One of the things I think a lot about in terms of building great experiences are the cultural barriers and individual employee challenges challenging the shift to being customer focused.
We tend to talk about ‘Experience’ in two ways from a product and service delivery standpoint. We talk in terms of Customer Acquisition and Customer Service. But these broad-reaching, multi-org definitions cannot directly translate to specific tasks and roles without some investigation and application of theory.
One could argue that on the web, customers acquire the enterprise or customers acquire products and services – not the other way around. This subtle shift changes the way we present, compete and enable self-service touch points and the corresponding activities. We do need to help people from time to time, and the more complex the product or service, or the less intuitive the interaction, the more we will need to help them. For me it helps to flip the funnel upside down (or sideways) and then tackle it from the customer/end user POV. Map the steps and stages against what they are going through, not in terms of your view of the touch points, but in terms of the total customer universe. Then invert your relationship/engagement language into their terms and insert those tentacles into the new customer funnel.
You will see any gaps immediately.
From a service standpoint, lets keep mapping the points into the funnel. Now we will be starting to populate post-purchase activity as well as some pre-purchase investigation of service levels that customers will be looking into. We are defining the path to referral as the panacea but don’t fool yourself into thinking a perfect activity map will automatically lead to referral. Some customers will never refer anyone which is simply a permanent symptom of too many years of people getting this whole centricity thing backwards.
This new activity map should now be populated with only what you actually have in place today that works as intended 100% of the time. Work back and forth across the lifetime of a customer’s interactions on your sideways funnel and remove anything that does not always produce the stated outcome.
You will now see further gaps.
Finally, ask yourself what are you doing in your life to specifically help the people working on the front-lines to trust that product and service design have the same degrees of customer-centricity that they are being asked to deliver? Think across the organization and see if you can find other examples of what is being done right. Map the ROI of those desired behaviors into your new funnel. By the way, the list of answers to that question, that’s customer-centric teamwork. Go team.
Now ask yourself the million dollar question.
Where in those gaps you have uncovered and now want to fill do you see a lack of management focus on getting the gaps closed immediately?
That is where Experience is a management opportunity.