Good & evil in Customer Experience and why it’s like a Marvel Comics movie

In this short post I consider the role of good & evil in Customer Experience.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe

I admit I’m not a follower of the Marvel comics movies.  But when stuck on a long haul flight or in a hotel room with nothing on but CNN, almost any Marvel movie is a welcome distraction.

So I never saw them in any order, nor do I grasp the entire mythology.

But in the movies I did see, it was always clear which characters were ‘good’ and which characters were ‘evil’.

The Marvel universe is a pretty binary place.

What kind of Customer experience does your Contact Center deliver?

Good & evil in Customer Experience

Sometimes when I read articles & posts on Customer experience, I feel like I’m watching a Marvel comics movie.

Evil VillainThat happens when the author of the article positions the company they’re describing in one of two ways:

  • When the company described in the post does things ‘right’ or right in the author’s opinion – then they’re good
  • When the company described in the post does things ‘wrong’ or wrong in the author’s opinion – then they’re evil

It’s never in doubt who is good and who is evil.  The content & tone make it clear.

And when it comes to the evil companies – which are the posts you see more often -look out for these kinds of words –

They’re dumb, on their way out, thoughtless, lazy, ignorant.  It’s practically biblical how bad they are.

And this is what worries me.

If a company doesn’t deliver the experience the writer likes, the default setting seems to be how dumb, apathetic, doomed to fail and the like.

But if Customer Experience is as binary as a Marvel comics movie, there’s not much room to manoeuvre.  Not much room to improve.

I don’t ever see Thanos becoming the good guy or Wonder Woman becoming the bad guy.

The real world is more nuanced than a Marvel comics movie

The real world is more nuanced than a Marvels comics movie.  Customer Experience deserves more than a binary good & evil measurement scale.

I had lunch with a Client in Asia not long ago.

She had navigated the pivot from Head of Customer Service to Head of Customer Experience.  And our lunch conversation turned to organizational culture.

She had built a great service culture in the Customer Service function.  That was one of the reasons she had been appointed the Head of Customer Experience.

And now she needed to develop that service culture across the entire organization.  Into departments & functions where service wasn’t seen as the most important characteristic.

With her usual pragmatism she told me –

“Dan, we’ve been around a while as you know. 

And we’ve got really great people in this company.  In all departments. It’s not that we’re bad or we don’t care about Customers.  We care a lot.  

It’s just that we’ve become too comfortable.  Things have been good here for a long time.  The impetus for change is muted. 

I think my job is to help our folks understand our future desired state as a company and why being too comfortable in what we do and the way we do it isn’t sustainable going forward.”

Her people are good, her colleagues are good, the management supports the change and she’s successfully completed her gap analysis.

Do their Customers sometimes complain?  Of course they do.

But as an organization they’re working on it.  They’re working to be better.

And as practitioners know, fixing the ecosystem takes time.

I don’t publish personal complaint posts

If I have a personal complaint with a company I contact them directly and privately.  I give them the chance to address my issue.

As a Customer domain professional, I don’t find proper or helpful to trash companies and/or their people on social media.

Marvel hero I think industry professionals tend to look at the bigger picture.

We’re interested in the underlying dynamics or conditions that led to whatever it was that we experienced.

We don’t trumpet our disbelief at this thing or that thing happening.  I leave it to the real Customers to sit in judgement.

I I’d rather look for the lessons.

 

CX
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