Why we need to be consistent

What do we mean by a ‘consistent customer experience?’ A consistent customer experience for whom? And for what purpose?

Which elements of the experience can be constant across products, service and geographical boundaries?

What is the motivation for consistency? Easy to manage, better cost control, increased efficiency
or improvement in outcomes?

Delivering a consistent experience is often seen as a major objective, but what do we actually mean. Alignment of cross channel information, delivering to brand promise, service recovery or complaint resolution? Should we be looking at tone of voice or meeting emotional needs of the customer? Perhaps the desire for consistency is actually a strategy to help us understand complex situations and issues.

Some key questions

  • What would our customers see as consistent? How can we identify and articulate it?
  • Has the desire for consistency increased the net effort as we try to be consistent rather than agile?
  • Shouldn’t we be striving to meet individual needs? If so, are there consistent elements or themes?
  • Consistency does not always mean repeatability. Can we generate a consistently surprising experience?

Ultimately, consistency and simplicity would seem to go hand in hand.

From The QoE, May 2013, ‘Consistency’

Should we be aiming for simplicity?

  • Ease can be interpreted as making something possible, affordable or timely
  • ‘How can we make this easier?’ is a more open ended question
  • Ease does not require the customer to examine/consider the needs
    of someone else
  • Simplicity can be a true differentiator in service design eg. e­‐ticketing / boarding pass
  • Simplicity has the potential to reduce complexity and cost of service delivery
  • Simplicity could make effort a more appropriate headline measure

Complications with and exceptions to simplicity

  • Ease of purchase through mobile -­‐ increases the pressure on delivery  and customer availability
  • The balance between ease of use with technologically correct products
  • Designing to fulfil a need is irrelevant if too difficult to use
  • IVR good example  -­‐  when good, great, when poor, terrible
  • Ease of recovery should not replace emphasis on right first time
  • Net effort score is being used by a company that is notoriously difficult to deal with ‐  is this a conscious effort to put things right or something to hide behind?
  • Being viewed as the cheapest in the market is sometimes endorsed by increased effort
  • Getting things right is still better than getting them easy to use but wrong

From The QoE, January 2014, ‘Is Effort the New Loyalty?’