Why there’s more to great products than great products

Putting your finger on this thing we call ‘customer experience’ is not easy. The customer experience can be anything from the fleeting satisfaction of a successful Google search to the transactional trudge of a long-term support contract, and all points in-between. Our business touches most of those experiential points.

So when we’re creating products and services, we consider the whole lifecycle of customer value, turning our gaze to every element of the experience. We don’t just look at the product in isolation, we work on the customers’ emotional engagement with the experience by examining behaviour analytics.

What is Customer Experience?

Customer perception is everything. If people think you’re an easy company to do business with, one that’s customer-centric and consistently delivers an outstanding service, then they’ll come back to you over and over again. We cannot overemphasise the importance of the customer experience.

Creating innovation in customer experience is as vital for BT as delivering the future network architecture that’s at the core of everything we sell.

For us, customer experience has three components - if any of these components are missing or weak, we compromise the whole experience. 

Physical

This is the actual competence of whatever product or service we’re providing. Does it work? Is it safe? Is it worth doing? There’s no long-term future in selling things that don’t work well to unsuspecting customers. So we focus on upholding the physical quality of BT’s services, providing the tools and insights, network diagnostics and data analytics that bolster the success of our connectivity products and services.  

Personal

How we react to our customers defines what they think of our services. If we’re difficult to deal with or continually give them a bad experience, it doesn’t matter how good the actual service is, customers will walk. We’ve developed tools and algorithms that reveal insights into what our customers want and what we need to do to meet and exceed their expectations.

Process

A great customer experience is an essential part of any successful product or service. It’s not just the service itself. It’s how easy it is to order. An on-time delivery by someone who knows what they’re doing. Swift and intuitive set-up. Brilliant after-care. And crucially, how well do we recover a customer if something goes wrong?

We have a deep understanding of our business processes, which helps us develop novel algorithms that determine resource distribution, and build tools that crack open our workflows to show where we’re letting customers down.

What's next for Customer Experience?

The next generation of customers are post-millennials. They’ve grown up with iPhones, iPads, Alexa, and Siri. They don’t want to type. They don’t to use a mouse. They just want to ask for something and watch it happen.

It’s occurring now. We’re already accessing digital services through more connected devices than just the smartphone, using speech or gestures. We can talk to our TVs, chat to our cars, and maybe even have a confab with the fridge. In the future, customers will expect to deal with us through intelligent agents like Alexa, Siri, and Google Duplex.   

We need to design customer experiences fit for this highly digitised future.

Don’t worry, we’re on it.