By Jeofey Bean
If The American Customer Satisfaction Index were to measure your business, competitors and alternatives, how would you do in an era of rising customer expectations and no middle ground?
As you may know from reading this column I really admire the companies that know what they “Do For” customers that is highly valued and have the results to show for it.
And I am dismayed about the companies that reside on the other side, the dark side, of the Do For coin. These companies consistently “Do To” customers things that they dislike and do not value, erasing customer loyalty.
Some of these companies have done this for so long and so poorly they are helping to grow competitive alternatives by distressing their customers emotionally and economically. There’s plenty to learn about what not to do from these businesses.
The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) has released its new report on service satisfaction for the Telecommunications and Information Industry for 2015. What does this have to do with fleet management? Quite a bit actually. First, as I mentioned in an earlier article, people compare their experiences and satisfaction with not by nice, neat industry categories, but by all the experience they have had by type, web site to web site, person to person.
Second, the experiences people have working inside and outside the fleet industry are expanding more and more every day to include pieces of the telecommunications and information industry or borrow from them for their own service development and success.
The good news is there is plenty of opportunity to be different and better with customer experience and customer service since most companies, according to ASCI, are mediocre when it comes to customer service. Most business score in the low 60s to 70s on scale to 100 for customer satisfaction.
Let’s look at an example of a major change going on in accessing movies and TV and the related service points important to people.
Subscription television services average a 63 of 100 points possible with Verizon leading with just 71 points of 100 available. Meanwhile, Time Warner lags with 51, according to ACSI. Quality and reliability of subscription television services are cited as very unsatisfactory underscored by difficult to understand bills, programs, remotes, menus, and program guides. And yet there is one aspect of the customer experience that is worse than this! Call centers. When customers contact the call centers for customer service for help with the problems listed above, they are so put off they could only muster a rating of 62 points for this part of their experience. And the score has fallen from 66 last year. This decline is happening in a year that has seen the awareness of extraordinary customer experience rise rapidly inside new world companies and with the customers of legacy service companies highly motivated to go to the new world.
Customers are doing more than being upset and giving low satisfaction ratings to the legacy subscription television services. They are telling others on social media about their experience and switching to streaming video and TV services. These new services come from “experience maker” companies Netflix, Apple and Amazon. Hulu is also expanding its subscriber base as the flight to a better experience accelerates while satisfaction with legacy companies declines. This has created no middle ground for customer satisfaction or customer experience. This means the market will create big winners and big losers.
In your business you want to be on the winning side of the flight to experience. Be sure to measure what your existing and potential customers care about so you are not surprised about how they feel and specifically what they value about your quality and reliability. The same goes for your invoices, programs, processes and people. Do not be like many of the legacy companies ignoring data related to satisfaction and experience. Pay attention to what customers tell others in social media about their satisfaction and experience with your company.
If The American Customer Satisfaction Index were to measure your business, competitors and alternatives, how would you do in an era of rising customer expectations and no middle ground? Let me know you think at email@example.com . Meet me here at Fleet Management Weekly next month for more about business success in the customer experience era.
Jeof’s web site and e-mail address
Jeofrey Bean keynote speaker highlights (3 minute video)
Jeofrey Bean’s Amazon author page
The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) Telecommunications and Information Industry Service Report for 2015