Constantly delivering a desirable experience to customers requires a framework!
GOOD customer experience refers to the little observations a customer makes that attracts them to and increases their loyalty for an organization. It makes them feel good not only about making the purchase but purchasing it from that organization. For an organisation to identify these moments of truth in the customer journey and be able to consistently deliver the promise an organisation makes they need to have a crystal clear understanding of their customer journey.
“Be fearful of being mediocre”
Economics holds up the concept of theory of utility wherein utility is the measure of satisfaction of a consumer that they shall derive from the consumption of certain goods or services. Customer experience rises above it. It sets the bar, and then raises it to the sky (sky really is the limit, eh?)
Here’s why a positive customer experience pulls you up the business ladder;
Brings customers to an emotional equilibrium
Customer satisfaction plays a key role in developing relations between the two parties doing business. It cannot be achieved at one go, and requires consistent effort to bring and maintain the customer at this equilibrium. This helps customers establish a strong bond with the organization and connect with like-minded people who build a community that gives and takes an incredible business experience. A survey by Econsultancy for digital marketing trends shows that 22% companies had said customer experience was the single most exciting opportunity for them in 2016
Hence, organizations are required to realize the growing need for recognising customer personas and working towards their financial and emotional equilibrium. In this manner, interactions with every customer must be customized to suit their needs and preferences and rise above their expectations. Customer interactions and behaviors need to be understood across touchpoints to have a holistic view on the experience delivered to customers. Moreover, as delighted customers attract a fresh pack of consumers, the thus obtained huge clientele gives rise to massive trust among investors and shareholders which boosts the finances of the company, along with its reputation.
Pollination of business transactions
Expert customer experience strategies pose as fragrance to the attracting flowers (businesses) to lure in insects (customers) to pollinate (make business) with them and follow the natural course of the process wherein the ‘insects’ distribute the ‘pollens’ of the ‘plant’ (spread recommendation through word of mouth). Positive feedbacks through good relations with an organization induce faith and loyalty in a world where such words increasingly fail to be associated with businesses.
Customer loyalty statistics by Rare Consulting in 2016 have found that 86% of consumers believe that loyalty is driven by likeability while 83% state trust to be the force that urges them successfully to purchase from a certain firm.
It has also been ascertained that 26% of the consumers mention “trust” and “consistency” as important elements for brand loyalty.
Has your business considered these aspects yet? If not, let us analyse the consequences of such lack of consumer focus.
It is always beneficial to have a holistic viewpoint now, am I right or am I right?
What does ignorance of your customer’s experience cost you?
Note how we said “cost” and “profits” and “bad”. Could you make a connection? Let us explain.
Most companies usually get lured by the mirage of financial gains. However, the resulting greed and temptation only leaves them trailing in the dust. They spend too much time on the wrong things and this ghost of mediocrity and laziness of the mind creates a hindrance on both your imagination and growth of your business.
Let’s consider WestJet Airlines and their fascinating idea of warming their customers’ hearts.
In December of 2013, WestJet shocked its customers through a video chat with “Santa” out of the blue wherein they were asked what they wanted for Christmas. What was amazing was not just this innovative and fun interaction but the surprise they gave its customers when their wish gifts were granted along with their luggage right after they landed! It almost seemed like their gratitude flowed down their eyes as tears; an ABSOLUTELY ASTONISHING EXPERIENCE; one that they shall remember throughout their lifetime; and always associate such a memory to the company.
What an exciting tactic to feed customer retention. A brilliant play, we say!
Non consumer-centric organizations face another major challenge.
Negative word of mouth.
“Customers have a lot of power in their hands.” Do you agree? We don’t; not in the context we’re talking about.
Let us rephrase the statement to explain.
“Customers have a lot of power in their mouth”
A below average customer experience calls for an inevitable disaster: customer conversion from promoters to passives to detractors (no passive transition in extreme cases).
Detractors are those who feel they have been wronged by the business and are critics of customer ignorance and indifference. They bad mouth the company and influence others to become one of them. It is a known fact, that earlier, one could talk about their bad experience with a few friends, but internet being a boon or and bane, one can tell thousands of friends and impact their decisions.
One hell of a thing to beware of; oh yes.
Imagine how many potential customers are lost in this process. Imagine the revenue. Imagine the opportunity to treat them better. Imagine business! Imagine the pompous P…PROFITS!
All the hard work and there you see your clients move to your competition in front of eye! Ouch, now we don’t want that, do we?
Now that we’ve come so far, let us show you why you should believe us when we say what we do.
Cost of Poor Service
Poor service causes tremendous frustration among customers. These may result in them demoralising frontline employees, grabbing every opportunity to slander the business’ reputation and decreases the opportunity to recruit better and treat better.
American Express Survey of 2011 has concluded that 78% of customers did not make an intended purchase owing to a poor service experience.
That’s an appalling number of people. However, what are even more nerve-wrecking are the findings of White House Office of Consumer Affairs which states that on an average, loyal customers are worth upto 10 times as much as their first purchase.
So you see where you’re losing out? And by HOW much!?
The most unfortunate part is that it takes about 12 positive experiences to make up for an unresolved negative one. (Source: “Understanding Customers” by Ruby Newel- Legner)
Yes, we’re as taken aback as you are. But we’ve learnt to push ourselves forward, and we’re here to help you too. It is imperative that you make use of your customer preferences and complaints and tap the chance for your benefit.
Your sole reaction to their words can make them feel as an integral part of your business. And believe us, they shall reciprocate.
Establishing and collaborating across touchpoints
We talked about customer journey and its various touchpoints briefly earlier.
Let’s explore how this works.
Now a customer journey, as the name suggests, conveys the totality of the experience of a customer with a business; and this journey has various touch points that a customer takes in doing business with an organization.
As we put it, it gives us a 360 degree perspective on the whole episode of customer-business interaction which brings us to mapping such a journey and making effective conclusions.
The journey map defines the stages of a customer journey, the experience the customer desires to achieve across these stages, what they feel and their emotions at these stages. At an organization level it helps you map which departments impact the experience at each stage and their role in delivering the experience. It’s a common framework for the departments to collaborate.
But is it as easy as it sounds?
Nah, there’s got to be a catch to it. Let’s dig deeper and delve into the root of it.
Why is it difficult to get the departments to work together and deliver an exceptional experience?
The main reasons could be as follows:
- Lack of strong and unified vision in delivering unique and exceptional experience.
- Lack of clarity in their contribution in delivering desired standards of experience.
- Absence of CX culture owing to lack of motivation and drive from the top management.
- Lack of planning and structured framework for collaboration and inducing accountability.
However, actions need to be taken over these aspects to instil a sense of oneness in the goal of promoting emphasis on customer experience.
At different stages of the customer journey, their expectation is different. One needs to understand this as a company; so that they can help the teams collaborate and deliver this desired experience.
SO…..What should you do?
The answer to your questions lies in the probable ways you’re going wrong, and as a result the negative feedbacks you are receiving.
Reverse the mistakes; watch the miracle.
Divert your focus on:
- Establishing a customer centric culture wherein every idea for the business is based on customer delight and works out feasible for you to accomplish. Let’s not be greedy or stingy. We’re talking long term benefits!
- Help your teams collaborate to deliver a one company experience. Respond to feedbacks and recognize loopholes in the prevailing business process and complete the loop by correcting it. Treat your consumers like your spouse; give them time, patience and importance.
- The journey of your customer starts when they find about you. Understand their need; see if it resonates with your promise. Always match your feasibility with your ideas. If you can do it, DO IT; and leave the customers to reciprocate.
- Measure how you impact them across the journey and if your team is delivering the promise that marketing is making. Discourage false promises and live up to what you say. If you keep your word, you keep their loyalty. Practice what you preach, and one day, you will thank yourself for it.
And maybe us as well!
Your customer journey map is a powerful framework for you to understand the experience being delivered to your customers and collaborate to deliver a one company experience. Click on the link to get a framework including an example from an insurance provider for you to design the same for your organization.