Let’s start with understanding the context by the story, I witnessed few years ago and that made me wonder, how customer and their experience with the organization can be so integral with the growth, and how they must be part to co-create.
Year 2012, everyday morning, while going to the office, I used to stop by the coffee shop next to my workplace. Normally I go there 3–4 times to grab my coffee in a day. However, I was always not quite happy about wasting the coffee cups daily, because if I calculate total number coffee cups I use in a year 365*3 = 1095 paper cups (Bio-waste). The number of cups consumed in a year was huge, only by single user. Imagine the total cups wasted as it was quite crowded place. I actively presented my concern about what I have observed to the company.
The company without ignoring the feedback took it as a great opportunity and came up with 2 creative scenarios,
One, the customers who come up with their own coffee container get extra coffee and different perks. Two, the customers without container would get a coffee either in reusable container or biodegradable cups to minimize the bio waste.
The company thanked me for my observation and helped them focus on what really matters today at larger level. I really felt proud to make a difference about bringing the change. That was such a great experience for me and probably I cherish that moment for rest of my life.
Listen to what your customers are asking, and implement the best changes you can.
In this digital era, the customers are well connected, well informed and smarter than ever before. The reach of customers has skyrocketed to the various offline as well as online platforms. They use technology to compare, check and search for better products and services. With this reason, customer service, famously know today as CX is becoming important every passing day.
Customer Experience is simply a memory customer carry and cherish for a product or a service for a long period of time and share with others.
Customer experience is to make your customers’ life easy and delightful throughout their interaction with your service/product.
Think of it like this,
How thrilled customers are when they knock on your door and enter your place.
How delightful they feel, while they engage with your service/product during their stay, and how happy they become when they leave.
And, finally, how excited they are to let their friends know and come back again. (Across the offline as well as online platform)
Customer Experience is subjective in nature. It is the result of the customers’ ever changing demands, needs, desires, and expectations. The companies must have to be highly adaptive to stay in trends to foster.
IMPORTANCE OF CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE
In this ultra competitive world, the market is filled with alternatives, according to surveys, half of the customers say they would switch to competitors after just one bad experience. This is where the importance of positive customer experience is significant.
There is a long a long-term vision behind, why you should take care of the customer. Here are the top 10 reasons,
- To make customers feel delighted and happy
- To give a rush of excitement and enjoyment
- To win the trust and confidence of the customer
- To attract quality customers
- To receive positive and brilliant feedback
- To meet with customer expectations
- To get better competitive advantage
- To receive higher returns on investment
- To gain better brand positioning
- To prepare for the future opportunities
Customer experience design is the process of investigating customers emotions, feelings, behavioural patterns, liking — disliking, before purchase, during purchase and after purchase, with provider’s employees, atmosphere, products, services, processes from beginning to end, across the different platforms in order to establish a strong relationship.
Throughout the customers’ journey, from knocking on the door till leaving the place the process of observing and analyzing each customer-company interactions for crafting such atmosphere, products, and services are,
- Designed to deliver value and satisfaction
- Effectively integrated channels for a seamless experience
- Optimized to build a strong relationship
- Co-creating cutomer-centered strategies to turn their visit into a beautiful journey.
6 steps to design the customer experience (CX) strategies,
- Set the Goals right, because…
- They give clarity about where to start and where to reach
- They help to align all of your resources
(Man, Materials, Money, Machine and Management)
- They help to manage the team performance
- They give your team long term vision and motivation to design better
- They provide data for measuring overall progress
- Customer Research
Customer research is the first step before designing a strategy. Knowing your customer enough is the most important step towards designing a great experience. Methods to perform effective customer research are —
- Define Personas (Both buyers’ and sellers’)
- Customer empathy mapping
- Stakeholder mapping
- Customer Experience Mapping
CX mapping is remarkably important in the process because it helps to create a practical and seamless experience at every interaction between customer and an organization. It is a cohesive and comprehensive way to map the customer touchpoints and understand their behaviour with brand interactions. A simple and effective process to understand the customer buying journey. Methods for effective CX mappings are,
- Customer journey mappings & touchpoints
- 5A Customer Journey Approach
- 5E Experience Design Model
- Brainstorming & Ideation
Once customer experience mapping is done, use brainstorming to go wide and wild for new ideas. It is not about coming up with one “right” idea, it’s about generating a wide range of possibilities. Methods for effective brainstorming are,
- 6 Thinking Hats
- Grid Ideation
- Post-it Approach
- Customer Experience Prototyping
Prototyping helps to convert ideas into a working model to get faster and relevant feedback from the people we’re designing for. It provides a proper view of how the ideas come to the table and develop through agile research and iterative process to reality. Methods for effective prototyping are,
- Sketching & Drawing
- Digital Mockups
- Physical Role plays
- Customer Experience Design Validation
After prototyping, testing provides an opportunity to learn about your product/service and your customer. We can easily get the problems, defects, and loopholes to iterate to design better and better. Methods for effective validation are,
- Test with real customer
- Feedback forms
Hope you had a good kick start towards the journey of crafting an extraordinary customer experience for your organization. We will soon get in to the details of each steps mentioned above.