The Winchester ‘Mystery’ house is a well known Northern Californian landmark near San Jose. It was once the personal residence of Sarah Winchester, widow of the gun magnate William Wirt Winchester.
The house was under continuous construction for 38 years and incorporated the latest technologies of the day including steam and forced air heating, modern indoor toilets and plumbing (with a hot shower!) and push–button gas lighting.
Although in 1884 there were 147 builders at work on the property there were no architects involved. This approach resulted in the construction of a state-of-the-art abode which purportedly has 65 doors to blank walls, 13 staircases abandoned and 24 skylights in floors!
So how does this relate to your Customer Experience environment?
Well for many organizations it’s just like the Winchester ‘Mystery’ house; they have the latest ‘state of the art’ technologies deployed – sophisticated web self-service, Social Media marketing, mobile apps but it’s been built without a customer experience platform ‘blueprint’.
This has left organizations with the many ‘Mystery House’ features:
- Skylights in floors – Customer experience solutions are often bought or built in isolation leading to gaps or features that overlap leading to an inconsistent customer experience, increased operational inefficiency and a higher cost of ownership
- Doors to blank walls – web self service is great but when it doesn’t work customers are often forced to have to leave the site and make a call to the contact center
- Abandoned Staircases – when customers do have to change channel the process they have started is often abandoned and they have to start all over again
So how can you avoid or fix the customer experience ‘Mystery House’ that can too easily be created:
- Have a clearly defined functional ‘blueprint’ for the customer experience platform that will support all current and likely future customer engagement channels including voice, email, web engagement, SMS, social media, scanned mail, business system tasks. This should avoid the ‘skylights in the floors’.
- Wherever there is self-service (voice, web, mobile apps) ensure that customers can also get assisted service from someone that knows what the customer has been doing and can help them complete their transaction. This will remove the ‘doors to blank walls’
- Finally ensure that the customer can move between customer engagement channels and still have a personalized experience. The conversation should continue whenever they move between communication channels and not be an ‘abandoned staircase’
Delivering a personalized experience requires joined-up thinking across the organization. Having a blueprint for delivering a multichannel, crosschannel customer engagement platform will help you to avoid building your very own Customer Experience ‘Mystery House’!