Customer Experience Truth #8 – Oftentimes, The Most Impactful Experiences For Customers Are Not What You Think They Are

As a customer, you expect certain things. You expect your product to work. You expect promises to be delivered. You expect to get help if you need it.

Do you expect to be wow’ed? Some do – perhaps your customers do. Do you know?

The Point Is This: You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know and Guessing Doesn’t Count.

Customers expect very little from you – they expect the same things you expect:

  1. They expect your product to work.
  2. They expect promises to be delivered.
  3. They expect to get help if they need it.
  4. They expect you to be nice.
  5. Some, but not all, expect a little bit of a relationship.

The extent to which your customers elevate their expectations beyond this is based on two factors:

  • #2 above (promises those representing your company make), and
  • The baseline for experience delivery based on your competitive landscape.

Seems like it’s fairly straightforward to manage both of these factors, yet so many companies fall short when it comes to identifying which interactions they need to focus on in order to yield the highest positive impact for their customers.

Take A “Scientific” Approach To Determine The Most Impactful Interactions

The formal (and potentially very long) process to identifying your biggest bang for the buck includes a thorough analysis of every possible interaction and understanding both revenue lift potential and impact on some sort of “experience” or “loyalty” indicator.

We’re going to take a bit of a shortcut for bootcamp purposes.

  1. Spread out on your desk 4 sheets of paper.
  2. On the first sheet of paper, list the names of customers who have given you positive feedback in the past. Note the reason why they’ve decided to reach out. Exclude simple “thank you’s” – focus on when customers have gone out of their way to make sure you knew that you were doing a great job. What about the experience you provide did these customers identify? Ideally, you will have information from surveys you’ve gathered over a period of time. If you haven’t ever asked your customers, now’s a great time to run a survey (surveymonkey works great if you have an opted-in email database) and find out what aspects of the overall experience are exceptional to terrible.
  3. On a second sheet of paper, draw a line down the middle. Now turn the paper to “landscape” (long side on bottom). On the far left side, list the interaction points that you believe yield the biggest return on “customer delight”. You could have anywhere from 10-50. For instance: Your onboarding/outreach program, your monthly tips email newsletter, that your customers can save/edit their profile information and it translates into the store experience, that you know what they’ve purchased from you in the past so they know what to recommend on this trip, etc.Put the really great touchpoints on the far left and the “pretty good” touchpoints toward the middle. On the right side, list all the aspects of your overall experience that you feel you need to improve on. Note the “terrible” touchpoints on the far right, and the “could be better” touchpoints toward the middle.
  4. On the third sheet of paper, list aspects of your services, products, or employee experiences that customers have complained about in the past. Make sure to include the survey data here as well that gives you an understanding of the interaction points that would make them love you more.

Now, draw a line down the middle of sheet 4. Turn it to landscape. Put a (+) on the left end of the line and a (-) on the right end of the line.

  1. Take a look at sheet 1 and 2. Do any match? Write those down on the left and note them as (+).
  2. Compare sheet 3 and 2. Do any match? Jot those down on the right and note them as (-).

What you have at the end of this exercise is a map of impactful experiences that both you and your customers have weighed in on, and can begin to understand where you need to focuse to move those in the negative towards positive.

Next, we’ll discuss Customer Experience Truth #9 – Data Is Critical To A Successful Customer Experience Program.

This post is 9 of 16 in a Series on CXP Fundamentals. Read more about CXP Bootcamp here.

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