Accenture on a (sometimes misleading) positive perception of customer service

I spoke with a customer today relatedt to a technology deployment related to infrastructure and planning. At one point I was somewhat frustrated as I saw that we had room to improve on the customer’s experience with our products, and how we have opportunities to streamline our communications.

Fast forward to this evening after putting kids to bed and receiving a link from a friend to This week CRM magazine has an article on their site that examines how some high tech execs “tend to have a more positive perception of the customer service experience they deliver than what their customers actually experience.”

Referencing a new report out from Accenture, “Superior Customer Service Capabilities: Key Factors in the Journey to High Performance,” Coreen Bailor writes…   

“Consumers’ rising customer service expectations, coupled with factors like product commoditization, make leveraging customer service as a competitive differentiator even more crucial for companies across all industries, including technology firms. Even so, high-tech companies and consumers are far from being on the same page when it comes to their perceptions of customer service satisfaction…”

Really? Sure, she must be joking. 😉

But seriously, I’ve been impressed by how self-critical our customer support teams are; through their connections with our product teams they help us ensure that we understand where we are successful in supporting our customers and where we have room to improve.  

Brian Sprague of Accenture (and the report’s co-author) said that a cultural shift must occur in companies with product-centric mindsets…

“It’s something you can’t just do at the VP of service level. It has to be throughout the entire company, meaning that appropriate incentives need to be put in place, [you must have the] appropriate capabilities to decide what is the customer experience that you want to create, and then work throughout the entire organization to deliver that customer experience.” [my bold]

Absolutely right. Making sure that the entire is working to imrpove upon the customer experience is key, and an area where we all have room to improve (me, too).

Tags: Microsoft, loyalty, Customer Satisfaction, Customer Service.