The Walk Approach to Customer Experience

July 6, 2020

Joe Colletti, SVP Solutions

As mentioned in my previous article, The Crawl, Walk Run Approach to Customer Experience, I talked about the article I wrote in 2001 on how to use the crawl, walk and run analogy for CRM which at the time was the new technology focus.  As I went back and revisited that article, I found most of the points still pertain to the new Customer Experience technologies that are in the market today.  

This article will cover the walk stage.

Stage 2: Walk. In the walk stage, everything learned in the crawl stage will be leveraged and expanded upon. In addition, most of the initial investment will be leveraged. A good rule of thumb is that 80 cents on every dollar invested in one stage should carry over to the next stage.

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During this phase, multiple touch points will begin to be integrated. In addition, trigger-based marketing (looking for product affinity, purchase behavior, etc.) will be implemented as well as personalized communication. The simplistic marketing repository from the crawl stage will start to become a database. Ensure that the database is specific to Customer Intelligence. Databases that are built around products, for example, do not adapt well to marketing programs and do not provide a good basis for analytics and feedback loops. It is important to make this clear, because during the walk phase, customer experience and analytics will merge. This demonstrates how each little step is critical.

If customer experience and analytics are performed on an improperly built database or a database with bad data, you will be walking down a dead end. You'll eventually have to turn around and deal with the data. That will cost time and money and probably credibility. Remember, you are getting the rest of your company to walk along with you.

Back to the car metaphor. Now that we have proved that we need to build a car and that we can do it in a cost-effective manner, we have to ensure that the proposed car can accomplish the task. Let's return to towing the boat. Even though we have not purchased it, we know that we intend to. Therefore, in this stage we may decide that a pickup truck would better suit our needs. We can check the engine size and the suspension and inspect a number of variables that if assessed later, will cost more than they do now.

And one more thing: Resist the urge to run during this stage.

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