Most people would agree personal experiences are a great way to learn, de facto. For me, when working with BSI (British Standards Institution) to develop new customer experience standards, the combination of personal experience and referencing consumer data is incredibly powerful. Data tells us the trends and quantifies the issues, but personal experience makes it real and helps understand the emotions we all feel when things go wrong (and right).

Understanding customers through market research data and how they interact with organisations is not only a fascinating window into human behaviour but done well evaluates what customers’ expect and also exposes what they truly experience on a day-to-day basis. The customer service data includes the details of customer service interactions, levels of satisfaction, and rates of ID and payment fraud and so on. On the way, the parallels strike me between my personal experiences and the data I analyse. The brands that score highly, such as John Lewis, are where I experience better service. Moreover, the ones, such as mobile phone networks and high street banks are the ones where things seem to go wrong. Organisations thrive to improve customer service, yet often basics are not done well.

I feel blessed to have a house, a car, a family and their health and happiness to manage – however, when it comes to dealing with organisations that supply products and services to meet our daily needs and lifestyle I feel empowered, yet often frustrated, by my experiences from a wide range of organisations. Armed with my smartphone, landline, laptop, iPad and the odd letter of complaint to a CEO I have often felt the surge of going into battle as I negotiate organisations’ wrong assumptions, mistakes, false promises and setbacks inherent in the customer service I experience.

These experiences give me all the motivation I need to work with BSI to helpwrite standards. It is a long-term process but over time, the standards can help UK and global organisations improve their customer experiences. In the last couple of years, BSI has been actively developing or revising standards in the areas of:

  • Monitoring and Measuring Customer Satisfaction
  • Customer Service
  • Customer Complaints
  • Customer Service Excellence
  • Customer Contact Centres

Established in 1901 BSI was the world’s first national standard body. It is the business standards company that helps organisations make excellence a habit all over the world. Standards offer step-by-step improvements in designing and implementing people training, processes and technologies in every industry. In customer experience, an area of work where process meets people in a way matched in few other areas of life, standards set out a path and plan for managers to deliver good practice and great experiences.