October 26, 2016

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Is holistic consumer experience a new paradigm?

89% of organizations expect to compete primarily on customer experience by 2016
Gartner Research, 2015

Poor customer experiences result in an estimated $83 billion loss by US enterprises each year because of defections and abandoned purchases.
  Forbes, 2013

Only 24% of the companies measure Customer Experience (CX) across channels while the rest measure either at one such touch point.
Forrester Report, 2014

The Story

On a summer afternoon in Chennai, India; a customer walks in to the clothing store with a simple problem. He bought branded clothing in the US and wanted an exchange in India. While the company didn't have a procedure for such a transaction, the options for the customer would be to:

  • Speak to the store in charge.
  • Call the customer care
  • Send an email
  • Post on Social Media?

For the organization, the customer visiting this local store with a specific need has created a touch point. And this customer could have many such interactions. The touch points are often dis-connected in most organisations, either due to their vastness or minimalistic expertise.

Touch point:

A point of interaction involving a specific human need at a specific time and place.

Channel:

A medium of interaction with customers or users.

So the Store Manager, Call Centre, Email and Social Media are all channels to a customer. To design successful products, organizations need to feel the emotion, understand, engage, and measure experiences at every single touch point by identifying channels, opportunities and constraints around those touch points.

This holistic service approach provides an end-to-end omni-channel experience. A customer doesn't care about the channel. It is the organization that needs to create a cross-referenced common experience across all channels. It is important to make the engagement more human and design all the micro interactions based on each touch point.

Omni-channel:

A combined and cross-referenced medium of interaction between the organizations and customers/ users.

Engaging the audiences at different touch points creates value.

Engaged customers buy 50% more frequently, spend 200% more each year, and are 5 times more likely to indicate a brand is the only one they would purchase in the future.

A value equation for a customer could be

Value = (Benefit – Effort – Risk – Price) X Engagement

Customer engagement defines the maturity of the brand relationship and it’s a multiplier.

So, how do we do that?

Customer Journey Mapping:

A process of identifying key customer interactions with the product.

The above journey map illustrates the journey of a soccer fan through a storyboard created across various touch points. This project was done as part of HCLs User Experience Platform for the media and entertainment industry. The following are the dimensions of the user’s journey:

A Customer Journey Map is an ideal candidate for designing new services. It helps define the vision for a product of how a service could unfold over the time with business opportunities that arise due to the unmet customer needs. This should be done as a collaborative process with the entire team.

The Approach:

Journey Maps are created based on either assumptions or research through workshops

Assumptions remain as assumptions unless they are validated through research.

The Process:

Analyse:

The aim here is to draw insights by creating journey maps from the data collected during the research phase. This is a phase of making inferences from “What” to understand “Why”.

Discover:

This involves discovering critical elements. What needs to change at what point of time etc.

Ideate:

Explore and brainstorm for ideas, ideas and more ideas from the opportunities discovered to improve the overall customer engagement.

Develop:

Prototype to build an MVP from these ideas to iterate experiments early at the concept level.

Deploy:

Think lean and fail early - Deploy MVPs to understand how many of the ideas fail? It is usually 2 steps forward and 3 steps backward but that works. It helps save a lot on the investment by testing those ideas and iterating them.

References

Chris Risdon. The Anatomy of an Experience Map Nov 2011

Carol-Ann Morgan Customer Journey Mapping

Zeitschrift fur Organizations Entwicklung,2/2012, PP. 38-44

Carol-Ann Morgan Managing the Experience of Your Customers

Cruickshank, P. (2011). Customer Journey Mapping.Smart Cities Guide.