What is the definition of Customer Experience? The definitions of customer experience are many however in 99% of cases incorrect. Why so? Well simply because they are from a company viewpoint, that is ‘Inside-Out’.
A truly customer-centric definition needs to see customer experience through the customer’s actual experience. Accordingly, the CX definition the BP Group and partners endorse through our training, mentoring and consultancy is:
A customer experience is the sum of the thoughts, feelings and interactions a customer has about and with different products and services during the achievement of a goal or outcome
James Dodkins aka ‘CX Rockstar’
This talks neatly to the point that the experience starts with a need and finishes when that need has been fulfilled. It goes way beyond when the process for the company starts and ends.
So next time someone challenges you to define ‘what is customer experience?’ give them that.
You may even get people confusing customer experience with customer service but that discussion is for another day 😉
The latest CX and Technology stats from Blake Morgan
I must admit yet another weakness. That is being a sucker for statistics in and around Customer Experience and Process Management so when someone, in this instance Blake Morgan, collates a fantastic list who are we not to republish and share?
Shameless, that’s me that is
And if you a writer and speaker this stuff is grist to the mill, especially in such a fast-moving arena as is Customer-Centric thinking. And with that in mind, a bit of shameless self-publicity is called for with an introduction to my all-new ONLINE course running from January 2020. And yes the themes are the very latest approaches delivering success for the worlds leading customer-centric businesses.
I’m a real sucker for great new tips, techniques, tools, shortcuts, “hacks” and other quick ways of getting better results from our processes and customer experiences.
the truth is that the big wins don’t come from tips or tricks.
come from getting the
fundamentals right. Again and again.
like really understanding your customers (internal and external) so your
products and services are what they need (not just what you think they want).
Fundamentals like having understanding the successful customer outcomes before you ever meet or work with them, so your processes and experiences build credibility and trust quickly.
Fundamentals like follow-up and nurturing your relationships so they are top of the priorities when your customers need to change things.
Fundamentals like being able to “meet” face to face, on the phone, or via a webinar or web page (and by “meet”, I mean help a customer get the best from their experiences and processes, understand their problems, the potential solutions, and decide how to change things to meet ever-changing needs).
Master the fundamentals and the little tips and tricks will improve your results even further.
the fundamentals wrong and all the tips, tricks or clever techniques in the
world won’t hurt.
If you’d like to get my very best training, insights and personal support to
help you align your processes and experiences for all your customers (internal
and external), why not join me for my new ONLINE training program? Click here for more details.
Jeff Bezos encourages us to become Customer Obsessed (see video snippet) however Netflix’s journey to CX Obsession is less well known.
Here is an extract from a great article (link below):
From Gibson Biddle, former VP at Netflix and CPO at Chegg In 2005, as I joined Netflix as VP of Product, I asked Reed Hastings, the CEO, what he hoped his legacy would be. His answer: “Consumer science.” He explained, “Leaders like Steve Jobs have a sense of style and what customers seek, but I don’t. We need consumer science to get there.”
Reed’s aspiration was that the Netflix team would discover what delights customers through the scientific process. Forming hypotheses through existing data, qualitative, and surveys, and then A/B testing these ideas to see what works. His vision was that product leaders at Netflix would develop remarkable consumer insight, fueled by results and learning from thousands of experiments.
During my time at Netflix, and later at my next startup, Chegg, I learned to move from customer focus to customer obsession. In doing so embraced Reed’s notion of consumer science. Here’s how I think about the transition:
The full article here is great testimony to moving away from the soft and fluffy version of Customer Experience. Let’s get more scientific about Customer Experience.
Who started #customerexperience ? Well, there has always been a customer experience, however, it is only in the last 20 years that companies have realized the need to get scientific about shaping and innovating #CX. Who was the pioneer that did that first? And in doing so shifted the emphasis from Industrial Age thinking to Outside-In practice. Let’s jump into the time machine and rediscover Steve Jobs back in 1997.
Moving from Product to Customer-Centric
Back then it wasn’t understood that designing Customer Experiences and delivering Successful Customer Outcomes went way beyond being product-centric. Steve Jobs anticipated this shift towards customer-centricity, and evolved Apples approach to rapidly shift to Outside-In strategy and operations.
Many of the concepts we accept, such as defining the customer experience from the customers perspective, and not the organizations, were developed in the cauldrons of Apple mountain. In fact, one of the key techniques within the CEMMethod™ was initially referred to as the ‘Apple Innovation Approach’.
Why so many still get it wrong
Here’s a great mini video explaining the difference in viewpoint Inside-Out v. Outside-In.
We saw that at work in Outside-In design of products like the original iPod, the iPhone and the iPad. Now taken for granted the last century was a mish mesh of competing chunks of technology (think the early MP3 players) that often required an MSc to understand the menu system and driver updates.
It isn’t what they want, it is what they NEED
Nowadays the major consumer product companies understand the requirement to articulates the needs of customers, and only then design products that meet those needs. That is Outside-In in action.
You would be right in saying he was the pioneer of Outside-In.
If you would like to dig deeper I talked about the difference in approaches of Industrial Age v. Customer Age/Outside-In in this article.
This item has caused quite a stir over at LinkedIn, you can join that discussion here.
First discussed back in 2009 the idea that all work an organization undertakes is, at a fundamental level, caused by Moments of Truth. In principle, everything a company does can and should be linked to a Moment of Truth.
c. The Moment of Truth for any organization is…
At a practical level organizations need to chunk down their approach to fixing and innovating Moments of Truth. CEO of Denver based ‘The Experience Manager’
Doug Bell, CEO The Experience Manager
Doug Bell says “A Moment of Truth is an interaction that contributes to the production of a successful customer outcome. It either does or it doesn’t. To ensure outside in, you need to look through the Successful Customer Outcome lens.”
Managing Moments of Truth
Enlightened ‘Outside-In’ organizations actively embrace Moment of Truth Management as an essential strategic and operational necessity to deliver engineered Customer Experiences. How so?
a. Designing for Moments of Truth – The Design-Implementation Gap
Early efforts were geared around designing optimal Moments of Truth, however, simply mapping customer journeys has never been enough. It is one thing agreeing on what a future state customer journey should be, it is entirely another implementing it. This Design-Implementation gap is precisely what kills the majority of Customer Experience initiatives.
b. Implementing optimized Moments of Truth
Successful deployment of innovated Moments of Truth is key to delivering optimal Customer Experiences. The most practical immediate results are focused on rapid roll out across a key experience and using the success of that to validate rolling out smoothly across the organization. Establishing ownership, accountability, metrics, controls and improvement paths are part of this discipline.
c. Operationalizing Moments of Truth
Once Moments of Truth have been designed, innovated and implemented into recrafted customer experiences they need to be actively managed ‘in the moment’ and shared. Every Moment of Truth should feed to a corporate dashboard, with real-time data showing the performance of that MOT and its associated experiences. If things go wrong the owner should be able to ‘course correct’ and real-time monitor the customer experience delivery.
Imagine a world without customer satisfaction surveys, no need for Net Promoter Scores, no focus groups, and no mystery shopping because you will know how 100% of interactions are performing 100% of the time.
Control and Action combined
The C suite and leaders will now have a clear line of sight into every corner of the organization and across the enterprise landscape REAL TIME. One version of the data truth (and not all those departmental/divisional versions of reality).
The need for retrospective action evaporates. Immediate and laser-focused control can be maintained delivering simultaneously enhanced service, lower costs, higher revenues, improved compliance and uber motivated employees.
In my next piece I will demonstrate how this can be done immediately. If you can’t wait for that ping me and let’s talk the how, now
It is good to have a guide in life. Many of us share political creeds, religious beliefs and codes of honor to guide our decision making. Wouldn’t it be crazy good to have the same for the doctrine of Customer Experience? When I co-authored the best selling book “CEM Success without Exception” back in 2006 Customer Experience Management was in its infancy.
Now thirteen years later we have the accumulated wisdom of the giants of Customer Experience Management, proof that focus on Successful Customer Outcomes, Outside-In and working backwards are fundamental to becoming a winning organization.
It is with these thoughts in mind and the worthy experience of many that I set pen to paper to craft these tenets as guidelines for all of us seeking to maximise our deployment of Customer Experience Management.
1. Customers are first, front and center for everything.
Understanding that all the work an organization undertakes ultimately stems from a customer interaction is key. Work to engineer every experience to the optimum.
2. Listen to the questions customers ask you.
Resist the subjective ‘voice of customer’ surveys (they are biased and unrepresentative) and focus on understanding and articulating needs – the Needs of the Customer.
3. Stop selling and let people buy.
Customers are now prosumers and most know what they want and how to get it. You will not win them if you force sell; in fact, you will make enemies of them.
4. Map the Complete Experience.
This is both the stuff the customer sees (the customer journey and the brand promise) and the work that takes place across the rest of the organization to support all interactions. Combine those the Employee Experience and the Customer Experience you are nearing the Complete Experience; these are not separate things but should be viewed through the same lens.
The CEMMethod.com can help you in seeing the Complete Experience.
Customers develop trust when you say what’ll you do, and then do what you say. Conversely, do not project yourself as something you are not.
6. Be consistent and truthful across all your channels.
Customers will interact in ways and times that suit them, so ensure you keep a coherent message across all experiences.
7. Act on People liking people.
Do not hide behind automation, whether that is voice systems, web interactions or even text messaging. The most intimate relationships are formed with people, not computers.
Keep in front of the song.
8. Creating memorable experiences requires anticipation and coordination.
Fix problems before they happen, and when problems do arise (they will) pull out the stops to put things right.
9. Design every customer experience for the category of customer.
You should never ever treat all customers in the same way. Personalization and direct communication are proven winners in an era of standardization.
10. Employees are your first customers.
If they ain’t happy your paying customers won’t be either. Treat your people well and let them know they are the most critical part of the brand and the complete customer experience.
”Let’s not beat around the bush… Customer experience is the new battleground. At The Experience Manager, BP Group, and Rockstar.cx we know the art of this new war. We have the tools, the technology and the strategies to remorselessly create victories for our clients as we build a more customer-centric world, one experience and one enterprise at a time”.
Join us for Complete Experience Management with coaching, training, consultancy and Certification at www.bpgroup.org