5 Reasons Companies Fail to Improve Their Customers' Experience - Part 1

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Every year, one of the top priorities for most companies is to improve their customers' experience. Unfortunately, most fail. Establishing a reputation, as the supreme deliverer of excellent customer service, is an organization's dream. Rightfully so, customer service program payoffs speak for themselves:

According to Harvard Business Review's Employee-Customer-Profit Chain, a 1.3% improvement in customer satisfaction scores results in a revenue increase of.5%.

The Profit Impact of Market Strategy's database found that companies who lead in service have 12 times the profit?ability and 9% greater growth than poor service providers.

Bain & Co. found that a 12-point increase in the net-promoter score doubles a company's growth rate.

A report by the American Customer Satisfaction Index proved that the leading companies consistently outperformed the market. Customer service leaders outper?formed the Dow by 93%, the Fortune 500 by 20% and the NASDAQ by 335%.

Why do so many companies fail to take advantage of the obvious bottom-line impact for improving service? This is part 1 to this topic. Here reasons 1-5 why companies fail.

1. Ignorance is Bliss

Recently, a company shared with us that they survey their customers twice a year. What if you only looked at sales or profit numbers that often? The company would probably go bankrupt! If you don't measure the customers' experience regularly, you can't manage it. The best you can be is mediocre. Many companies don't have a systematic approach to measuring service effectiveness and it's costing them business daily.

2. Vision Without Vitality

One company President said, "We don't want to be the biggest company, only the best service provider." The President gave a five-minute speech everywhere he went; however, no plan or action ever followed. The company floundered.

3. The Panacea Approach

One CEO learned how an executive he knew improved his company's service using a certain method. He did it exactly the same way and failed. That's like a doctor giving the same treatment plan and prescription to every patient with a problem. To be effective, you need a process that is customized for the specifics of your company.

4. Frontline Fanatics

A major airline responded to customer complaints by notifying customers of their "Customer First" initiative for employees. The airline went bankrupt and eventually was merged with a larger competitor. According to service gurus, 85-95% of service problems are management related. Service excellence begins and ends with leadership.

5. Do It All and Have It All

One leader happily explained to his team that they had three flip-chart pages full of service change initiatives. Unfortunately, employees were overwhelmed and business stalled. People can only handle so much. You have to focus.

Each of these reasons can be overcome with diligent research, a willingness to change and an application of customer centric approaches. The biggest obstacle is often the willingness to change. To succeed you probably will need to ask for help from a consulting partner, but it is worth it since the potential bottom-line gains are enormous.

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