Customer Experience Re-Defined

For marketing and content professionals, the term customer experience is often used to refer to the ways they manage a web content experience or a sales/marketing funnel. In reality, these two definitions are actually hijacking an earlier meaning.

The original thinking was from a process perspective, based on the need to shift from inside-out thinking to outside-in thinking, as this AIIM Tip Sheet explains. In other words, to move away from efficiency goals, which often frustrated customers, to effectiveness goals, which aimed to delight customers at the lowest organizational cost possible.

By thinking from the outside in we are viewing the way we produce, market, sell, and deliver our products and services through the eyes of the customer. This means thinking about the journeys customers go through, and the pain points they have. Outside-in thinking also means thinking about how businesses can be frictionless, and how we can make customers happy on a constant basis.

The Power of Customer Journey Maps

Customer Journey Maps, when used correctly, are the means by which we can capture, transcribe, and communicate customer experience throughout our organization. They are very simple, yet extremely powerful and should be part of the armory for all business and process analysts that want to understand how best to improve customer experience. Customer Journey Maps are especially effective when they are connected to the underlying operations that deliver those experiences.

More often than not, when viewed through the eyes of a customer journey map, your end to end processes may not be the ones you thought they were!

Moments of Truth, Moments of Magic, Moments of Madness

One of the key adornments on a journey map is the ‘Moment of Truth’. Also known as a major touchpoint, these are the customer interactions that if not managed correctly can result in customers or prospects leaving you.

When teaching customer journeys and touchpoints over the years I suggest that Moments of Truth come in two forms: Moments of Madness, where customers cannot understand why you work the way you do and get frustrated or angry, or Moments of Magic, where customers feel special, delighted or otherwise impressed. Of course, these latter customers are more likely to change from customers to advocates, an even more powerful group.

To illustrate the difference, I will use a couple of consumer travel related experiences and let you judge for yourself how you would see things.

Real-Life Moments

For the first, imagine you have bought a plane ticket with KLM. Your travel plans change and so you telephone them (Moment of Truth) and inquire about changing your return flights. The operator tells you that they cannot change your ticket as the flight is non-changeable, but that the ticket is refundable. You ask why if it is refundable they cannot change the flight (Moment of Madness). While apologetic, the operator says there is nothing you can do, so you request a refund. You then ask why you should use KLM when you rebook, and not another airline? The operator says they don’t know (Moment of Madness) and tells you that they will credit your credit card within 4-6 weeks (Moment of Madness). Eventually you get off the phone, calm down, and book your new flights.

Would you book it with KLM? Or would you choose another airline? Like you, I chose another airline and have not flown with KLM/Air France since. Now we know that most airlines are not good, but since that experience I have flown over 100,000 miles per year for several years, suggesting that KLM gave up many tens of thousands in lost revenue. All because their processes generated more Moments of Madness than Moments of Magic.

For the second, I will use the example of a hotel, a Courtyard Marriott in Berlin. This is a hotel that I have used a lot over the past 18 months, and where at the beginning of the year the local manager contacted me to discuss a special rate based on frequency of stay (Moment of Magic). We discussed rates, alternative hotels, and number of nights throughout the year, and he suggested a rate that was very favorable and much appreciated (Moment of Magic). I have been booking and using the hotel using this rate for the past six months. When trying to make a recent booking I was told by staff that the “Corporate Reservation Team” were not willing to provide my rate for those dates, as there was a big event going on in Berlin (Moment of Madness), however the local manager and his team overruled corporate and are honoring my rate (Moment of Magic).

In this instance, if you were me would you ever consider staying anywhere else? I didn’t think so. Yet how many hotel programs do you know that offer special rates for people staying 100 nights or more, but then don’t honor those rates during special events? Any changing circumstance that enables them to double or triple the prices during a specific time is really saying, “Your business is only important if we can’t rip someone else off.”

Moments In Your Organization

As you can see from the examples above, the idea of customer experience Moments of Truth is simple, but can be absolutely critical to success. The next step is to consider the customer journey through your own business, and look at where your Moments of Truth occur, and test whether you generate Moments of Magic or Moments of Madness. In that case, it is time for you to create a customer journey map of your own. Find out how Signavio can help by signing up for a free 30-day trial today.

Published on: July 24th 2018 - Last modified: July 24th, 2018