Improve the customer experience, or as someone prefer to define it, the customer journey, is to now a primary goal of all companies that offer products and services to final consumers. It is a key issue in the digitization process that even the most traditional organizations must approach, a theme which is also the place of comparison, among competitors and is therefore strategic to the growth of the company’s business.
Provide a positive purchasing experience (of a product or service) to the customer, has become as important as the item of the sale, McKinsey argues in its “The CEO guides to customer experience”, a collection of information intended for business leaders to better understand what consumers want and perceive it as a positive experience with the company they are targeting.
Three key steps to improve the customer experience are to observe, model and perform.
It is the first, fundamental activity that brings the company closer to its customers (or prospects): see the world as they do them and observe the whole process of contacts and relationship with the company, moving beyond the effectiveness of a single touchpoint, but rather considering the overall experience.
Technology has delivered to customers an unprecedented power to dictate the rules for the purchase of goods and services, says McKinsey. The service is expected to be immediate, within five minutes from on-line contact, by three-quarters of them. A corresponding part of customers want a simple experience, uses the comparison apps when purchasing , and relies heavily on online reviews and personal recommendations. The same kind of immediacy, personalization and convenience received by companies such as Google and Amazon is expected by customers from each type of company
The observation that through the use of data can be very thorough, is also necessary to quantify which elements of the customer experience are most important for the customer segment and provide a clear vision of customer experience that can be a shared goal at whole company levels.
The findings from the observation phase, are then translated into the modeling of the customer journey, which should first be improved as a whole and further in each of its components: this process should be considered in constant evolution, and requires to be developed dynamically , and by multi-disciplinary teams.
Adopting customer-centric strategies can be very tiring for traditional organizations, and requires a cultural change of pace which must include the definition of new metrics to measure the achievements that may show, at each hierarchical level, the effectiveness of measures taken.