No Time Like the Present to Redesign Your Customer Experience
When is the last time you took an unbiased look at your customer’s experience? While focusing on your customers — what they want and how they experience your brand — is fundamental to living your vision, there is often a disconnect between a company’s brand promise and the actual customer experience.
The Research — Why Customer Experience Matters
According to research by Qualtrics, 32% of customers shop elsewhere after just one poor experience with a brand. Research by Salesforce found that almost 90% of customers say the experience a company provides matters as much as the products or services it offers.
And in times of disruption, it is even more critical to consider the moments of truth for your customers and those who serve them. COVID-19 has brought about unprecedented challenges and opportunities for companies to innovate through customer experiences. The pandemic has forced companies to initiate profound changes to their customer experience and their employee experience to survive and thrive.
Customer Experience Transformation
Transforming your customer’s experience is far more comprehensive an effort than just musing about customer behavior or surveying a slice of your market. The steps to redesign your customer experience typically lead to new ways to interact with customers, new product and service offerings, and new ways of thinking and behaving that haven’t been considered before.
And a successful redesign of the customer experience requires the active involvement of your entire organization, from the ground up, in understanding at each level how to deliver the best customer experience possible, each and every time.
Steps to Redesign Your Customer Experience
- Understand the Current Customer Experience
Just like any transformational change effort, successful customer experience redesigns start by doing a current state analysis to determine how employees and customers fully experience buying from and being served by you.
Done right, mapping the current customer experience assesses your current organizational culture and allows for a comparison between the experiences people have and the underlying operational processes and systems that substantiate those experiences. Ideally, the final blueprint of the current customer experience includes visual depictions of various people and their actions, as well as interactions, within a service so that you understand the current state context required to redesign the customer experience in a way that makes sense.
- Create Clarity of Vision, Purpose, and Success Metrics
Once the current state context is agreed upon, the next step is to get the future state context right. Because your customer experience is an extension of your vision and your brand promise, you need to agree upon where you are headed and why. To be effective, your overall company vision should be future-oriented, inspiring, challenging, motivating, memorable, purpose-driven, and unique enough for people to rally behind.
An effective corporate vision should serve as your true north as you redesign your customer experience. For example, one client, transitioning from a transactional customer experience to a trusted business advisor customer experience so they could increase growth and fight off the competition in a disrupted marketplace, used their vision statement to challenge and design each step in the customer journey, including how to measure success.
- Blueprint the Desired End-to-End Customer Experience
Once your current state is understood and your desired future vision, purpose, and success metrics are clear, you need to figure out how you will have to transform the business in order to deliver on your promise to your customers. This is the tough part — where the entire company must work out the “how” of the customer experience transformation to create an aligned customer-centric culture.
Companies that succeed at this phase understand they need an approach that relies on involving cross-functional teams that are innovative, agile, and solution-oriented and that have a sense of ownership and pride in their project.
Typical outcomes include a comprehensive end-to-end service delivery map from the customer’s perspective along with critical moments of truth, key pain points, and prioritized areas of opportunity to get to a more desirable future state.
Successful customer experience transformations rely on measurement systems to track results and continuously re-imagine the products, services, and experiences their customers seek.
- Implement and Support the New Ways
Once the new customer experience is agreed upon, your final step is to identify and implement the new processes, systems, structures, reward systems, performance management programs, capabilities, behaviors, and attitudes required to deliver on your brand promise. This is where the leadership plays an absolutely fundamental role.
The Bottom Line
The experience of your customers can be a competitive advantage that sets you apart from the pack. Have you re-evaluated and redesigned your customers’ experience to take advantage of the new normal?
To learn more about how to successfully redesign your customer experience, download How to Mobilize Your Change Initiative