October 20, 2020
We humans are great at detecting patterns – real or imagined – as well as at identifying issues or problems. This explains the tremendous interest in mystery stories where we get to use these behaviors while watching our favorite detectives sleuth out the killer. When it comes to customer experience mapping – modeling the current state experience that customers have with products or services - we are excellent at finding the problems, broken processes and patterns that we believe drive these issues.
Companies spend significant effort to map customer experiences in order to build understanding and organizational alignment on the “problem.” These as-is mapping exercises can create a detailed picture of what currently happens as wells as the processes, tools/technologies, and roles that are responsible. Sometimes, CX mappers will engage customers in focus groups or surveys to understand their perspective and beliefs about the experience. Taken together, CX mapping methods can be very effective at identifying the problem statement and even the top areas for focus to address CX opportunities.
The hard part is determining how to address identified issues – and at the heart of this is the challenge of organizational change. In our experience, at least one-third to one-half of identified CX issues are grounded in choices a company has made (or not) about the business that is based ultimately on performance, e.g.,
· Making terms and conditions intentionally obscure to more efficiently get sales
· Denying services for a particular product or segment because it is not cost effective
· Choosing to under-invest in service channels to manage costs
In most cases these choices are not intentionally targeting the experience but ultimately CX issues become the unintended consequence.
In our work with companies, we recommend that CX executives focus as much if not more effort on identifying a realistic resolution for customer experience issues. This means negotiating the tradeoffs between what customers want from the experience and what the company can reasonably change to upgrade CX. The framework that we at BLEND360 recommends is a balanced focus on:
· Effort – what can be changed about channels, services or products to make it easier for customers to get what they need and expect – efficiently
· Performance – arguably the area traditionally most focused on – e.g., conversion, loyalty – the key here is to balance CX performance metrics with business metrics
· Belief – Customer belief about the brand/service will be a good indicator of the right balance of effort and performance.
Spending more time on addressing the issues, unintended consequences and the changes required against this framework can ensure that companies are addressing the hard work of CX change to deliver the experience customers seek.