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The Experience Economy: Part 15 – Consistency & Reliability

Posted by James Grieve on Jan 17, 2018 11:10:00 AM

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In our previous article, we described how customer journey mapping is a strategic imperative for organizations committed to designing and delivering better customer experiences.

We learned that by detailing all aspects of the customers’ journeys, customer journey mapping tells the entire story of a customer’s experience, and makes it visible for members of an organization, so that they can easily understand things from their customers’ perspective

This helps them identify and prioritize specific initiatives for creating compelling ways to design and deliver experiences for customers, instead of the internally focused and narrow lenses of siloed operational departments.

Armed with this information, Customer Experience acts as an early warning system that enables an organization to know, before customers tell you, if your operation is reliable or unreliable in performing at key customer intersection points.

By establishing a competency for managing the process performance of the key touch points that make or break customer interactions and relationships, organizations can become proactive at taking actions to delight customers and intervene before customer confidence has been eroded.

Progressive business leaders need to care about reliable operational performance in key customer intersection points. These key inflection points, or moments of truth, drive decisions for customers to stay, leave, buy more, and recommend your organization to others.

Customer Experience is a core competency of business and is as important as product development, finance, marketing and sales.

Most organizations have a rigorous process and discipline for how they develop products. But sadly, there is not the same discipline established for developing and bringing customer experiences to life.

To overcome this, customer-focused organizations must have:

-Rigor and discipline for how cross-functional organizational teams explore and understand emerging customer issues and opportunities;

-A clean and clear process for evaluating and understanding what customers need, value and expect in their experience with your organization.

By doing this, organizations design, develop, and deliver reliable, consistent experiences that delight customers. When customers are delighted, they reward your organization with positive word-of-mouth and referrals.

According to the Keller Fay Talk-Track Report and Word-Of-Mouth Marketing Association, in 2016, 92 per cent of customers worldwide trusted recommendations from friends and family more than any form of advertising. That was up from 74 per cent in 2007.

Rather than seeking heroic ‘wow’ moments, organizations are wise to focus on being reliable and consistent, and leverage this as a key differentiator versus their competitors.

An excellent example of this is the hotel industry.

Imagine that if, when you check into a hotel, they ask you what type of pillow you’d like and the kind of chocolate that you’d like at turndown, but when you walk into the room there’s hair in the sink, a make-up smear on the pillows and dirt under the bed.

All of the “wow” promised at the front desk, and expected upon your entry into the room, is lost in the lack of reliability.

Evidence to support this comes from The London School of Economics ‘Advocacy Drives Growth’ study. The study revealed that there is a 300 per cent revenue gain to be had by focusing on reliability versus the “wow” moments.

Reliability and consistency builds trust in any relationship, especially the relationship that organizations have with their customers.It is advisable for organizations to invest in its people and processes to ensure that its customer experiences meet the expectations of customers.

As trust increases, so too does the ability to add value for customers, increase their likelihood to return, and to tell their friends how great your organization was at providing a great customer experience.

In our next article, we will discuss how innovation and complexity do not necessarily need to go hand-in-hand.

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Previous articles from The Experience Economy Series:

Part 1: Introduction to Customer Experience

Part 2: Customer Service is Not Customer Experience

Part 3: The Five Dimensions of Customer Experience

Part 4: Touchpoints - The First Dimension of Customer Experience

Part 5: Pathways - The Second Dimension of Customer Experience

Part 6: Delivery - The Third Dimension of Customer Experience

Part 7: Ecosystem - The Fourth Dimension of Customer Experience

Part 8: Empathy - The Fifth Dimension of Customer Experience

Part 9: The Benefits of Implementing a Customer Experience Strategy

Part 10: The Process of Customer Experience Design

Part 11: Phase 1, Step 1, Customer Research

Part 12: Phase 1, Step 2, Contextual Interviews

Part 13: Phase 1, Step 3, Journey Mapping

Part 14: Phase 1, Step 3b, The Benefits of Journey Mapping

Topics: The experience economy, customer experience, customer service, referral program

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We specialize in using Customer Experience Design to improve the bottom line of small and medium size businesses in a variety of industries.

Regardless of whether you sell products or provide services, we solve strategic, product, and process-related issues to consistently create memorable experiences that attract, delight, and retain customers.

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