If you operate in the retail sector you'll have been told that 'service' is one of the key things that differentiates your company from your competitor.

In today's modern world if your company has a big customer service team who are kept busy it's probably because you're neglecting the one thing that makes us all choose one brand/company over another.

That one thing is 'how does this make me feel' - this is my emotional reaction to you, and it has a huge impact on our future (or not) relationship - it's what I call an outside in point of view because it's driven by the customer, not an internalised (inside out) view which is driven by the brand/company.

Or put in business speak - "what did I just experience".

It often amazes me how when people turn up for work forget that not only are they highly likely to be a customer of someone else's business - but for some odd reason they don't always look at their behaviour as a customer and how it tends to mirror thousands of other people's behaviour.

They have somehow convinced themselves that their 'advert' or social post is the best thing in the world yet they will choose to ignore or simply scroll past others - odd indeed!

Consumers (you/me) don't think in process terms like companies and brands tend to do.

We can have a great process but if the overall 'experience' doesn't live up to what your shiny intrusive adverts promised me then next time I'll go elsewhere, and chances are I'll probably share those thoughts on social media.

I was once working with an extremely disruptive business who had invented the industry term 'Re-Commerce', these were the people who bought your old CD's, DVD's, Games etc, refurbished them and sold them via every marketplace (Amazon, eBay etc) as a result became the largest 3rd party seller on all these marketplaces around the world.

A critical piece of the transformation jigsaw that saw the real boom in the business was being able to take an existing and consumer focused time consuming process and massively over simplify it for the consumer.

This innovation didn't just move the conversion needle from an average of 3% to a staggering consistent 19%, it literally transformed the company.

To do this we obsessed about how we can persuade you to 'sell' more of your unwanted media in a way that was 'Surprisingly Easy' - this was our internally aligned focus, it was the direction that everyone inside and outside the company could understand, why? - because it was 'consumer centric' and the whole company was obsessive about the customer experience at every step of the way.

Many companies today have a 'Customer Service' team, these are the unsung heroes of a company who to be frank, are tasked with dealing with the shit end of the wedge constantly tasked with dealing with hostile complaints from irate customers.

Over the years I've been privileged to work with and manage numerous 'customer support' teams around the world, and they all do an amazing job.

They have their own weekly KPI's that they work with, and report into the leadership team about, virtually all of those KPI's highlight 'experience inefficiency' from within.

My take on this after many years in multi-channel retail is that customer support teams are there to 'prop up' really crap internal alignment around the brand promise and the 'customer experience' - and its hugely wasteful for everyone involved.

Is it really about being digital, or is it simply about thinking 'experiential'?

Do you think 'service' instead of 'experience'