Thursday, October 22, 2015

Is the Best Customer Experience a sequence of Experiences?

The total Customer Experience is typically comprised of a complex set or series of interrelated processes or steps.

Digital is the age of customers. Customer-centricity is the description of the nature of the priorities in the organizations today. Each customer will have different needs and expectations throughout the basic process from shopping to delivery; from reporting the claim, appraising damages, and the acceptance or denial of the claim. Do you look at the entire experience as just a combination of experiences? Is there a specific journey that they are supposed to take and if they go off that path how do you handle it? Is the best customer experience a sequence of experience, if not, what is it?

Most of the time, Customer Experience is a sequence of events. But the sequence helps us understand the overall experience. The sequence is like the journey. The BEST customer experience leads to a positive emotional reaction, a WOW factor. One experience can be enough. After that you have to create a relationship, to maintain positive behavior of the client (loyalty, word of mouth, higher share of wallet, faster paying of bills and positive influence on employee engagement.) There is too much bias on terms like 'journey' or 'customer experience' or even 'sequence of experiences.' Often companies or organizations don't know how to develop a strategic plan based on how to create value for customers. If the sequence of events is based on "outside in" data and the end result is to transform the company or organization to increase its customer centric maturity and build a culture to focus on creating value for their customers... then let's call it a sequence of experiences or simply a strategic plan.

Look at Customer Experience from Outside-in perspective: Often organizations look at the Customer Experience from the inside out and there is nothing wrong with that as we are the ones that can change the inside. But The customer experience is about how customers encounter, observe, or under go a company's events or stages. We lay out a journey that we hope is helpful, positive, and shares experience with our customers. They may not like, appreciate, or really care about the journey or simply may not go through the journey in the "correct" way. Therefore, outside-in perspective means to collect customers feedback, understand their true feeling via empathy, and improve CE via digitizing touch points. Let the customer touchpoints land where they may to achieve the results. And beyond the emotional WOW, the experience is effortless (easy), productive ( achieved objective) and painless (frictionless). And there is consistency over time in the delivery of the experience.

Pay more attention to a very important factor which is a "Voice of the customer," or a VOC program where you do research into what the customer really wants. When you really understand (or attempt to understand) what the customer would say they want and what you found they actually want, that is when you can really develop an experience that fits them and their needs/desires. Being customer-centric is not just a few best practices, or even high level customer interface, it has to go deeper to integrate all key business ingredients in orchestrating a high mature business which has key capabilities to delight customers. Exert lots of intelligence, do data analytics, look for insights, use the imagination, but make validation, predictability, try to inspire everybody and fight to make your organization customer-centric but keep at profitable trail for the long run.

An effortless, productive, and painless/frictionless experience is the best. Invariably, the total Customer Experience is typically comprised of a complex set or series of interrelated processes or steps. The best customer experience occurs when an organization’s processes are so well integrated or orchestrated that the customer experiences or encounters a ‘near-seamless’ experience


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