How understanding Customer behaviour can improve Customer retention
Recently I received a call I was dreading. My daughter called us in our home in Sarasota, FL, to say that our pet dog of fourteen years, Blaze was dying in England. Our immediate response was to fly back to England to be with Blaze and my daughter for our pet’s last few hours. For those of you who have a dog you will know how upsetting the loss of a much loved member of the family can be.
What has this to do with Customer Experience? Well clearly the rest of the world didn’t know of our distressed state as we encountered different people on our sad journey home. People were being pleasant as we went through various interactions. I remember a security guard at the airport asking me ‘Have you had a good day’. Clearly I hadn’t, but I found the words coming out of my lips were ‘yes, great thanks’. The same happened a few times with other people. It was an automatic response. I clearly didn’t mean it but I also didn’t want to go into the details of what was happening as it was hurtful to me. Also I am sure it’s not the type of response people would expect to hear, so I hid my true feelings. Big boys don’t cry.
It made me think; how many Customers hide their true feelings when talking with companies? When completing surveys or being asked what they think of the service how many are 100% honest? I would suggest many Customers do not want to go into the details of their private lives so just tell them what they want to hear. People (Customers) can be embarrassed by their actions. For example how much alcohol they drink or how much TV they watch and therefore they bend the truth or simply lie. I would suggest the practice is common place.
We know with our work on Customer Experience and Customer Retention there is a big difference between what people say and what they do. Understanding this is critical if you want to focus on what drives value for your business. Let me give you an example. One company recently called us in to consult with them as they had implemented changes that weren’t working. We were told that they had undertaken Customer research which informed them they needed to fix their billing, and if they did it would improve their Customer satisfaction. The company spent one year and $ millions on a new billing system. Nine months after implementation Customer satisfaction hadn’t changed. Why? This is a classic case of Customers saying one thing but doing another. Billing wasn’t really the issue and it certainly didn’t drive value. Customers will deceive you in this way. We use a very advanced form of statistical analysis to act as an X-ray and get under the skin of real Customer behaviour. This is part of our Emotional Signature research.
The key message is: you shouldn’t always believe what Customers tell you, they could be being ‘economical with the truth’!
|Colin Shaw is founder & CEO of Beyond Philosophy, one of the world’s first organizations devoted to customer experience. Colin is an international author of four best-selling books. Beyond Philosophy provide consulting, specialised research & training from offices in Atlanta, Georgia and London, England.
Follow Colin Shaw on Twitter: @ColinShaw_CX