A Contrarian’s Guide to Avoiding Innovation and Growth
So you’ve heard about this thing called customer experience, and you don’t understand what all the fuss is about. You read a few articles, especially that time you were trapped in coach on a flight with your boss, and you wanted to impress him. You think, “Bah humbug, just another fad business-y catchphrase that will go out of style in a year.” Your CEO thinks it’s important, but you’re still not convinced.
Still, you have to get up and go to work every day and pretend to care. Let’s look at a day in the life of a customer experience contrarian and the reasons she has for not investing in customer experience.
1. You like things just the way they are
It’s 9:15 am, and you just arrived at your desk with your venti soy latte. You’re very comfortable in your well-decorated cubicle. You’ve got your name on your stapler, and you file everything in triplicate. Market research circulated a Voice of Customer study this week, but you just stick it in a binder with all the other useless stuff that drops on your desk. All of your binders match and look really good there on the shelf. You don’t need to know what the customers are saying, because you already know what they’re complaining about. They’ve been the same complaints for years, so no news there.
2. You actually like silos
Boy, the company really screwed up with that fiasco that made the news today. It’s kind of funny to see all the different departments scramble to handle all the complaints coming in. The PR people are earning their paycheck today, haha! You heard that social media is being flooded, and the call center staff is working overtime. They should have never invited customer feedback on Twitter and Facebook! Your email notifications have definitely been chiming a lot too, but you can ignore most of the noise because it doesn’t apply to you. It’s time for a smoke break, so you sneak down the back elevator.
3. You don’t care about market share
Your competitor just posted another profitable quarter, beating expectations and sending your company’s stock price tumbling. You wonder briefly what the heck they are doing to make so much money, but then you realize it’s time for lunch. You think, “Chinese sounds good, and then I think I’m going to hit that shoe sale.” You think you can swing 90 minutes without anyone noticing you’re gone. If they ask you can just say you had a dentist appointment.
4. You like talking but not doing
Your calendar is filled with meetings. You say all the right things, but pride yourself on never being assigned any real tasks. All that customer experience stuff honestly seems hard – fixing broken processes, implementing new software, and – the worst! – empathy training. Ugh, what a pain. If you wanted empathy at work, you would have gone into psychology for a living. Customers are human beings with feelings? Well, boohoo – aren’t we all? It’s time to hide in the bathroom and play Angry Birds for a half hour.
5. You think software is dumb
It took you forever to learn basic Excel. All of this new software that is meant to track and consolidate customer data in one place seems way too complicated to learn. You spend the next hour in a training class doodling pictures of unhappy customers, and actually, get caught snoozing by the instructor. With a heavy sigh, you tap on the keyboard a bit to pretend like you’re doing the exercises. Is it time for another smoke break yet?
6. You hate being measured
You get an email about a new metrics system that measures customers’ likelihood to recommend the company to friends and family. The only thing you’re likely to recommend is to do away with metrics altogether! You earn your salary just like everyone else here, and customer satisfaction should have nothing to do with it. You’ve never even met one of your company’s customers anyway, so what’s the big deal? You file that email in your “ignore for now and maybe it will go away” folder.
7. Awards: who needs them?
USAA just got some customer experience award for like the 5th year running, and your boss gives a speech about how the company needs to be more like them. They’re an insurance company! That’s not at all what we do, so how can we be like them? Those awards are probably fixed anyway. Customers don’t care about stuff like that. You glance at the clock – only 3 pm? Jeez, this day is dragging on!
8. You doubt the impact customer experience has on the company’s bottom line
Dang! You just learned that the company is going to lay people off. You keep your head down and pretend to be busy, hoping no one notices that you haven’t met your goals for three years running. They should really get rid of Brenda in Marketing. She keeps going on and on about omnichannel this and cross-functional that. It’s so boring. None of these buzzwords ever amount to anything. She’s just trying to get a promotion, and nobody likes a teacher’s pet anyway.
Well, will you look at that? It’s 4:45 pm and time to pack up for the day. People are still running around trying to fix the growing PR nightmare. Someone really screwed up, that’s for sure, and you’re glad you managed to steer clear of the drama. It will all blow over, just like the last time. The company lost a lot of customers then, but now you have all those sticky, bad processes in place that make it hard for customers to leave even if they want to.
See? Your company doesn’t need to invest in customer experience. It’s a total waste of energy. Oops, gotta get my bus. Just another day in this contrarian’s life. See you tomorrow, TGIF!
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