If creating ideal experiences for your customer were plug & play, then more companies would be doing it. Let’s take a step back and review the Core Criteria of a Successful Customer Experience Implementation. The number one criteria is that you are in tune with your customer. The reality is that:
- Not all customers are alike, so creating a singular experience track with no flexibility is ineffective.
- The best may be able to do is create customer “types” (some call them Personas) to address commonalities.
- Even across different companies within the same industry, there are differences in what customers expect.
That said, you can go a long way in creating a framework by which your organization can work from. As I noted in a post last year, Peter Merholz wrote a fantastic article on the @Harvardbiz blog that outlined the key place where companies need to focus when designing their customer experience program.
It’s critical to start with the customer and the experience objective. What do you want your customer to feel, see, hear, do – and how does that translate into the bigger picture about their perception of your company? From there, you take a look at all of the aspects of the company (Merholz does a great job simplifying by creating layers defined by ‘proximity’ to the customer) that impact your ability to deliver on the experience you’ve defined as the objective.
In Customer Experience Truth #10, we used the Choose Your Own Adventure analogy to build on the idea that a global company can create localized experiences while remaining true to the overall experience strategy. The same holds true here –
- Select key aspects of the experience strategy that will need to be different based on your customer types. What aspects of the overall experience are most important for these people? It might make sense to survey them to find out.
- Make sure you include some ability for deviation based on the inevitable – red flags, high priorities, etc.
- Understand who your most valuable customers are (and why) and make them feel extra special.
A Touch of Secret Sauce
The secret sauce for your recipe is in setting expectations, and ensuring your customers perceive that their expectations are both met and exceeded at the right times. In order to do that, you need to know what creates positive and negative triggers for your specific customer base. Remember, it’s more than just asking customers – you have to be able to interpret and guide them as well.
Next, we’ll discuss Customer Experience Truth #12 – In The World Of Customer Experience, Your Employees Are Your Customers As Well.