Remember the ghost that would run around in the Family Circus cartoons causing a bunch of mischief and get Billy, Dolly, Jeffy, and P.J. in trouble all the time? The kids all knew who he was. Time after time, Bil and Thelma would call the kids out on said naughtiness of the day and low and behold, it was always “Not Me” who did it. Not a bad deal to know exactly who to blame, and even better to have Bil and Thelma to help clean up the mess.
Sadly for us, we don’t have the luxury of our own “Not Me” to blame and no Bil and Thelma to clean up our messes, no matter how badly we want to. Customers come to you with a problem and they really don’t care what happened before, who did what to whom, what was or wasn’t documented, or whose fault “it” is. They just want to get whatever they need fixed, fixed. Quickly… and perhaps with a smile.
Businesses Make It Seem Logical To Say “Not Me” Your Customers
The reality is that businesses have evolved into a fragmented sales and support model where there is often little interest in making the other successful.
For instance, when you buy an extended warranty, it’s probably from a third party. The selling person or company has already been paid and has little vested interest in ensuring that your post-sale experience continues to be amazing. The supporting person or company has no idea what was promised at sale and even worse, has no relationship with the customer so has no idea where that person is coming from.
With so little continuity in the Customer Lifecycle, only the brand is left to set any expectation for your customers on what they should be expecting from an experience perspective. If those delivering support and managing the relationship on the back end of the Customer Lifecycle aren’t 100% in tune with and living the Brand, there is a quick and immediate break… here comes Mr. Not Me.
So how do you avoid falling back on your “Not Me” when it makes perfect sense every time to do so?
Choose Your Allies Wisely
Businesses need to be able to depend on their network to be successful. No one person can be an expert at everything, so by necessity, you must identify who you can count on to deliver on the experience you promise your customers. Just like your customers, you have a powerful referral network to leverage and find the right fit for your brand.
Don’t Outsource If You Don’t Have To
Even if it’s more expensive now to keep something in-house, in the long run, you need to be able to say that it was worth it.
For instance, if it’s going to cost you 20% less to have your support team be located in another state, that may seem like an obvious good choice. However, if there is no linkage to bring that team into your cultural fold, then over time, you’ll end up spending more identifying ways to drive culture so they can deliver on the brand. If you don’t, then you end up compromising the experience on the most important post-sale interaction.