Last week I shared with you the 4C Diagnostic Check™, a simple and effective tool for proactively validating that an organization’s operations supports a healthy customer experience and drives customer success.
Let me illustrate with a real, life example how it works.
Not too long ago I was evaluating the health of a SaaS company’s customer experience.
They were looking to grow the Customer Success function and evaluating what needed to be done in order to scale while ensuring that the customer experience was solid.
I consequently set about testing their customer experience as a customer myself.
The company provides software to home contractors and a concierge service to homeowners to find them a qualified contractor and help them through the home improvement process.
Against the 4C’s the company had designed the experience as follows:
Navigating home improvement is fraught with challenges for home owners. Customers can expect a concierge to guide them through the process making it simple and effective.
A concierge (CSM) is assigned when a project is submitted and calls to introduce themselves and promise that they will be with the homeowner through every step of the process.
During the introduction call the CSM articulates how a contractor will be found for the project and how the CSM will make the process easier.
The company had resources, processes and tools in place to assist its customers through their journey.
After submitting my home improvement request I had the following experience (abridged):
Sept 8: rep 1 promised to call back in an hour (called back Sept 17)
Sept 8: welcome email from rep 2
Sept 17: rep 1 called, identified themselves as my main point of contact (MPOC)
Sept 17: duplicate welcome email from rep 2
Sept 18: rep 3 email with calendar appointment
Sept 18: rep 4 phone message with apology (the reason for which was never explained)
Sept 20: rep 5 email reminder for appointment with contractor
Sept 20: rep 3 email reminder for appointment with contractor
Sept 21: call from contractor 1 confirming appointment between 2-4 pm
Sept 21: rep 5 email with calendar appointment
Sept 21: rep 5 phone message with appointment reminder
Sept 21: contractor 2 arrives at 5:15 pm
Sept 21: contractor 1 arrives at 6:10 pm
Sept 22: rep 5 follow up email
Sept 22: rep 3 follow up email
Against the 4C’s my actual experience was:
Nothing happened as I had expected it to. Instead of one person successful assisting me through the process, I spoke with 5 reps and 1 contract through multiple channels, received no quotes and the project was never completed.
After the initial call, I never heard back from my “MPOC” who was to guide me through the process and as things were unfolding differently than how I had been told, I was confused and did not have faith in my project being completed.
Every piece of communication contributed to an even more confusing experience and was contrary to the value proposition. I received duplicate notifications via various channels, an apology with no explanation as to why, a promise for estimates that I never received and no help evaluating the conflicting advice I did receive from the contractors.
With so many flaws in the process - reps not aware of account assignments, duplicate auto emails, calendaring mistakes, the technology not used to send quotes, etc. - it was obvious that operations were not correctly aligned to deliver success.
Needless to say, a check against the 4C’s quickly established that the designed vs actual experiences were quite different.
What the company was trying to accomplish and what they were actually “accomplishing” were the opposite.
Waiting for churn metrics or NPS scores was not necessary to determine something had to be done about the operational design.
The 4C Diagnostic Check™ is an effective means of performing a checkup on your practice of customer success.
By simply running the 4C's through a process an organization can quickly identify whether any of the observable actions required to support a healthy customer experience are missing.
If they are, companies need to understand what those gaps are and undertake to close them quickly as they pose threats to product adoption and the customer realizing the value they expect.
Understanding what the customer needs to achieve, being clear and consistent in that objective and ensuring operations are aligned to that promise - just what the doctor ordered for healthy and happy customers!