by Peter Leppik on Wed, 2014-01-22 15:52

I've worked with a lot of client companies over the years at Vocalabs. Some companies are easy to work with: they are well-organized, people are focused on getting the job done, decisions are made easily, and the lines of communication work well.

Other companies are not so much fun to work with, for a variety of reasons. Internal politics, disorganization, people more worried about keeping their jobs than doing their jobs, muddy lines of authority, and disspirited employees, to name a few problems.

As a consumer, some companies are much easier and more enjoyable to do business with than others. And given the choice, I would rather take my business to a company which provides the more positive experience.

I've noticed over the years that the companies I enjoy doing business with as a consumer also tend to be easier to work with professionally. That is to say, if I like buying from the company, I'll probably find that the company is organized and efficient  when it comes to hiring Vocalabs to work on a project.

The opposite also seems to be true: If the company is disorganized internally, chances are I probably won't like doing business with them as a consumer. On the other hand, just because I don't like buying from a company it doens't always follow that they're going to be hard to do business with.

It seems that having a well-oiled corporate machine is a necessary requirement for having a good customer experience. That makes sense, since a disorganized company almost can't help but screw things up as far as the customer is concerned. Many common customer complaints (mistakes, inconsistency, indifferent service, lost records, etc.) are the inevitable outcome when a company can't get all its internal resources lined up and marching in the same direction.

It's not true, however, that an organized and efficient company will always have a good customer experience. The company may be well-organized, but simply not focused on the customer. In those cases, though, the company often knows it's competitive edge isn't coming from the customer experience (maybe it's the low-cost leader instead), and there's a deliberate choice to not invest to improve the experience.

So an important prerequisite to delivering a positive customer experience is having a company which generally runs smoothly. But that, by itself, won't lead to a great customer experience. The company must also deliberately choose to go down the path of customer experience.

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