Open Wide for an Awkward Customer Experience!Posted by Luis Serpa on September 7, 2006 - 3:01 PM
Yesterday, I realized that there’s nothing more customer-centric than a dental exam. You are seated in a chair in the center of a room with a stage-like light over your head, and surrounded by equipment and people totally focused on you.
Not so bad, right? But you’ll get the same perception on torture chambers and surgical rooms! What kind of customer experience should you expect from a place where you are frequently constricted, numb or in pain?
These situations make me think about the relation between customer-centric processes and good customer experience. I would even risk saying that all good customer experiences are customer-centric by definition, but not all customer-centric processes guarantee a good customer experience.
Customer-centrism is not a goal to be achieved, it’s the state of mind your company must be in, when providing any service. The real goal here is to always aim for providing a good customer experience. The rest will fall into place.
Then, how do you achieve a really good customer experience? Just place yourself in your customer shoes and look at the problem from the customerâ€™s perspective. Forget for a minute all your MBA-taught analysis, your marketing strategies, your business requirements, everything that you ever learned about your industry, and just be your customer.
In our dentist’s case, once you know your patientsâ€™ feelings and concerns, it is easy to act on his or her expectations. Show your genuine concern for them; be caring and sensible, maybe even lend the patients your iPod to take their attention away from the awful drilling noise inside their head.
You may not be able to turn a painful experience into a perfectly good one, but you may at least soften a very awkward situation.
Frequently, that’s all one would hope to achieve when going to the dentist.