Customer Experience, Everything counts, Depeche Mode and Big Hair

Everything counts, Depeche Mode, Big Hair, the 1980s and Customer Experience

Over the course of the last few years (some argue as many as the last ten years) there has been a revival of interest in the 1980s electronic music scene. I must say that I haven’t been disappointed as I grew in that period, without the big hair, I hasten to add! Anyway, seeing some of the bands and music that have seen a resurgence has been like witnessing a blast from the past.

One band that was very much in the thick of the 1980s electronic music scene was Depeche Mode and it was only the other day that I found myself blissfully humming away to one of their tracks: “Everything Counts”. This was Depeche Mode‘s eighth UK single, released in July 1983 and in the song (you can check it out here on YouTube) there is a couple of lines, which go:

It’s a competitive world

Everything counts in large amounts

Now, you might be asking what has this got to do with growing businesses?

Well, those two lines offer a sage piece of advice for how we operate our businesses and reminder that everything that we do matters and even the smallest thing can make the biggest difference when it comes to being competitive or standing out in your marketplace.

What I take those two lines to mean, specifically, is that when it comes to serving our customers everything counts in their experience of you. Everything matters from:

  • Your handshake
  • Your business card
  • How you or your team answers the phone or conducts itself on the phone
  • How you quote
  • How you chase invoices
  • How you handle customer complaints
  • Your emails
  • Your invoices
  • Your website
  • Your brand
  • Your marketing
  • Your company literature
  • etc

So, with this in mind, when was the last time that you reviewed not your customer experience but your customer’s experience of you? In doing so, ask yourself this:

Is my customer’s experience of me consistent across all areas?

Asking this will give you simple clues as to where you can make immediate improvements in how you serve your customers in different parts of your business. Following that you can then go about thinking about improving your overall customer experience and how you serve your customers.

Thanks to Esami for the image.

15 comments On Customer Experience, Everything counts, Depeche Mode and Big Hair

  • Pingback: Adrian Swinscoe ()

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  • Pingback: Andrew James Whalley ()

  • Great and innovating tips.Thankz a lots buddy.

  • Adrian,
    I’m a big fan of the 80’s music and I really liked Depeche Mode, and still do..I agree with the statement that everything counts in large amounts, but sometimes it can seem overwhelming to think about being excellent at all things. Perhaps an alternative is to define what your not going to do?

    1) I’m not going to let the phone ring more than 3 times
    2) I’m not going to work on VW’s
    3) I’m not going to use negative language
    4) I’m not going to allow the customer be alone

    What do you think?

    • Hi Bill,
      Whilst I agree that figuring out what you are not going to do can be really helpful to help you focus on doing the right things. I also think that that reviewing what we do do to make sure that it is consistent across the board is important as it can be the little ‘kink’ or inconsistency in quality that can be the thing that makes a big difference in the customers mind. So, it’s not that we need to be excellent in every area its that we need to be consistent. That’s what I meant to say. Make sense?


  • Hi Adrian,

    I try my best to go the extra mile with my clients that’s if I can add value of course, so I will be very interested to see what they say when I ask for feedback on service delivery. I do however feel that when you are a small business that you cannot get all of these perfect when you are competing in a competitive market.


    • Hi Wendy,
      I agree that getting everything perfect is a tall order for any business. What I am advocating is an increased awareness of where we are strong and where we are weaker as a way of making improvements realising is sometimes the smallest of things that can make the biggest difference.

      What do you think?


  • Pingback: Natalie Williams ()

  • Funny. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that video. I can’t believe that was 1983…

    For my birthday my wife bought me tickets to see the Human League. My friend sent me the tickets by recorded delivery with 5 days to spare before Christmas and they still haven’t turned up!

    Anyway, point being you’re absoultely right. Everything does count from the moment you answer the phone to your first invoice. I phoned a leading insurance company today to take out my car insurance. I provided the quote reference – “sorry don’t recognise that number sir”. Car reg, “no sorry”. “were you after the business department?”. I have no idea I said, I’m just calling the number on the website. I then got re-routed to a low cost economy call centre. To have 30 seconds of the same conversation.

    “Don’t worry I said, I’ll call Admiral” – who were the next cheapest – however with a slight tweaking of my quote it ended up much cheaper. Very friendly American guy, pleasure to do business with. Oh yes, they found the quote straightaway.

    • Hi Matthew,
      That’s a great story and a real life and real time example of how this sort of stuff works in practice. Thanks for sharing that and making the post real. Shame to hear about the tickets too. Were you able to track them and find out what happened to them?


  • I think what’s interesting is that often these things don’t matter until they do matter. Seems a silly thing to write, but what I mean is that these things are often ignored because they meet our expectations. But when something doesn’t go quite right, all these touchpoints become an important reflection of who and what we are, as individuals and as a business. Their importance becomes exaggerated as they fall under microscopic scrutiny.

    Often the difficulty for a business is that this collateral has become so much a part of the furniture that we’ve forgotten how important it might be, how it reflects what we are. We produce brochures, invoices, web sites without really thinking about them and sometimes we forget what they stand for and what their purpose is. That’s not to say we don’t spend a lot of time talking about them!

    • Hi Guy,
      Thanks for your comment. I think you make an important observation when you say that these things are often ignored because they meet ‘our’ expectations and have become part of the furniture. However, one of the things that we need to be careful of is that they are not viewed in a different way by our customers. For example, it would be a shame if something that was seen as slightly annoying was the thing that tipped a customer over the edge or into leaving once something else had gone wrong. Therefore, they deserve our attention, not a lot more attention on an ongoing basis but ongoing attention and review nevertheless.


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