Customer Experience, Self Service, and the Gift of Time
Time is the most precious gift in life. If you think about it, time is the one thing we all want more of. As we get older and busier, time becomes even more valuable to us. Good customer experience professionals understand this about human nature. So we strive to give back time to our customers along the customer journeys we build. In fact, saving time is one of the most effective ways to improve customer experience.
How Can You Give Back Time to Your Customers?
Actually, it is quite simple. Start by giving customers information. Information is power. Often, we think that unless we make something faster, we are not giving back time.
A faster process or transaction is an effective way to give back time to the customer. Another way is to empower the customer by giving him/her the necessary information to make a choice to repurpose their time.
We see the impact of wait time on the customer experience when we look at public transportation. The New York City subway system recently installed clocks and changed the commuting experience of New Yorkers (a little too late, if you ask me).
Display Wait Times
Now, if you are at a station rushing to get somewhere (as most New Yorkers are) you can make an informed decision to wait for the train or to grab a cab. Rather than waiting for the train without being in control of your journey, you have time to DECIDE what to do.
To further personalize and gain control over your journey, use GPS-empowered apps like BusChecker that show where a bus actually is and how long it will take to arrive at your stop.
Informing people of expected wait times is not the only way to give back time. A commuter who can purchase his/her ticket by phone is given a gift like no other. I recently traveled to Milan, Italy. At Malpensa airport, the customer journey stops abruptly. And it gets worse once you reach the train station arrivals area.
There is a palpable disruption of the flow. You see a long line, and masses of people hovering over a cluster of ~4 kiosks to buy train tickets. On top of that, the kiosks do not accept American credit cards. So, suddenly I was about to miss the only train that worked for me that morning. The meaningful gift of time happened when I saw the option to buy tickets online. That booking channel made the difference between catching the train and waiting over an hour for the next one. I was gifted that time to use for something much better than sitting in a crowd.
Both Metro-North and LIRR in New York now offer customers in-app ticket purchasing options. That is what I call a game changer for the customer and for CX in general. Call it self-service, convenience, or enablement for efficiency – it creates time. Time that we are empowered to reallocate to whatever suits our needs best.
Remove Time Thieves
In his book The Effortless Experience, the author explains the value of low-effort service. One of his four principles is the delivery of a “simple, intuitive, and guided self-service experience that makes it unnecessary to call the company if a customer does not want to…”. Why do you think some people do not want to call? Because they do not want to wait! One of the common time thieves is call wait times and transfers. We all complain about that. Yet, very few organizations have solved the challenge.
Some use a decision tree to guide customers through the process of choosing whether to call. Others implement chatbots to give back some time. Waiting on the phone to reach a contact center professional and start a grievance process is one of the most frustrating experiences. This is the time when the emotional state of the customer is similar to a frustrated child. They want to be heard. And in that peak moment of emotional charge, the brands decide that playing elevator music will calm the caller. That, for sure, never works.
As a Customer Experience Director at an airline, my mission is to eliminate wait time anywhere at the airport. The end goal of most customer-facing projects on the ground is to eliminate queues and give our customers the freedom to co-create their personal journey with us.
When we reduce or eliminate wait time, a brand can service more customers in the same amount of time. That makes it one of the ways to improve customer experience. It also makes it a smart way to create efficiencies that help the bottom line. The customer, on the other hand, can reallocate that extra time to his/her best needs during the journey.
Wouldn’t that be nice? To be given the freedom to personalize your experience? Who does not want that?
More Ways to Improve Customer Experience with The Petrova Experience
Become a Member of The Petrova Experience today!
Customer Experience Audit: eBay’s Vibrant Marketplace of the Future
Editor’s Note: This post is part of a series of Customer Experience Audits. They highlight advances in artificial intelligence in retail and other technologies. See all audit stories. Two years…
Customer Experience Audit: Mobile Provider Eliminates Remote Workforce
How to balance the efficiency call center metric FCR (first call resolution) with wait and talk time? JetBlue promotes human interactions as a brand promise.
Travel Experience Stories: How Not to Leave Customers Stranded
Meet Diane. Diane is traveling with her 2 year old and 5 year old to her in-laws’ house for Thanksgiving. This is the one annual trip she takes. And she…
Coronavirus Travel: What Does Hospitality Mean Now?
I want to tell you about my recent passenger experience. Earlier this week, I traveled to New Orleans from JFK Terminal 5 in New York. I had planned an airport…
From Pain Points to Magical Moments: Transform the Customer Experience
Argyle Journal interviewed Liliana Petrova about emerging self service technology and meeting and exceeding customer expectations in airports. One such way, as Liliana explains, is to create magical customer experience…
Create Your Tribe: How Great CX Makes a Lifestyle Brand
Newcomers to the market realize that their business is only as strong as the growth of their customer base. With that in mind, senior leaders work hard to shorten the distance between them and the customer.
How to Be an Entrepreneur: 5 Things I Learned in 5 Months as an Entrepreneur
The life of an entrepreneur is different every day, but the one thing that remains the same is that we are always learning. These are my lessons in how to…
Liliana Petrova Talks Patient Experience in Healthcare Podcast
Recently, we recorded a podcast on patient experience in healthcare with Stacey Richter. Today, we are excited to share it with you. On the episode, we discuss travel and healthcare…
Why You Need Culture Not Call Center Training for Customer-Centric CX
If the organization does not understand what customer experience is, you will not get the funding or organizational support you need to build customer-centric experiences.
2021 Customer Loyalty Strategy – Relationships over Transactions
According to the Salesforce Connected Customer Report, 90% of consumers expect companies to clearly demonstrate their values and 66% expect brands to demonstrate empathy. In other words, when thinking about…
Holiday Wishes for Great CX: Career Advice Edition
Every successful customer experience initiative starts with a skilled CX team. Brush up on your CX skills to strengthen the business case for CX; to develop relationships within your organization; and to deliver standout customer experiences in the new year.
How To Define Your Purpose And Have Unique Culture
If you Google the word “purpose” you get the definition “the reason for which something exists.” This is a challenge if you think about it in the context of organizational…
Customer Experience Audit: Uber Bets On Self-Driving Cars With Big Volvo Purchase
The question that remains unanswered is who will be part of the future of transportation. Uber is going for the vertical integration – the whole pie. The future industry of urban transportation will be made of players in three different categories: cars, self-driving software, and ride-sharing network. In contrast, Lyft approaches the future through partnerships.
Human Experience: Do You Really Know Your Customers?
Steve Jobs said: “Get closer than ever to your customers. So close that you tell them what they need before they realize it themselves.” He did not just say that….
Customer Experience Audit: FedEx Omnichannel Disaster
In our Strategy, Org Design & Culture series, we cover customer-focused companies that are willing to adapt, take risks and discover new ways of staying relevant. Sometimes, we encounter brands…
CX Skills Builders: You May Have a CX Job and Not Know It
Last week we talked about the identity crisis of CX professionals and we urged you to fix any small problem or seam on the customer journey in order to build internal brand equity and buy in.
Customer Experience Audit: Domino’s Making the Right CX Choices
Editor’s Note: This post is part of a series of Customer Experience Audit – as series of articles featuring examples of good customer experience and bad customer experience in practice….
What is Customer Experience? What are the Faces of CX?
Each area of CX represents a path for CX professionals to impact business health and build successful careers. One of my favorite CX analogies is that it is like the blood in our bodies. When CX is done well, it touches every aspect of an organization. That’s what makes customer experience so much fun! You will never be bored working in CX.
Paperless Customer Journey – JetBlue Deviceless Boarding
JetBlue Biometrics – Innovation and Disruption This year, JetBlue entered the ranks of the innovators who disrupt industries by applying customer experience technology. They not only imagine the future. They…
Poor Integration is Bad for Customer Journey and Worse for Brands
Although we all have bad customer experiences, there is still a big debate about “the CX field” and whether it will survive the test of time. There is no doubt…
Healthcare Whitepaper: Impact of Patient ‘I Wants’ in Healthcare
Rachel Dreyfus joins The Petrova Experience with a guest blog about patient experience. Background A culture of positive patient experience is increasingly important in Healthcare, affecting patient outcomes and satisfaction….
3 Ways to Create a Better Employee Experience Strategy
Guest Post by Gabe Smith, CCXP for The Petrova Experience The relationship between employee experience strategy and customer experience has long been discussed. Without engaged employees, we’re told, it’s difficult…
Customer Experience Survey: Why Customers Are Not Responding
When you solicit customer feedback sometimes matters more than how you ask the questions. In the case of a survey about new biometrics boarding initiatives my team and I created for JetBlue, we had a list of feedback that was most important for us.
Customer Experience Trends – 8 Actionable Tactics in 2021
As we begin Q4 of an eventful 2020, it’s time to look out for the 2021 customer experience trends and tactics for creating exceptional experiences in increasingly complex environments. We…
How a Personal Interaction builds Repeat Customers
A customer-centric methodology is key to the successful outcome of my interaction with Hello Spud. It is the reason this story appears here, and not among the CX Big Fails! The company did not send an automated response. It did not deliver a message stating “sorry we couldn’t help you, would you like something else.” Instead, the company co-founder reached out to me personally across multiple channels (a handwritten note, followed by personal emails).
Freelance Customer Experience Lessons for Freelancers
For small businesses and freelancers alike, it’s important to recognize that your business is as strong as the relationships you build with your customers. That’s just one of the key…
Why Customer Retention is the True Measure of SaaS Success
Guest Post by Callie Reynolds for The Petrova Experience In SaaS (Software as a Service), like in most businesses, sales is king. Sales gets the glory, and while I’d like…
Even the US Government is Jumping on the Customer Experience Train
As we get ready for 2021, we have been diving in to the top customer experience trends we see on the horizon. So far, we have looked at why customer…
WeWork Does Customer Experience Right with a Wow Moment
Used at the right time and place along the customer’s journey, the Wow Moment is an excellent retention technique. When a brand creates personal, relevant experience at exactly the right time, it can build a lifelong, loyal customer relationship.
Is Covid19 What We Needed to Build Seamless End-to-End Travel Experience?
On January 10th, we published an article called The Future of Travel We Deserve. In it, we laid out the foundation necessary to implement innovation at scale. Four months later,…
What Can Casino Consulting Firms Learn from Airlines?
Today we’re talking about casino experience. Casinos and airlines are similar in their operational complexity and sense of wonder. They also are similar in the way they can implement technology…
The One CX Goal You Need to Set for 2019
For 2019, I urge you to make only one CX goal – bring about business success with your customer experience work. Don’t just do work in the general sense. Rather, set a CX goal that has a real impact on your customers and their experiences with your brand.
United CEO does not care about #customers happiness. Really?
Lately, I have been thinking about United Airlines and its organizational culture. Initially, I thought about United Airlines culture because someone asked whether it is possible to build a customer-centric…
Why Bt2B Businesses Must Think Like B2C in the Next Decade
B2B vs B2B thinking makes a real difference when it comes to customer experience. According to Gartner at least 80% of B2B buyers now expect the same buying experience as…
Brand and Customer Experience – Make the Customer Know Who You Are
Now that we have helped you become experts in the design of space and function and the design of feelings, it is time to turn our attention to aesthetics, and to connect customer experience…
5 Tips to Create Great Customer Experience Design Strategy
A customer experience design strategy that is sustainable and successful starts by having a vision and knowing who your customer is. This launching point enables you to design customer experiences…
Lessons Learned at the Forrester Conference: “Data is the New Sexy”
Once a year I look for an event to attend where I can learn something new and get better at what I do. This year, I attended an event hosted…
A Customer Experience Strategy will Define Your Success in 2021
While there may not be a magic pill to guarantee the perfect customer experience, there is one thing that every organization needs to transform into a customer-centric business. And that…
Customer Experience Audit: Starbucks Bets On The Physical Experience
Starbucks is opting in for the physical experience in order to become a lifestyle brand while other brands are investing in omni-channel experience.
Patient Experience Trends in 2021 – Telehealth is Here to Stay
Today, we continue our series about 2021 Customer Experience trends and tactics. We take a closer look at patient experience and what telehealth means for the future. Both for patients…
Let’s Get You Certified as a Customer Experience Professional!
Like all mature professions, customer experience has a certification that is internationally recognized. Adding it to your resume will signal to the business community that you are serious about customer experience and your aspiration to be part of its leadership ranks…