What IS the Customer’s Experience?
When companies think ‘customer service,’ they can easily form certain conclusions and assumptions around what that means. If they haven’t defined who their customers are, what product/service they have to offer, or what their interaction between their organization and the outside world is – they can quickly discount the importance of the customer experience. We all have a pretty little bow tied around our simple little idea that customer service either involves a telephone rep or a checkout line…when in reality, the majority of customer experiences fall far outside of these two elements.
If you’re struggling to get in the shoes of your customers, do a thorough analysis of your answers to these questions. I encourage taking partners in the process.
- At what point is our business intersecting with others?
- What happens at this point of connection for both parties?
- What various factors do we control that could alter the other party’s experience?
- What external factors could influence the customers’ experience that we can control?
- How will we manage these factors to ensure they work to our benefit?
- What external factors could influence the customers’ experience that we can’t control?
- Do we have any resources that will help us manage these uncontrollable factors?
- How long is your defined customer ‘experiencing’ your company?
- How many employees play a role during that duration of time?
- Do all of these employees know their roles and responsibilities of the experience?
Although there are additional questions I recommend asking after answering these first ten, I’ll save those for a later date because it’s critical to clarify your answers to these first. If these questions seem step-by-step, it’s because that’s the intention. The best way to get into the customers’ shoes is to experience each moment as it potentially happens. From the minute your customers hear, see, feel or become aware of your business, they are experiencing your business. Don’t look at your numbers and make assumptions – walk the customers’ way to really get into their world.
Now, before I go – I’d love to hear from you! Tell me one thing that helps you gauge things from the perspective of your customers and how you use that information to your advantage!