Customer Experience – Customer Journey. One More in Our Series on Key Drivers of Business Value: The Customer Experience
Customer service, delight the customer, customer relationship, customer satisfaction, customer cultivation, customer experience, customer engagement, customer journey. to-MAY-to, to-MAH-to. Like with anything, language evolves.
But the basics remain: Your customers and potential customers experience you, your company and your brand in so many ways.
It may start when a prospect sees your ad online or on a billboard. It may start when a friend talks – positively or negatively – about your company and the experience they had. If it is negative, you don’t even know that you lost a potential customer. When I speak on business growth and succession planning, hundreds of people hear about my 5-hour oil change and the business I will not work with in the future.
Are your customers or prospects passing along a negative view of your business?? How do you know?!
You need to move from trying to provide “good customer service” to thinking about it from the customer’s perspective, the customer experience. This takes into account every step along the way. The “customer journey” emphasizes the start-to-finish approach. From that initial ad or sales call, to discussions, to product or service delivery to interaction with your staff (receptionist, service providers, delivery drivers) to invoicing to feedback loops to further business.
Can you honestly say that you understand every touch point along the way and that you are confident that your prospects/customers’ experience at every step is a positive one?
If you are focused on growing your revenue and increasing profitability, you need to understand each touch point a customer walks through. A few steps to follow:
1. Get your key team members together and map it out, write it down. Get into extreme detail.
2. Pull records and get input from all employees about problems they have seen, customer errors and customers complaints. Make sure that these are all represented in the process mapping.
3. Go out on a limb – invite a handful of customers to review what you have mapped out. Have they had issues that are not represented on your process mapping. Build these into your work.
Now you have a much better picture of the customer journey. And now, you can start to improve those areas where you are clearly dropping the ball. Don’t launch into it all at once. Take it step by step so it does not get overwhelming. Engage your staff and even customers in discussions on improvements.
An article by McKinsey & Company that discusses the topic of customer journey: https://hbr.org/2010/10/understanding-customer-experie
Related blogs on customer-focus as you work on this key driver of business value: