A small Gaulish village….

Mobile operators lose a quarter to a third of their customers every year. This is an international phenomenon and providers don’t like talking about it. If you talk to an account manager who is affected by this, you mostly get the answer: “we profit just as much from it because our competitors also lose as many customers”. I can never understand this point of view. Wouldn’t it be more profitable to stop customers moving away than to go to the expense of pursuing new customers. Everyone says yes, but the behavior of mobile operators says no.

The experience is the product

And the customer is the producer.

For a lot of products, the experience with the product IS the product. It it’s the same for package holidays as it is for a phone app, a restaurant visit or a musical greetings card. To manage the situations in which these experiences occur, providers traditionally talk about departments, delivery change, customer service, developing technology and new procedures.

The Clientarium

There’s an aquarium in the middle of one of our favourite Vietnamese restaurants. When we are waiting for our food, I establish that I already know the fish. There are always the same six or seven. I can even differentiate between them. Sometimes I wonder how they see me. Do they recognize me? How do they see the restaurant’s guests and workers? How do they look at the TV, which is on the whole time? How do they experience the picture of their whole world?

Remembering the experience of the customer journey

Pardon me? Triple linking words is too much for my brain to handle, so I’ll quickly forget about it. Forgetting things seems to be a way of filtering our experiences. You can’t remember everything that happens to you as time goes by, some things however stand out. Behavioural psychologists differentiate between the “experience-me” and the “memory-me”. The first one is distinct in the context of daily life and experiences. The second one reacts and decides what is important or worthwhile remembering.

The supplier journey: fear, excitement, frustration

A lot of initiatives aimed at activating and surveying customers fail because they actually fear them. Sometimes a bad conscience pervades. Small and easily solvable mistakes, might become public. It’s unclear which direction the customer is coming from, and how much they actually know, when they reply; especially if they have never been asked anything by you before. The mood will range between supporter and opponent.

The internet of providers

CeBit 2016 robbed me of one of my illusions. I always thought the Internet of Things (IoT) meant that my washing machine would talk to me. Now however, I have learnt that my washing machine speaks with my provider, and I’m the last one that knows anything about it. What they speak about, I have no idea, but I do know that the provider knows when I do the washing and how often. They don’t know however, when I have to change the pump, so that the machine doesn’t break down.