Customer Experience – The uncomfortable truth

Your brand doesn’t matter if your customers hate you.*

And if you want to understand why they hate you, try to think of the movie that’s playing in their head.

They’re the hero of their story. And if you couldn’t solve their complaint or made them Press 2 five hundred times before you let them talk to a human, then you’re the villain of the story.

When we’re trying to make sense of something new (like why a brand has suddenly stopped behaving like it promised it would in its ads), then we search for the nearest reliable narrative.

The IT Crowd clip above is funny because it’s recognisable: we’re laughing because what’s happening is a widely understood narrative.

A while ago, we ran a text analytics project for the Customer Experience team of an international hospitality brand. The team were overjoyed to hear that customers spoke in glowing terms of their Front of House staff. But what interested us was that the consumers weren’t talking about anything else.

The brand team had been so focused on getting front-of-house right that they’d neglected the rest of the brand experience entirely.

So, heroes on reception –  but when customers passed through reception, they were suddenly on their own. Which made the ‘brand’ a villain for leaving them alone. And the overall score for the customer experience was a fat zero.

This is why we believe in the power of text analytics. When you do more than just listen, but really hear what people are saying, you know how they’ve internalised their experience of your brand.

If you can find out what their story is, you’re halfway to rewriting it.

*(For more on that thought, see the recent webinar Why Customer Experience? Why Now? From Clarabridge and Forrester.)