Customer Experience has become quite popular lately and it is used in discourses, storytelling, advertisement campaigns, business strategies, and research cross-disciplines. It is important to remember, transformation is a personal journey. It cannot be controlled and it’s an internal process we experience through our senses, emotions, thoughts, actions, and, most importantly, through interpretation of facts and events. This is why the meaning we give to an experience is unique and personal. Moreover, leaders and managers cannot control this process but can guide and pave the way for it.
We can see this interaction playing in multiple touchpoints throughout time and space. This process is often called the Customer Journey and it is useful to study it. The customer, often not alone but accompanied by friends and family or in the presence of other customers, is a unique individual with specific needs, perceptions, and values that can change over time. He or she has different past memories about his/her experience within a company and can compare it with other companies.
As a unique individual, personality traits are also an important element as his/her moods and attitudes toward the company, people, experiences, etc. It goes the same way for the employee with the difference that he or she needs to perform towards an extraordinary meaningful experience. In order to do so, the employee is usually trained to develop cognitive skills and emotional agility to be translated into a specific behavior with the customer. This behavior should align with the company’s values and DNA, and should also correspond to the customer’s expectations and needs. While the customer is learning about the company and its specific know-how, the employee also, through active listening and observation, can learn more about the customer’s needs and personality.
Moreover, distinctive or peak experiences happen when your worries and problems seem to fade away as you disappear into your work or activity. Everyday frustrations are removed from your attention. This brings a great sense of relief as you operate fully in the present moment. Our scarcest resource is not our time, it’s our attention! It’s because our best work or leisure activities flow from paying undivided attention to what’s in front of us and important.
Few key takeaways from our experience
- Start creating an experience mindset throughout your company. All employees participate directly or indirectly in customer experience.
- Empower your employees to act and deliver a meaningful experience on the spot. Surprise and serendipity are time-bound to specific moments and cannot wait for approval from management.
- Maintain the ‘Essential Experience’ through consistency in all your touchpoints.
- Strive for peak moments whenever possible through elevation, pride, insight, and connection.
- Learn more about your customer and employee values and preferences, and build your Intelligence database.
- Create a culture where failure is part of the innovation journey and where emotions are central to our well-being and transformation.
The best way to do all of the above is through tailor-made research studies directed to better get to know employees and customers, and by observing the actual interaction happening in different types of touchpoints between the two stakeholders.