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 SAAS company ‘Parallel’
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
James Dodkins aka CX Rockstar shares with us the essential need for a CX Vision. Touching on strategy, innovation and customer needs this is required viewing for everyone involved with Customer Experience.
To craft your CX Vision join us at one of these venues soon…
Going beyond process. Going beyond Customer Experience. Going beyond Enterprise Architecture. That is Total Experience Management. And that is going to be THE feature of the upcoming Summer session in London.
An important question if you are tasked with making Customer Experience #CX work for your organization.
Let’s contrast and compare current trends!
Twitter – Trends emerge when you monitor hashtags, and the shorthand for Customer Experience #cx is a good starting point. When you contrast #CX with other popular management approaches such as #lean #lss and #bpm is interesting:
Top of the Tweeters for Customer Experience is Colin Shaw @ColinShaw_CX with over 43,400 #CX tweets.
If you follow him you will never be short of material related to Customer Experience as he vacuums the web for interesting articles, in addition to his own contributions.
A recent introduction of hashtags to this platform provides a good insight…
Searching LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator platform with #CX reveals 83.4K members using Customer Experience as part of their profiles (that is 10 times greater than those using #lean).
The demographics of the 83.4K show a predominance of folks in the US.
Does this reflect a reframing of their products to emphasize Customer Experience as a top table strategic interest?
And What about Google?
Searching #CX reveals 317,000,000 results in 0.8 seconds. That is one helluva a lot of reading. Drilling down with Google Trends, and using the same comparisons with Lean, LSS, BPM and CX produces an interesting contrast with Twitters results. Here we do see a decline in interest with Lean however the interest is still significantly ahead of CX.
We will revist this analysis periodically. Now go away and start researching all those interesting sources!
Dr W. Edwards Deming’s famous quote “If you can’t describe what you are doing as a process, you don’t know what you’re doing” is truer today than ever in an increasingly customer-centric Outside-In world.
Perhaps we should upgrade the quote to encompass the focus on the customer?
“If you can’t describe what you are doing as relevant to a Successful Customer Outcome, you shouldn’t ought to be doing it”
Progressive Outside-In businesses understand this truth (think Amazon, Starbucks, BMW and Emirates) who are connecting everything they do to delivering these Successful Customer Outcomes. If activities and systems do not explicitly contribute to customer success they scrap them, and in doing so costs fall away, service improves and naturally, revenues grow.
Think about that for a moment from the customers perspective. It is certainly more pleasurable if interactions are simple and smoother. And if these experiences involve buying stuff, customers come back again and again for more. Even in public service, it stands to reason that reducing complexity will release more resources to do more meaningful work that delivers greater value to citizens.
So how would you approach your existing Customer Experiences and associated processes to move in this direction? Is there a formula that can be applied that is easy to use and produces immediate results?
Indeed, there is! We refer to this formula within the CEMMethod™, an approach developed originally in association with companies like Virgin and Southwest Airlines. The method, originally released in 2006, is now in version 11 and includes 50+ techniques that significantly improve business performance and customer success.
One of these techniques within the CEMMethod™ is referred to as the ‘Disruption Factor’ and quite simply allows you to calculate the potential for improvement in any Customer Experience. Additionally, it helps you pinpoint the areas that would benefit from immediate attention, and in doing so win the triple crown (lower costs, improved service, higher revenues).
If you want to know more about applying the Disruption Factor in your organization join us at the upcoming webinar register your interest here.
So how do you get your hands on five hundred bucks?
Simple, put your qualification after your name!
Here is the list:
ACXM® – Accredited Customer Experience Master®
ACXP® – Accredited Customer Experience Professional®
ACXC® – Accredited Customer Experience Champion®
CPPM® – Certified Process Professional Master®
CPP® – Certified Process Professional®
CPPC® – Certified Process Professional Champion®
So change your LinkedIn title, drop me a note on LinkedIn to say you have done it and we will put you in the monthly draw… oh and good luck!!
Next month we are featuring some of the recent Rockstar CX interviews from James Dodkins
See you very soon!
Steve Towers, CEO, ACXC and CPP Champion