Are You Being Fair to Your Customers?

CX Network tackles the topic of fairness in customer experience following comments from the Financial Ombudman's Head of Outreach & Consumer Insight at the Customer Experience Exchange for Financial Services 2015.

A customer's experience of a brand or company is subject to personal values and interpretation. What aggravates one person and drives them away from a brand, may not be quite as pivotal to someone else who will stick with a company even if the customer service journey isn't an entirely smooth one.

But this subjective perspective works both ways. After all, if a customer makes a complaint, who decides that there is a valid reason for reconsidering the customer's journey and offering a possible exchange or refund on a product or service offered?

For common complaints there may be a standard policy, but not all cases are the same and there are bound to be examples of customer experiences that don't fit a standarised model.

At the second day of the Customer Experience Exchange for Financial Services 2015 in London on 24 February 2015, Caroline Wells, Head of Outreach & Customer Insight at the Financial Ombudsman, spoke about how difficult being fair to a customer is.

Illustrated by A4-sized pieces of paper showing happy and sad smiley faces, Wells asked the delegates several questions testing their view on fairness. And with a pretty much 50/50 split for the majority of the questions it clearly showed how subjective the terminology truly is.

Wells said that while fairness is talked about all the time, it is not straightforward to deliver or even define.

"You can be as objective and level-headed as you like, but fairness is a personal subjective state" she added.

Wells also explained that more often than not fairness is defined by how people feel and what they believe - and that moves all the time.

So, how do you define fairness to your customers within your company? Is it a majority view? Or is it a responsibility of a single person?

Have there been particular examples where opinion within your company was split drastically? Or where the customer mentioned being treated unfairly?

We'd like to hear your stories; the challenges you've faced and more importantly, how you overcame them to create a fair and more well perceived journey for your customers.

Also make sure to check out some of our upcoming events' such as Customer Experience Exchange for Telecoms and Executive Customer Contact Exchange UK - where you not only have the opportunity to engage with leaders in the customer experience field and learn from their experience, but also to discuss the topic of fairness with your customers with peers.