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Beyond HBR’s “truth about customer experience”

Harward Business Review just published a great article about Customer Experience and Journey. See here. The main point of the article is, that managing single touchpoint engagements doesn’t provide sufficient customer experience.

HBR - Truth about customer experience

My advice is: Don’t design just touchpoints – Design chain of events, proactive and reactive. Development and measurement is often done engagement by engagement. The service design approach also highlight such emphasis. I’ve done Customer Journey mapping and methodology development since 2004 and agree with the article, only it’s lacking tools and methods how you should approach the challenge. I can help with that.

I’ve written an article series about customer journey management and you can choose and pick, which areas you are interested in or read them as a series of articles:

  1. Customer Journey FLOW
  2. How to map and study Customer Journey
  3. Customer Journey stage 1: Brand as a platform
  4. Customer Journey stage 2: Initiation
  5. Customer Journey stag 3: Choosing and buying – cross-channel influence

In order to really do Service and CX design for the entire customer relationship, you need to understand that there are very different journeys to begin with.

  • Purchase journey (From awareness to consideration and transaction, Acquisition)
  • Service journeys post purchasing (Using the product or service, value-in-use)
  •  Planned (e.g. Address change, regular maintenance etc.)
  •  Unpredictable (e.g. Product failure, reclamation, insurance coverage, etc.)
  • Delivering a service as a customer journey (taking a cruise or flight, restaurant, using media, etc.)
  • Retail customer journeys (e.g. IKEA store experience)

Once you have both Insight and Topsight level understanding about customer journey in full, you need to take a look inside the company. What organisation bodies are involved with customers, what kind of technical environment direct their operation and what kind of data steers their actions. The reality is, that management reporting practices represent management understanding and decisions. The systems and technical infra on the other hand define how the corporate body acts. In case you need to change the way how the corporate body in total behave, you need to define required technical changes, change management and manage change. In my experience, creating Service Blueprints has been quite effective tool for both challenge recognition at current status mapping and Customer Experience planning.

The potential is absolutely amazing. The customer’s expectations are constantly growing harder to fulfill and companies that are agile enough to cure “Corporate Autism” and take the steps required to move from “inconsideration marketing” and mass mailings to service automation, Customer Experience and Journey design at total relationship level, can win marketshare and increase profits considerably. The business-as-usual approach is no longer sufficient, you need to free the full potential an organisation can offer and tear down silos in order to take advantage of synergies available.

In the big picture, your company must act professionally and fulfill minimum requirement perfectly. Failing these requirements cause criticism and decrease your NPS results. Acting human, being considerate, thoughtful and proactive on the other hand increase the number of people willing to recommend you and increase you NPS score. Succeeding in both cumulate earned trust, which is the foundation for long-lasting and profitable customer relationships and strong brand.

creating customer loyalty and trust_improving NPS

In case you do well, the process will enable you to design lean processes and define the best possible value your business processes can possibly deliver. In my opinion this is the Future for CMO’s position inside the company. It’s not the job for CMO’s to define business process management, but it’s the CMO’s responsibility to make certain that everything the company does, delivers maximum customer value and experience across all customer interfaces

Customer interface reach & effectiveness

In case you can capture customer contacts, you can start servicing and inspiring customers individually and simultaneously your capacity to influence increases. The bigger share of the customers buying in a certain category you have in your database, the more effective means you have to influence their behavior and market dynamics. The ultimate goal is to synchronize customer portfolio with product and service portfolio across all touchpoints and marketing interfaces.

customer portfolio_customer touchpoint & marketing portfolio_product and service portfolio

In my experience the only way to do successful customer journey and experience design and create sustainable management model for it is to do the work upside-down. You start from the actual interfaces, motives, contexts and people. From there you continue inside the company culture, practices and technology and design the strategy level after you understand everything else. Like this:

Bottom-up strategy and data analysis

The Holy Grail of customer value is Symbiosis. Check Symbiosis Strategy – creating the ultimate value  -article here.

This is a video by on Sep 12, 2013, It’s All About the Customer Journey

Author: Toni Keskinen, Marketing Architect & Customer Journey Designer, Toinen PHD

http://www.linkedin.com/in/tonikeskinen

Join The Future CMO Movement LinkedIn Group here


15 Comments

  1. leewilde says:

    Hi, feel free to delete this comment later… I just wanted to let you know you have a typo in your header…… “Joint the movement: “…

  2. Irina says:

    Toni, thank you for article. In your opinion, what would be a good definition of Customer Experience?

    • Hi Irina. Thank you for your question. Customer Experience is so obvious and yet so complex subject that has multitude of perseptions and views to consider. I try to put it very objectively: “Customer approach their experience subjectively and holistically and they form their view of customer experience based on one or multiple engagements with the company’s services, products and interfaces. The company could build great customer experience with 10 engagements and crush the customer’s view with one. The customer has very different approach and expectations for the company along their purchase and customer relationship process and their expectations change along the way. The key to their experience is customer’s subjective expectations that the company intentionally or by chance set with advertising, promises, engagements accross touchpoints and other customer’s shared experiences. This is why same service level deliver’s very different customer experience and Net Promoter Score results from one company to another.”

      You can create brand without engagements and the brand is the key to expectations. The customer experience though is based on personal engagements with the company, it’s products and services. What do you think about this definition?

  3. […] Beyond HBR’s “Truth about Customer Experience” […]

  4. […] recently wrote the article “Beyond HBR’s truth about customer experience” and “Irina” asked what kind of definition I would use for Customer Experience. I wrote […]

  5. […] Beyond HBR’s “truth about customer experience” […]

  6. […] Harward Business Review just published a great article about Customer Experience and Journey. See here. The main point of the article is, that managing single touchpoint engagements doesn't provide…  […]

  7. csrollyson says:

    Hi Toni, I’m feeling a ton of resonance reading you here, and I just selected this article as “Core” for the #SocialChannelApp customer experience transformation section. I released the Social Network Roadmap in 2008 and have used it on client work (social business strategy & execution), and its approach feels very close to yours in that it’s outside-in. I’ve discovered that digital social, since it makes extensive customer experience social data available at an unprecedented scale, enables entities to derisk everything they do, but most people and orgs have yet to discover the secret because they’re too busy using Industrial Economy marketing tactics. I could go on forever here, but leave it at this for now. So happy to fins a kindred soul like you! BTW, the App just circled you on Google+, its main presence.

    • Thank you very much for you feedback 🙂 I actually published my theory and practice as a book in Finnish 2013. Since then I’ve been working more on transformation processes across corporate operations in multiple large companies and learned plenty about how the insights turn to operations. I hope I get to publish this work in print and in english too 😉 Let’s see how it works out!

      • csrollyson says:

        Toni, I’d love to see the new version in English or French. I checked out a couple of your presentations on Slideshare, and there’s definitely a lot of resonance. I just published my approach to experiential social media and social business transformation in the Social Channel App [beta] last month. I LOVE the slide #14 in your 2016 pitch deck, a great simple way to show this, and anyone who’s led transformation will get that right away. Well Done! In case you’re interested, I’m building a community that has a customer experience focus over here, and I’d be honored to have you as a member!
        => http://bit.ly/sochapocce

        I wish you a great 2016!

  8. That sounds great! I’ll check it out later today.

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