Continuing from a previous blog…
The next boundary is to consider customer education. This is not about training customers; education is about helping them use your product or service in a way which suits them. Surprisingly it may not be how you want them to use your service and may well infuriate your front line staff.
Whilst working with a council team who were trying to meet their recycling targets, the overall theme was a general grumble about the 150,000 people in the town who seemed incapable of putting the right waste in the right bin and putting it out on the roadside on the right day! After all, they had put a leaflet through every household letterbox; ”they have been told”. Perhaps 150,000 people think differently.
Then there was the CEO of a large organisation bemoaning the fact that his managers seemed to have ignored the information on slide 37 of his annual leadership conference presentation just three weeks previous. I had sat through this presentation and completely understood the reason why … it had been deadly boring. I saw more of the inside of my eyelids than his slides! It’s not the customer’s fault. If you want to help them to take full benefit of your service then you have to understand how people want to learn how to use it.
Thousands of pounds are spent gathering data on our customers; my supermarket knows everything about my eating, cleaning and grooming habits in order to give me a better shopping experience. Their customer intelligence helps segment offers specifically to me so my supermarket experience is tailored to my lifestyle. Think on, if organisations know so much, why do their customers often use so little of the potential of their product?
Take my humble mobile phone as an example. It can allow me to phone, to text, photograph, video, surf, e-mail, plot my position anywhere on the planet with GPS and even play music. Brilliant perhaps, but I don’t do text and don’t use anything other than the telephone function. I’m reasonably technically proficient but I really can’t be bothered to read the hundred or so pages of instruction in the phone’s handbook. It’s not how I learn. What more could there be to help me use the full potential of my mobile? Until they work this out I can only dream of the day when, as I emerge from a tube station, from the wrong exit and instead of asking the nearest tourist for help, the GPS on my phone is my saviour.
Customer education needs to take more account of people’s different learning styles’. It makes complete sense that if they are able to become more involved with the experience we offer then they will become better customers.