Reflecting on recent discussions with many of my clients, it’s clear that companies are putting a priority on ensuring they have the right products and services in place to generate and grow business. Rightfully so. Without these, there would be no customers to care about.
But what about after we get that part right? It strikes me that we may not be spending enough time looking holistically at how we’re impacting customers from start to finish. We can’t be all in with the product itself, and lose sight of how we intersect with and influence customers. In fact, it’s often these touchpoints that elevate or crash brand mojo!
Think about it. Your product could be perfectly fine and relevant, but that doesn’t guarantee repeat business or long-term growth.
We may not be spending enough time looking holistically at how we’re impacting customers from start to finish. We can’t … lose sight of how we intersect with and influence customers. In fact, it’s often these touchpoints that elevate or crash brand mojo!”
For example, my kids take lessons at a swim school with great instructors. The experience is excellent… until the lessons are over and we’re preparing to leave. In the school lobby sits a snack bar stocked with a couple of healthy options and numerous junky ones. Without fail, my kids ask, then beg, for candy. And without fail, I say “No.” The result? Crying and tantrums — myself included! I’m not alone in this, as the experience has become a running joke among my friends who also have kids in class there. By making a small adjustment and providing kid-friendly snacks that are parent-approved, the swim school would dramatically improve our experience as we leave each week. We’d depart as calm and happy — and healthy — customers.
On the flip side, I recently had a top-notch experience with my cable company (surprising, I know). I had some expensive electronic equipment that was inadvertently ruined by a technician. Prepared with talking points and ready for a fight, I called to complain. I was immediately connected to a senior manager who handled things quickly, professionally and with courtesy. They did right by me and got a check in my hand within a week. What a great way to create a loyal customer.
There are numerous examples of where these customer experiences can occur:
- Website navigation
- Ordering process
- Customer service/problem resolution
- Sales representative discussions
The nature of our experience colors our view of a brand, meaning it’s imperative to look critically at how you’re performing across all touchpoints and to be honest about what’s succeeding and what’s hindering an exceptional experience.
Building an action plan for evaluating the end-to-end experience that incorporates some of the following things can yield significant benefits:
- Customer journey mapping to identify and understand the ways you intersect with customers
- Key drivers to prioritize what your customers value most from their experience
- SWOT analysis to assess your delivery vs. these priorities
- Qualitative or robust open-ends to understand the “why” behind your performance
- KPI tracking to monitor progress towards improvement
The nature of our experience colors our view of a brand, meaning it’s imperative to look critically at how you’re performing across all touchpoints and to be honest about what’s succeeding and what’s hindering an exceptional experience.”
Taking these steps will help you view the complete customer experience as your real offering, not just the product or service being purchased. And it will help you celebrate that which is working and address head-on that which may be broken.
Ready to look at how your brand is performing across all touchpoints?