Wednesday, September 15, 2021


Building people centricity consistently in a way that delivers the right experiences to the right customers at the right times is, in most companies, enormously complicated, but it’s worth the effort.

High velocity and hyper-complexity are the business new normal; today’s organizations are facing fierce competition to keep themselves relevant and build business competency to gain market change. The focus on customer success is the key, as it changes your way of thinking from reactive to proactive, from inside out to outside-in; from process driven to goal oriented.

To incorporate personalization themes inside an organization at different levels successfully, "understanding your clients," "putting yourself in their shoes," "going above expectations," etc, are all the mantras to enhance design thinking, process management, and continuously improve customer satisfactions for running a true people-centric organization.

Goal-oriented design thinking to meet customers’ needs and fulfill the business’s strategic goals : Now customers become more selective due to multi-channeling and more convenient shopping experiences. Design Thinking, and many other similarly customer-centric approaches have gained much more momentum and widespread acceptance. Either you are an executive or a strategist; user experience designer or customer representative, you will need great people and leadership skills as you will have to convince people and negotiate with the different parties to balance the requirement, in order to deliver benefits to the business, not just to the customer. Design Thinking is the discipline with strategic, cultural and personal implications to solve problems to meet customers’ specific needs.

Oftentimes, the organization’s success is dependent on how you make customers succeed. Study a broad range of personalized customer experience solutions in your particular industry, develop empathy by active listening, understand your customers and the context where you're relevant, understand your business and what moves the needle, take time to imagine the future, develop your own perspective, do empathetic goal-driven design by truly understanding the context as well as the business and user needs. You have to satisfy all of them to get it designed, sold and usable.

Goal-driven process management to digitize touch points and improve customer experience: By its very nature, business processes have a predictable outcome, so processes can easily be identified with goals. The customer experience is affected by every single touchpoint within a process; and by every single person who enables a process to flow efficiently. Various good techniques (observation, reflection, etc) are available for goal driven processes management - primarily defined prior to process implementation. An interesting challenge is often about balancing time, investment, and limitations of the user interface of process management. The front-line workers must be involved in the customer-centric process definition, revision or improvement because they often have direct experience serving customers. For internal users, knowledge-based work with an unstructured and collaborative process requires secure coordination of content, correspondence, and discussions with different groups.

The purpose of a customer-centric process is not to dictate procedures, and a process design is a pattern, not an instruction. You can’t have a consistently great customer experience without good processes and good process management. So the contributing factor to personalized customer experience is more than just process. It's how all the business processes fit together, how the accountability, ownership, and handoffs between teams and processes are designed to deliver holistic customer experience. Nobody can really deliver the same experience as a competitor. An ultimately honed and efficient goal-driven business process should offer many valuable experiences and benefits on both customer and business sides.

Personalization is not a one time initiative, but a journey of continuous improvement:
Customer Experience is being able to evolve, and the only way to evolve is to constantly have information on your customers, where they're at in their lifecycle, learning when to influence them and add more touch points where necessary. Keep in mind, how the staff handle customers from their first touch through to their returning loyalty is fraught with traps and challenges. That's been the biggest challenge over time; demonstrating that you can bring fresh insights, and see the customer problem through a customer experience filter when others have already talked with dozens or even hundreds of customers.

Customer experience competency refers to "the effectiveness, efficiency, and satisfaction with which specified users achieve specified goals in particular environments." Customer Experience covers the entire experience of the customer. The customer (including prospects) should be studied and observed and gain insight upon. Customers often share different (and sometimes more actionable) data points with people who are there to listen to them, thus, front line workers are customer champions who can build empathetic relationships with customers and understand their pains and needs. What specific elements make a really enjoyable/ great experience for them. Customers or prospective customers want to feel confident that they get what they pay for with a commensurate level of purchase fulfillment and that the interaction with the supplier is pleasant and at times exceptional when things go wrong. They enjoy the whole end-to-end experience.

Personalization is an integral part of the success of a business, especially for business models centered around influencing customer behavior. It takes time, personal effort and resources to optimize customer experience. The more channels a company has, the harder it becomes to maintain a consistent and efficient customer experience, think from the lenses of customers, outside-in, instead of inside-out. Building people centricity consistently in a way that delivers the right experiences to the right customers at the right times is, in most companies, enormously complicated, but it’s worth the effort.


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