The experience your customers deserve
Vision – Build a source of truth or guiding light for your customer experience
CX must stem from the top and span the entire organization. In order to achieve this: define the vision to answer the following questions
What do we want our customers to say about us?
How do we want out customers to perceive us?
What experience should our customers have using our product/service?
What's the front-to-end journey we want our customers to have with us?
What outcomes do we want our customers to have?
What are our strengths for quick wins, weakness to detract?
Employee Engagement – Can our employees achieve the CX vision today?
Any good CX approach starts by looking inward. Do you have the right culture, skills, resources, and capabilities to achieve your vision produced above?
To determine this, consider the following steps:
1. Assess Culture - Is your company culture customer-first?
2. Understand ability - Does your company employee the tools, resources, processes, templates to achieve the CX vision?
3. Determine customer perception- How do your employees perceive your customers, how are those relationships?
4. Monitor employee effort - What do your employees spend most of their time doing (e.g.: re-creating processes, searching for documents, spend time processes repeatable tasks, managing workload/capacity)?
The answers to these questions can help you craft areas to focus that enable a stronger CX?
Market Research/Voice of the Customer – How do I understand what my customers want and need and what is stopping them from getting there?
Whether it is defining outcomes, paint points, or deciding on which customers or segment of customers to target next, you’ll need to conduct market research. Generally, this consists of either primary or secondary research.
Primary research includes field studies (e.g.: tests and trials among a sample group), surveys, focus groups, or anecdotal inquiry to understand your exact customer needs. While these activities can be time-consuming and potentially costly, doing one or several are crucial to better understanding your customer. Also, as you learn, you can more quickly iterate. never forget to include your customers' perspective as you build and scale your product or service. Seek continuous feedback, and better yet, look for trends to act on that feedback and then seek some more!
Secondary research draws upon existing sources of information to determine market size, competition, industry trends etc. to determine the best way to position your product or service. This may include existing professional publications, academic journals, professional research reports, or deep dive information searches.
For instance, you may consider using social media tools or reviews to assess customers' "pain points" by researching trends in posts and reviews. Connect this information with competitors operating in your space, their offerings and what you are doing differently.
You may also consider researching the Management Discussion & Analysis section of publically traded company's Annual and Quarterly reports. This can help you to understand their problems, what's top of mind, and market position. You can find these reports at http://www.sec.gov.
Both forms of research can be extremely helpful when determine your potential market size, stakeholders or buyers, key competitors, demand for the product or service, success and failures of previous product launches similar to yours, and delivery tools available in the marketplace (free or paid).
Customer Journey Mapping – How do I understand my customer's perception of product or service?
Customer journey mapping aims to help you understand the process of how your customers are engaging with a product or service, and their experience with that process.
There is so much information out there on customer journey mapping, and we are not trying to reinvent the wheel with new methods or tools. However, because of the abundant conversation on this topic, it goes to show just how important it is to truly understanding your customer's interaction with your product. There are a multitude of free templates, tools, and suggestions on how to conduct this exercise. If you decide to map your current or potential customers' journeys, keep a few topics in mind.
1. It's time-consuming and high touch.
2. Prepare to spend some significant time with current or future customers to truly understand the steps they take in engaging with your product/service or similar, what works and what does not work, their expectations, how the product meets or does not meet those expectations, feeling and comfort level throughout the process.
3. Seek to understand the current state in order to craft the future state.
4. Look for process improvements, in addition to visual. Often-times customers may focus on aesthetics but those could signify an underlying problem with a process.
5. While we mention free tools, templates, and resources, use those only as a guide, and refine the initial and follow-up questions specific to your customer base, product, service, or intent of doing this exercise.
Customer Segmentation and Personas – How can I design the product or service that meets the needs of my customers?
Customer personas aim to clearly define your buyer types. If you know your buyers, you know what they need and how to build your offering to satisfy what they need.
You can aim to use the journey mapping exercise to ascertain information about your customers. Organize that information into personas, or fictional customers. Examples of information include
Current problems or pain points
Likes and dislikes when searching for a solution to those problems
Needs or desires in a product or service
Buying habits or patterns
Motivations for buying
Perception of brands, products or services that they perceive as high quality
Customer personas aim to help you better understand what your customers need, what they buy, and how they buy so you can better satisfy those needs.