I believe that we need to do is start focusing on the customer service interface, whether it’s machines, or people or whatever it is that’s customers are dealing with. This could be the ATM machine for a bank, for a company like Amazon it’s pretty much all technology, it’s not people. For company like Nordstrom it’s very much about people. But to focus on that all those areas where the company comes in contact with customers, and just start optimizing to make those better experiences.
Let’s say you can start with a call center. You know you can start, I mean the first step with a call center will be to stop looking at it as a cost, and start looking at it as marketing and, not marketing I mean… Nothing is more irritating when you call a company with a problem and the first thing they do is trying to sell you something. “While you’re waiting to talk to someone who can solve your problem, can I sell you something else?”
Well that’s… I mean that’s not, I don’t mean marketing in that sense, I mean marketing in the sense of, you know, empowering the first person that the customer talks to, and starting and creating the tools that lets that person really tackle problems. So instead of saying having “I take your call and you have a problem” and I say “oh actually that’s a different department, I got to transfer you”. Well if the knowledge to solve your problem exists within the company, why can’t you empower that customer service rep to access that information? Or how can you shield the customer from all that complexity, by giving them one person to talk to? Now, if I can shuffle you over to the front department and the front department can solve your problem, why can’t I have that conversation with the front department and solve it, and just tell them it’s been solved? Why do I have to force you to do that? Well the reason that I have to do that now is because the company doesn’t count your time as a cost that matters.
So, you know, your time doesn’t matter to the company, and that’s obvious to you, and what are you going to do? Well you’re going to leave and go find a company that you know that does a better job.