Marcio Rodrigues Marcio Rodrigues Customer Propositions Director, Vizolution
Without Trust, The Customer Journey is Dead….

Without Trust, The Customer Journey is Dead….

In his latest post for the Network, CX specialist and blogger Marcio Rodrigues discusses the importance of trust to the customer relationship, and the need to mirror customer values and behaviour in order to achieve desired outcomes.

These days, when customers decide to approach an organisation a multitude of actions have already taken place in most cases. In a connected world, information is available in bucket-loads and customers are not afraid to use it to get the best outcomes.

The marketing industry spends billions of pounds every year trying to understand customer needs, creating products and services that are relevant, and distributing them in ways that make it easy and compelling for customers to buy and interact with their organisations.

So why are so many of these journeys not well thought through and failing to deliver on their original intent – are customers not really at the heart of these journeys? Marketers put in a lot of effort attracting customers only to lose them at first click, call, visit etc. Let me give you an example of a journey I have gone through recently:

My journey - My Bank got in touch:

My relationship with my bank is very much one way. When I have a job to do, I do it myself and or initiate the first dialogue. My bank has been good enough to enable me to do most of my jobs online so I very rarely have to pick up the phone or visit a branch. I do indeed call my bank when I have new jobs to do and need advice, e.g. re-mortgage, loans, investments etc., but mostly on new business transactions. So, when recently my bank called me I was very surprised. Initially I thought… this is a sales call or something went wrong. But, no, a cheerful chap told me that after reviewing my accounts the bank noticed that they could offer me a better deal on an existing product. The deal on offer was significantly better and at this point I expressed my surprise and delight that I received this call in the first place. I told him that the offer sounded good and asked him to proceed.

“Sorry I can’t process this over the phone, you need to go to your local branch to complete the process”, was the reply. At this point I asked, “Why? Do I need to sign any paperwork?”

“No, you are an existing customer with an existing deal… no signature required”, was the reply…

It was at this point that I realised this wasn’t going to be particularly easy or convenient, but I still thought the bank was trying to do the right thing for me. I therefore did something I haven’t done for a few years. I visited my local branch.

On arrival, I told the cashier why I was there. “Sorry Mr Rodrigues you need to call us in advance and make an appointment”… But I’m here now… “Sorry we have no appointments today”… well, I left and with the promise to never go back….

The return to the branch…

As it happens… I was sent a cheque. I went to my local branch to deposit it but didn’t make an appointment. Having paid in my cheque, and given I was already there, I asked if I could have an appointment to go through the improved deal discussed above.

“Yes, we’ll be free to see you in 15 minutes” was the answer. I was delighted and waited. A very nice, polite employee welcomed me and offered me a seat in a comfortable room. As I was getting comfortable and explaining why I was there, I was told by my opposite number, “I finish my shift in 10 minutes, but let’s see if I can help you”. I explained why I was there, my accounts were checked, and confirmation was given that I could indeed get a better deal. However, I was now told that in order to access the deal, I would need to buy something else that would add no value to me…. I simply expressed my dissatisfaction and left.

Coming back to my original point, why would any organisation make a customer go through the painful experience above? Did they actually think about the customer? My bank has reams of information about me, so why not offer something that might be relevant based on how I typically access the banks’ services?

“The journey” “or gamble” above was created to get you to buy stuff that you may or may not need. This wasted both the bank’s time and mine. Stop gambling with your customers’ trust; instead start building it, one experience at a time.

Customers don’t care or want to go on journeys with firms. Customers care about their experiences and outcomes. That’s what they buy. Whatever you are selling, to ensure you get the right outcomes, make sure trust is a key component in the mix.