They used to call it “eat your own dog food”

Don Yaeger’s Daily Dose Of Greatness (you can subscribe here) resonated so well with the opportunity for businesses to improve their customers’ experience. I am sure you agree your Customer Experience is important. I am resharing the quote here.

“Put yourself in your customers’ shoes and do a friction audit on your entire experience. Have you filled out the contact form on your website or called your customer service line? As a leader, you need to be a friction fighter.”

Husky Dog with mud on face and statement "Why does customer experience need to be so dirty"

Jesse Cole – Owner of the Savannah Bananas

Who hasn’t called an automated voice response system, filled out a complicated “contact us” form, or worse yet tried to get a robot to understand your issue? I liken the majority of these to a “one and done” activity that is never updated or let alone tested to begin with. But there is an easy fix. And I’m talking to you CEOs. Just as I heard it took a governor getting stuck in a long line at one of their state’s tollbooths to fix the problem, the CEO of the company must realize they are not above being accountable for their customers’ experience. Experience your customers’ experience just once and your cortisol level will correlate to the team size you assign to fix the problem!

So if the fix is so easy, why does the horrible, stressful experience persist in so many companies? If we put aside those that simply do not want to deal with you, I remain perplexed at the so many more that seem to care about their customers. If you believe in “drift” then maybe some start off well and just forget to ever revisit the pain they are subjecting their customer to. That still leaves a lot of others!

So just as the CBS series Undercover Boss exposes opportunities for CEOs, every CEO can find opportunities to improve their customers’ experience by actually being a customer or an employee. Gary Dake, CEO of Stewart’s Shops admitted “Everything looks easy when we’re sitting in a conference room but when you actually get out into a shop it gives you a greater appreciation for how hard some of the decisions we make, make somebody else’s job.” ( Reference).

Husky Dog eating an incre cream cone wish words "Now that's something I can sink my teeth into!"

So CEOs, buy one of your products and/or services. Call your help desk. Call your “customer service line”. If it is painful, experience the pain long enough to embrace the need for change. And then make it happen! And if you find the experience satisfying, then celebrate it with your great team! It is not difficult, and your customers (and your employees) will appreciate it.