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CXU Student Brief 14

The CXU Student Brief

A monthly newsletter for Upgraded Online Course Subscribers

Insights from the 2018 Customer Experience Conference at The Conference Board

Customer experience is best when it fits with the emotions of your customers. They want to feel they can trust companies, regardless of industry. Therefore, they look for evidence. In the 2018 Customer Experience Conference at the Conference Board, observations from 112 senior practitioners were recorded. Here is the first set of observations…

Issue 1: Find out where your customers’ biggest pain points are and what they really want.

  1. Talk to both employees and customers when looking for ways to improve the customer experience. Create an online community to see what customers want and ask front-line employees what problems customers encounter the most. Also, ask front-line employees how the company can help them do their jobs better. They may also have great service ideas that require little to no investment.
  2. Get to the root cause of a problem. For example, if customers complain about long lines in a store, ask: Why are there so many people in line? Is the store too crowded? Do you have enough staff? Is the staff adequately trained? Or is it something else, like customers complaining to cashiers? If so, what are they complaining about? Are they all complaining about the same things?
  3. Get to know different segments of customers and understand what drives their behaviors. Create personas for each segment, based on their likes, behaviors, and other relevant factors and then create journey maps for each persona. Also, map the most important journeys your customers have with your product or service. Look at phone, digital, and retail interactions and do a journey map for each method. As you find pain points, journey map those.
  4. Create focus groups to participate in Design Thinking1 to develop solutions. Ask them to brainstorm all possible ideas that could improve the experience and then to vote for their favorite solutions and discuss which ones would be most feasible, affordable, and customer-centric. Then rank them.
  5. Think about how customer expectations are changing and take inspiration from other industries. For example, a manager at a water works company said, “If you can track the status of your pizza delivery order from the oven to your door, then why can’t you track the location of your water service guy, especially when it gets close to the end of your two-hour appointment window?”
  6. Keep customers and employees engaged by involving both groups in designing the customer experience. For example, when one water works company wanted to revamp its bills, it asked employees to bring in examples of bills from other companies that were the easiest to read and then did heat mapping on the layouts. It made three prototypes, which it posted on its online community and asked customers to pick the bill they liked most.
  7. Prototype or pilot your solution before going to scale to see if your plan really works. Work with operations to implement each step. Then “test and learn.” And recognize when to “test and leave” if something really isn’t working.
  8. Define success and a timeline with milestones. What are the end goals? What are the key performance indicators? A number of companies are using Net Promotor Scores (NPS) to determine success. A telecom company tracks NPS in several ways: relationship, transaction, and employee NPS.
  9. To make the case for change, present the findings from your customer and employee surveys, journey maps, and prototype ideas to senior leaders. Quote responses that came directly from customers and employees and use numbers rather than percentages—saying “We lost 300 customers because of these pain points” will sound more dramatic than saying “We lost two percent of our customers.”

What Customers Want {Video}

Watch as Sylvia Henderson, the Idea Implementation Expert, explains three strategies to transform business ideas into action and that understanding clients’ needs saves you time & money.

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