I read an article recently that said one way to sharpen your child’s mind is to engage in family debates. In the Kraus family, we have taken this to a new level – we are debating at the dinner table. The other night my wife kicked off with, “So Mr. Software for Customer Centricity (when she starts with the full frontal assault it is never a good sign), tonight I think we should debate if companies really are focused on delivering better service to customers, or are they just focused on avoiding their customers and lowering their costs?”
So, we broke up into teams, me and the five year-old boy vs. my wife and the ten year-old girl. The children quickly backed out of the debate, which is fairly typical unless the topic revolves around getting another puppy, why we need to get a pool, having ice cream for dinner, why a ten year-old NEEDS an iPad, or my personal favorite – why a five year old that cannot spell needs a cell phone that can send text messages.
My wife was first up and she came out swinging, drawing on some of her personal experiences. Every time she contacts any of her service providers (this particular one was stirred up by a call to her wireless carrier), they don’t know who she is, they force her to jump through hoops that are not applicable to her, there is no consistency to the answers she gets, whether on the Web, or from one person to the next, and to add ultimate insult to injury, they ask her if she wants to sign up for additional services. Her bottom line: she spends too much time and gets too little in return. I saw the fire in her eyes when she was coming at me with this argument.
My response? Successful companies want the same thing that customers do. They want to deliver a great service experience because they know if they cannot meet a customer’s expectations they will switch to someone who will, and if they can meet the customer’s needs the customer is willing to expand the relationship. These companies do not lack the desire to deliver a great experience, but they have traditionally had challenges in a few major areas. They cannot just focus on giving their customers everything they want; they have to balance it with the cost to deliver the service (aka customer might be happy, but the shareholders are not), their legacy systems and business goals were optimized to support a siloed and outdated data and organization structures and personal technology such as smart phones and social media are adapting faster than their legacy systems can keep pace with.
The good news? I told her this challenge is exactly what some of the best companies in the world are turning to Pega for, and what Customer Centricity (Hence my title Mr. Customer Centricity) is all about. It is delivering a personalized customer experience that exceeds customers’ expectations, delivering it at a cost that is right for the business and delivering it in constantly changing world. Think of the power, if a company could develop the best answer to your service question and push it to every representative and every channel. Consider how much better the experience would be if every time you called, the organization recognized who you are, what you own and were ready with an answer to the question you were about to ask. Since Pega enables just that – you have a better experience, and they deliver it more efficiently saving money in the process.
I completely nailed it, I turned to my partner (my five year-old) threw him a high five and strutted like a peacock around the kitchen. In the end, my wife won the debate, because she was the cook that night and the cook never loses. Or else, the next meal might taste a little bit funny.
The kids have asked Santa for a whiteboard and video conferencing capabilities this year so they can add graphics and expert witnesses to support their positions.