As a mid-size business owner, when you think of the experience you provide, do you only think about customer service? Outstanding customer service does go a long way to help you retain customers, but customer experience is more than that. It covers every single interaction, from the first touchpoint with your brand, through purchase, and beyond.
Designing a comprehensive, consistent customer experience is no longer a nice to have, rather a must-have
You can’t expect to have consistently happy, ecstatic customers without a designed and implemented experience. That would be like trying to consistently hit the bullseye without training or knowledge of the game of darts. You may luck out here and there, but without the strategic design, you won’t consistently hit the mark.
Designing your target customer experience starts with understanding what you want your customers to feel. That is accomplished through completing the Customer Experience Design Statement. Your design statement is something that can be rolled out to the entire business, similar to a vision statement, but with an emphasis on the customer.
Designing for your customer, not for yourselves
1 of the most important aspects of experience design or strategy, is designing with customer in mind. Most companies who design a flawed a experience have done so because they focused on themselves, trying to resolve their internal issues or achieve their goals without enough emphasis on the customer. Repeat after me: the customer is the focus!
Establish experience standards
Once you’ve defined your experience statement, you need to define a set of standards that every interaction will have. This list should be 5 – 10 items long, be relevant and achievable. Use examples to help rally the different teams across your organization, and empower them to do whatever is necessary to deliver on those standards.
Gets everyone involved
While designing your target customer experience, it is important to involve as many people as possible throughout your organization (up / down, and across). Your people have great insight into the customer, the challenges, and even the competition. Include them.
Also, include your customers. While asking your customers to tell what you want may not work, including them in the process where you ask questions for clarification, about other experiences, their psychographic is incredibly valuable.
Empower your team, and equip them by focusing on skill development
A template customer experience gives context and direction to empower your team to deliver the experience you want for your customers. However, often there is a skill gap with frontline staff beyond empowerment. Once empowered, they need to know how to identify and relate with their customers in the form of empathy training, or heightened emotional intelligence. Ensure they have the opportunity to develop those highly valued skills.
Creating an Effective Customer Experience Strategy
A CX strategy is a detailed framework that gives everyone in your team the information needed to put your customers first. It’ll help you map out the experience of your customers in their journey with your business. Download the free template available from the homepage of www.amplifiedcx.com.
The people elements of customer experience planning, and strategy are difficult to master. If you don’t have the skills on your team (or maybe the time), reach out and see how working together can help shorten time to value and the complexity of shaping your customers’ experience to be a differentiator.
Your customer experience consultant, and evangelist:
Janelle Mansfield firstname.lastname@example.org
Janelle Mansfield is a passionate Customer Experience Consultant and Evangelist. Her goal is to grow the CX competency, and to help mid-size companies differentiate themselves with a defined and well-executed customer experience strategy. She has experience in many different industries, and brings a cross-functional focus to her practice with experience in marketing, sales, consulting, delivery, operations and all aspects of experience design, strategy and execution. Janelle is creative strategist, who engages with her clients on an integrated level.