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A Message to the Customer Experience Folks at Optus/Fetch TV

Use the lead generator on LinkedIn to search for “customer experience” skills – and in the  Australian telecoms company Optus alone, you will get 2,900 hits.

To be clear: that’s 2,900 folks who have “customer experience” (CX) as a skill, who work at Optus.

Now. I have no doubt these folks include some of the smartest minds in the fields of design thinking, behavioural economics and psychology.

I also have no doubt there have been numerous major CX improvements throughout Optus because of their magnificent efforts.

And while I personally find the field of CX fascinating, learning more about it as each day passes, I confess my knowledge is still very limited.

(For the record, I don’t own any multi coloured packs of Post-It notes.)

Yet, despite my personal limitations, based on our experience of trying to get Optus’s Fetch TV installed, I have a suggestion that I guarantee will help Optus improve their customer experience for the majority of Fetch TV customers:

Step 1

Recruit a handful of consumers who want to get Fetch TV but who do not have cable internet to their home.

Step 2

Ask them to self-record videos at each stage of the customer journey. Specifically:

–       Ask them to record their inital use of the website in question

–       Ask them to describe how they feel after the phone call to order the product.

(Personal note: we spent an hour on the phone being reassured that if we purchase mobile broadband, the English Premier League will “play like a dream” on Fetch, despite doubts we voiced on Australia’s mobile broadband speed… call us naive.)

–       Ask them to record how they feel when told that it would cost them an additional $40 to purchase the power lead for the Fetch TV unit.

(Personal note: surely that is like selling a kettle and asking if you would like to purchase the power chord so you can use it?)

–       Ask them to record the arrival and installation of the mobile broadband box… and their feelings after a subsequent 90 minutes on the phone to the Optus support team.

–       Ask them to record the later arrival of the Fetch TV unit and its installation.

–       Ask them to record their reactions to the error message that appeared once everything was set up.

–       Ask them to record how they feel after another 70 minutes on the phone to the Optus support team, when they are eventually informed that it will not work because… you guessed it…  the mobile broadband speed is too slow.

–       Ask them to record how they feel after 2 more long conversations to cancel both the mobile broadband and the Fetch TV.

Step 3

Get a few people with the authority to change the process to watch these videos together, and, hell, why not: make a few notes about what caused so much frustration.

Bonus: create easily digestible clips for each of the moments of pain and show them to all relevant stakeholders.

Final (Simple) Step

Build consensus that the experience *suffered* by its customers is not satisfactory and identify how to avoid this in the future.


The lesson to be learned? (we can but live in hope)

Watching the real experience and behaviour of consumers must be at the heart of any CX process.

Not only does it help to generate consumer-led hypothesis, it is a lot harder to ignore than a data point.

There’s no excuse these days.

Completing this process for any customer journey can be achieved with small sample sizes and at minimal cost.

The benefits are massive.

It builds empathy and helps your colleagues see the world through their customer’s eyes.

I am not suggesting for a minute this replaces the sophisticated approaches to understanding, measuring and improving the customer experience already in place.

However, if one of your goals is to understand some of the things that really cause your customer’s milk to go sour and their pet cats to wail incoherently as they dodge the flying expletives, this simple approach will do it.