Is insider really outsider in customer experience?

Thursday, October 04, 2012
Insider is outsider in customer experience
© Rodeo/Andres Rodriguez

We were going through an industry lately, selling our services to executives.

In one call, it came to me, how outsiders these industry insiders really are, when you think about a customer perspective to their business or industry.

Their product was used by virtually all households, so every executive was also a customer. But not one of these executives have ever bought their product the normal way their their customers do: through a normal purchase process. They all had used internal ways:

- they didn't have to select the supplier, so they have never compared the companies

- they do not pay normal price, so did not understand how the customers see the pricing

- they did not had to fill any forms themselves, someone in their organization took care of this for them. And if they would have to do that, they already speak “the industry”, that it, they understand the industry’s mambo jumbo.

- if they had any problems, they would always get best service from best people. They would never have to call customer service or support, they would call the customer service manager, or ask their secretary to do that.

Thus they were total outsiders of how their customer perceive their business, how the customers compare companies, prices, products, how easy or difficult it really is to buy the product, how low the quality really is and how frustrating it is to try to get someone to fix an issue, or how difficult it is to understand any communication, conditions, forms etc because of the industry’s internal language.

I am not going to tell you which industry I am talking about, as it really does not matter, the problem is universal. Consider for a while a car industry. First consider how you buy a car, how you get it serviced, what problems do you face, when something needs to be fixed and so on. Now consider the car executive from the brand. Do you think he or she goes through the same processes you do? Definitely not. If her car broke down, she will get it to service in front of the queue. She will not need to fight whether the fault should be covered by warranty or not. She would not need a courtesy* car (if even available), as she can always borrow from internal or press fleet.

*I read a story from a British CAR-magazine: A customer has left his new + 200 000 € Aston Martin for a warranty service and got a 10 000 € Ford Ka as a courtesy car. Or as the customer put it, a discourtesy car.