Want happy customers? Get intentional about your experience

With today’s technology, feeding customers’ multi-channel expectations isn’t about enabling many channels of communication; the struggle lies in managing the people, processes, and technology that deliver the experience to your customers.

If you boil it down to its simplest terms, the customer sees and experiences you as one entity. They do not think of your marketing team or your customer service department; they think Disney, Apple, Google, Comcast, and Verizon. Every interaction with every employee, product, or service combines to create that customer’s “experience.”

Whether you define the experience you will deliver or not, customers will have expectations. If you are not intentionally shaping those expectations, your competitors will define it for you. Then, you are forced to become reactionary, trying to meet ever-shifting demands that are hard to deliver and costly to implement.

Without careful planning, each department in your organization will define the experience based on what is easiest for them to deliver. With no reason to do otherwise, they’ll have little regard for how it affects the customer’s perceptions or experience. The result is a mishmash of technologies that are hard for employees to navigate, challenge operations to manage, and create a disjointed disconnected experience for your customer.

What experience do you want your customers to have?  How does that experience reinforce your brand values?

Experiences that delight customers and satisfy them at a core level are intentional.

Think of the best of the best: Disney, Apple, and Google. Every interaction with their company is designed to reinforce their unique brand value for their customers. They deliver the anytime, anywhere experience, but they do it on their own terms, in ways that accentuate the strength of their core competencies. Whether that is Disney’s high-touch delight or Google’s low-touch ease-of-use, they have defined an experience that is operationally feasible and economically viable.

Chasing undefined objectives with no understanding of the bigger picture will overwhelm and frustrate your staff. However, with a clear definition of the customer experience you want to deliver to your customers, the entire organization can work in unison to design the delivery of that experience.

Your marketing team will frame the experience for the customer. Your customer service staff will fulfill it in each interaction. And your IT staff can find the best technology to enable and measure the delivery of that experience.

Clarity in the experience leads to clarity in your analytics and data strategy. Focus your efforts on technology that enables the insights that will drive improvement and measure consistency.