Customer Experience Framework

The first step in the journey of improving your customers' experience.

The first step in the journey of improving your customers' experience is to engage a multi-disciplinary team. The team leader must win the team's hearts and minds so that it is committed to the task of understanding customer needs and desires.

The team will then intentionally design and deliver the optimal experience that meets those needs and satisfies those desires.

The team must answer the following questions:

  • What is important to customers?
  • How are we performing in terms of satisfying their needs and preferences?
  • How do we know we have satisfied these needs and preferences?
  • What are our priorities for improving the customer experience?
The cross-functional team then maps their own view of the customer experience at each stage of the customers' interaction with the offering ("I am aware", "I shop", "I buy", etc.).

Businesses exist to serve customers.

When businesses begin to forget this fact, they tend to experience the following symptoms:

  • Poor customer retention
  • Low customer satisfaction ratings
  • Slowing or stagnating growth
  • Loss of market share
  • Poor reviews or negative comments about their offerings on-line
  • Employees who seem bewildered or annoyed by customer needs

A solution to many of these issues is to design offerings tailored to the needs and preferences of your customers by understanding the end-to-end customer experience from the customer’s perspective.

This means knowing what it feels like to be the customer not only when the customer is interacting with the product, but at each stage of the journey:

  • When the customers first discover the product or service
  • When they buy it
  • When they install and first use it
  • When they have a question or something goes wrong with the product or service
  • When the customer just wants to learn more

To create customer and brand loyalty and grow your business you must understand the customer experience at each stage of their journey. You must then incorporate this knowledge into your offerings.

How can your company do this?

A customer’s end-to-end experience with your offering involves the following stages:

  • I have a job to do or there’s a “pain point” I want to eliminate.
  • I am aware of an offering that can help do the job or relieve the pain.
  • I shop.
  • I buy.
  • I receive.
  • I install.
  • I use.
  • I continue my relationship with the offering or I renew.
  • I get my questions answered or I get help.

The key to creating an excellent customer experience is to understand and build empathy around your customer’s experience at each of these stages. This is called developing a customer centric mindset. Each stage of the customer’s journey includes multiple customer touch points.

Developing a customer centric mindset and improving your customers’ experience is a cross-functional endeavor. It requires a strong leader who is responsible for intentionally designing the end-to-end offering, as well as for the process that will get the team there.

The steps in the journey that lead to superb customer experiences.

These are the steps for understanding the customer experience and incorporating that knowledge into your offerings:

  • Identify listening posts. Listening posts are how cross-functional teams learn about the customer experience. They include analysis of sales/lead information; social media; in product feedback; customer questions, etc. Establish listening posts that reveal the customer experience throughout their interactions with your offering. Collect and analyze this data.
  • Spend time with customers. Observe customer behavior by following them home. See their offering in actual use in its native environment. Learn how customers become aware of an offering, how they install it, use it or interact with it. The goal is to answer the question: “What does it really feel like to be our customer?”
  • Discover moments of truth. Through an iterative process of customer visits, the teams will discover moments of truth: the points where a customer has an emotional reaction, positive or negative, to doing business with you.
  • Build a map. This map details what it feels like to be a customer, based on what the team has learned. At this stage, many teams discover that they have been investing in features and products that have little or no impact on the customer's experience.
  • Build the team’s insights into products and services. We use a four-stage approach that includes, discovering, defining, designing and delivering offerings based on your new, outside-in view of the customer experience. Whether it is fixing an existing offering or creating a brand-new design, the team creates an offering tailored around the end-to-end customer experience.

Let us help you.

The customer experience journey requires patience. It is not a quick fix. The payoff is your team’s ability to deliver a stream of products and services that delight customers – and keep them coming back for more. 

Contact us today to start driving growth through customer relationships.