Recently interviewed by customer experience management industry analysts Mark Hillary and Peter Ryan for CX Files, a podcast that interviews leading customer experience analysts, thinkers and practitioners about the trends in CX and what customers really expect from brands today, Scott Broetzmann, President & CEO of Customer Care Measurement & Consulting shares insights on the causes of customer rage and more.
In the interview, Scott describes CCMC’s long history in studying customer rage, how he personally got involved in the research, why it continues to be marketplace relevant, and how this research has informed the customer experience management survey work CCMC does for its clients, work that differs substantially from that offered by the standard CX firm.
Piggybacking on the seminal 1976 White House research on customer rage done by CCMC principals, the subsequent nine CCMC rage studies have maintained the original focus on the most serious problems with products and services in the prior year, thus giving it one of a kind longitudinality as well as focus on the umbrella concept of rage as opposed to the more common siloed research by industry. Scott announced that CCMC is in the process of preparing another rage study for 2022.
Unique Opportunities in Customer Experience Management During a Global Pandemic
Queried about whether there has been a change in customer behavior since the pandemic, Scott said he hoped to know more following this year’s study.
Anecdotally, of course, it appears there is a deterioration in customer behavior. CCMC is angling to understand better what has emboldened customers to act so badly. Some would argue that the democratization of the web has played a role.
CCMC hopes to delve more deeply into customer behavior and customer experience management in this year’s rage study.
Taking the airline industry, for example, since it is generally in the top five most complained about industries, Mark Hilary noted that the pandemic has directly affected their service, that airlines remain cautious in their approach to Covid, and that airlines walk a tightrope trying to keep passengers safe while receiving push-back from some passengers.
Asking Scott whether he thought there was a way the airlines could better navigate the situation through their customer experience management strategy, Scott replied that he didn’t know that there was, that the world in which we live is so divided, so tribal that it severely limits the ability of businesses to find solutions acceptable to everyone. Did the airlines do the right thing eliminating alcohol sales? The answer may depend on what side of the aisle you are on.
If you assume that customers and businesses are in relationship, Scott notes that one would hope for better behavior than we have heard about. We are presently asking a lot of employees and professionals on the front lines.
Not trained to be enforcers of rules, for example, we as customers could show more understanding than we sometimes do. Given such poor behavior, we truly risk a shortage of people willing to do jobs we need or want done.
How Customer Experience Management Strategies Can Be Modified to Positively Influence Customer Behavior
How to encourage better behavior is a different question than probed in the rage study, however, the study has shed light on the principal causes of rage prior to the pandemic.
First and foremost is that nearly half of customers receive no remedy when they complain. At the same time, businesses continue to assume wrongly that customers only want money.
The data shows that the principal thing customers seek is what Scott calls psychological currency.
Businesses also continue to push employees to request positive ratings surveys on customers with their customer experience management strategies, even though the research is quite clear that customers hate these surveys and that they can even adversely impact customers’ views of the experience and business at hand.
In the interview, Scott expresses his excitement about the upcoming 2022 study, his guesses about certain outcomes, and his ideas for additional questions that probe whether rage is now coming from a different place than it has in the past, whether there is perhaps a value system that has become part of transactions.
Is it possible our divided politics is challenging the business-customer relationship even more than usual? This may be tough to parse out but surely seems worth exploring in these challenging times.
Listen here to learn more about Scott’s intentions and perspectives on this timely topic.