PX outperforms CX

These days, everyone has a mouth full of CX. And yet for many issues you just have to be willing to step into the shoes of a client.

The service, the language and the brand experience from a prospect’s POV (call it PX or prospect experience) very often outperform the customer experience. Yet, acquiring a new customer is anywhere from five to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one.

Take my recent brake-up with a mobile operator for example. I decided to leave after being invoiced an additional 100€ for having consumed a Gig (or so) of mobile data too much. Considering they sell subscriptions with 20 Gig for 20€/month, the fine of 100 euro for a Gig, seemed out of proportion.

This was the trigger that made me think: “What the…? Hey, maybe it’s time to check out other operators”, especially since I already had been paying a high subscription fee for years.

Insight:
Surcharging services will very likely trigger a client into looking for other providers.

Question to ask:
Is it worth it? Can we avoid the trigger?

What if:
Imagine this mobile operator had given me 3 joker cards that I could pull whenever I accidentally over-consumed data, or other services?
It would have attracted my attention on my changing habits and it would have made it seem only fair to pay an additional fee after having used 3 jokers. I would have been more receptive to switch to another subscription type from that same operator.

“Or else we will charge you 248 EUR”

So, there I was, hitting the buy button on a competitor’s website. They made it seem so easy to switch.
Still I ended up contacting the client support from my old mobile operator. To my surprise, no question whatsoever was asked about my reason to leave.

It was only days later that multiple emails started hitting my mailbox asking me why I left, where I went and what type of service I was using. The boring kind of survey. They also sent multiple sms messages to remind me of turning in my modem and settopbox, “or else we will charge you 248 EUR”.

Since the hardware became useless to a no-longer-client, I was of course planning to return everything. The material was outdated and had been sitting next to my television for more than 5 years. Friends of mine had been enjoying more recent models for years. (I wonder why I was never proposed an upgrade.)

I ended up having severe connectivity issues with my NEW provider. It would take about 2 weeks to solve, IF they could solve it. The thought of going back to my old operator came to my mind…but their farewell treatment was an incentive not to do so.

Insight:
Customer experience is a loop. So one day past customers will very likely come back.

Question to ask:
Should the language used for onboarding or for saying goodbye be any different? What about leaving a good impression?

What if:
My previous provider could have sent me a kind email with the suggestion to keep the hardware for free for another 3 weeks in case I changed my mind and maybe an incentive, valid for the next 6 months. 

Today, I’m considered a prospect by my old provider and the promotions to join keep coming in. Why is it you’re never paid for loyalty apart from some points you can redeem and that get you nowhere? Maybe one day I’ll join for the gifts that are given to loyal clients instead of the prospects.

The bottom line

Keeping the right customers is valuable.