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CX - What not to do


For any organization looking for an example of what NOT to do in relation to customer experience:

Simply look at the NFL.

If ever there was an example of not understanding your customer (or just not caring what your customer wants) it’s the overtime rule the NFL currently has in place, which was on show in all its glory in the Chiefs and Bills game last night. Very few people believe that this is the best way to decide a game — even KC proposed a change to this flawed system after they were on the wrong side of the coin flip in 2019. You would think that an organization with nearly $10 billion in revenues could come up with a solution better than that.

For those that aren’t familiar with what I’m referring to — the current sudden-death NFL overtime format was established in 2010. It gives both teams the chance to possess the ball at least once in overtime unless — and this is key — the team that receives the overtime kickoff scores a touchdown on its first possession. In 1974, the NFL officially added a sudden-death overtime period to decide a game tied at the end of regulation. This format was simple: first team to score wins; field goal included. For those playing along at home, after 35 years… not only was this current format the best they could come up with; but it’s apparently so good that they’ve kept in place for the last 13 seasons. This means that in certain situations in either format, the game is pretty much decided by the flip of a coin.

This “process improvement” is so terrible that in my mind, this how it was created at the rules committee meeting in 2010:

Committee Chairman: “Okay everyone, I know it’s been a few days and there’s an open bar downstairs, but we have 5 minutes left and one last item to discuss — Sudden-death Overtime Format.”

{A collective groan harmonizes from the group}

“I know, I know, but fans have been complaining about this for many years now, so maybe we should actually take it seriously.”

{Tick tock, tick tock… 4 minutes pass}

Newest Committee Member: “Why don’t we just change it from first score wins, to first touchdown…??”

Committee Chairman: “Genius! All those in favor?”

All: “Aye!!!!”

Committee Chairman: “Let’s get outta here — the bar isn’t going to drink itself!”

Now let’s take this example into the corporate world. This would be like a Product Manager or Head of Innovation for a large financial services company, meeting with your team in 2022 to discuss a customer contact process created in 1987; and making the recommendation to send a letter rather than a fax. (Actually — even this example is more of an improvement than what they made.)

If your whole job is to make sure that your organization is servicing its customers to the best of its ability, then it may be a good start would be to listen to them. Another wild idea: it might also be worthwhile reviewing your processes at least each decade.

With the ever-increasing dissatisfaction of the public, maybe, just maybe it’ll get addressed in the off-season, but forward-thinking organizations wouldn’t let it get to this point in the first place. Given that it’s been changed once in almost 50 years, I wouldn’t hold my breath.