Cowboys and Aliens – a complex relationship

cowboys-and-aliensWhat is so abstract about the term Customer Experience? Both words are basic and simple enough that a five-year old child can understand them, define them, and use them in a sentence. Combining the words, “Customer Experience”, apparently creates an overly complex term for even highly educated adults.

Recently I had cause to express dissatisfaction with the experience I had while utilizing a local company’s services. I had a question about the service and it took several requests by way of phone and email to get an educated response. After a couple of weeks of back and forth I finally spoke with Nancy who was the director of this small company. Nancy easily answered my original question. Great. Thank you. I went on to explain the poor experience I had having to spend a lot of time and effort while waiting to get her simple reply. I like the services and the company and I really wanted Nancy to know about this poor experience so that she could influence a change for the next time.

After listening to my concern Nancy assured me the services they provided were as promised. Wait – she missed the point. My complaint wasn’t about the services it was about how I felt while receiving the services. Ignored, under valued, invisible

So I made another attempt to explain myself telling this educated adult that I wasn’t unhappy with the services. I was unhappy with the experience I had while receiving the services. I said something like, “I agree you’re providing a good service; I’m not questioning that. But, I want you to know that I had a very poor “Customer Experience” while receiving these services. A good Customer Experience is important to me”. Uh-oh, I used the term – twice in one sentence. By doing so I took the conversation to that complex place where Customers are aliens and service providers are cowboys. I really wanted Nancy to know that I came in peace, I was not interested in her taking me to her leader, and I would not be exterminating the planet. Too late. Everything I said after using the term caused her to duck for cover lest she be blasted by my alien phaser and taken back to the mothership for weird experiments.


I retreated to my transport and as I flew off I noted the fatigue in Nancy’s eyes. After all, this had been quite an experience for her…


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