When was the last time you “shopped” your own business? If you’ve ever watched the television show “Undercover Boss” you know that being on the front lines can be an eye opening experience for many CEOs and Executives. Shopping your own business will give you valuable insight into what your customer’s experience is.
It’s good to understand more about what your employees have to go through on a daily basis but, it doesn’t really tell you the impact some of the limitations or issues have on your employees directly.
Let me share a recent example with you.
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I arrived at the gate in St. Louis earlier this week to catch a flight home. With 25 minutes until boarding was complete I asked if there was room on the flight. I was told there was, but unfortunately the attendant couldn’t let me on…the window had closed. Big deal right? Well, it meant I spent the next eight hours sitting in a Starbucks waiting for the next flight.
I know from experience that with a few keypunches I could have been let on the flight. Trust me, I speak from experience. So what impact does this have on my experience as a customer? My initial thoughts included:
- This attendant didn’t understand the system as well as her co-workers who have been able to help me in the past.
- The attendant didn’t feel like helping me, as it was too much work.
- The policies at this airport were for some reason different than others I frequent.
- The manager of the employee was adamant that policies be followed and wouldn’t have allowed me to board so late.
Unfortunately I will never know the real answer, however this isn’t the point. The point is, all these thoughts (which in turn form my perceptions of the airline) shape my future buying decision.
So, returning back to my original question, are you shopping your business to understand how procedures, technology or people may be impacting your customer’s experience? If not, be ready to lose some customers because there’s a good chance your competition is bettering themselves every day in preparation to take your customers.
© Shawn Casemore 2016. All rights reserved.