Blog post

Things I’d Like to See Go Away – CX Washing

By Hank Barnes | July 24, 2018 | 0 Comments

It has been a little while since my last post in this series, but a diginomica “discussion extract” article from a discussion between Jon Reed and Esteban Kolsky triggered another idea.

Photo by freestocks.org from Pexels
Photo by freestocks.org from Pexels

Let’s turn our sights toward customer experience.    As the idea has moved to the forefront of company initiatives (and imperatives), naturally, the vendor community has jumped on the idea.    Even without covering technology, I see more and more vendors painting their products into the Customer Experience (or Customer Experience Management) category.  And it’s getting a little ridiculous.

  • How is an autodialer/robocaller great for CX?
  • Is collections software  really intended to create a great CX?
  • Are marketing and sales force automation systems (that, BTW, let users create #FridayFails at scale) great for CX?

At best, maybe if you twist and turn and justify, you can make a case for it, but it’s a huge stretch. (And don’t get me started again on claims of optimizing customer journeys, when you are actually hoping to optimize their journey with you and only you. (another topic Esteban and I have explored in the past).

How do you know if a product (and the vendor behind it) are really CX oriented? There is also a good way to test this.

Look at the value claims these vendors make.   If the claims are all about value to the company buying/using the solution, rather than the customer, then you know you are experiencing #CX washing.  I had one vendor tell me about how their CX suite helped their customers significantly reduce the cost of their call centers (no mention of them improving customer satisfaction).   Their focus was efficiency, not customer experience.  Another told me how the sales cloud in their CX suite increased sales productivity.  Is that CX?

Customer experience is already complicated enough without confusing matters.  It’s hard to get the balance right between improving the customer experience and delivering value to the business.

For vendors, be sure that, if you are trying to tell a CX story, that your lead value story is the impact on your customer’s customer.   Audit your claims.   And don’t contribute to customer confusion on the topic.    If you aren’t doing that, don’t call yourself a CX system.

I hope to never again hear examples like, “We can make it much for efficient for you to touch all your customers multiple times, across multiple channels.” as delivering a great experience.  Unless those touches are quality, that’s not CX, that’s annoying spam.

Until the industry stops CX washing, progress on truly great CX will be slower than anyone would like.

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