16 Dec Customer experience – a thing that should be constantly improved
Ville Ailio came to tell us on Waffle Wednesday, November 13, 2019 how to create a better customer experience. He is an experienced international serial entrepreneur and works as a consultant and business builder to create a better customer experience. Ailio has worked with numerous companies, cultural operators, public businesses and startup companies including United Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Danske Bank, Nokia, HUS, Memorial Healthcare System, City of Espoo, National Gallery, Trans Europe Halles & hundreds of startups around the world.
Previously, business focused more on sales, marketing and product development. Over the last ten years, we have started to talk and focus more on the customer experience. As a result, everything has started to be led more by the customer experience and it has an impact on the entire company.
Before a company can start building a customer experience, it must have a clear strategic background:
- Business goals
Most of us work for a company and the company needs to have certain business goals and should be moving towards these goals.
- Product or service & value proposition
We need to make sure that there is a specific product or service and we need to know what its value proposition is.
- Segments & Personas
It is important to know which segment you are working in and the personas within that segment. The purpose of creating a customer experience and designing a customer journey is to mass customise. In other words, make rough generalisations that still adapt to the needs of each individual. For this, personas are created.
It is good to create a profile for each persona. These profiles tell you the typical things about the personas for example what they do and their stories. A concrete example of a segment’s persona makes it easier to create a customer journey and improve the customer experience.
- Market analysis
In addition, there must be an understanding of what is going on in the market. What competitors are doing and how personas perform in the market should be studied in more detail, both through qualitative and quantitative research methods.
Designing a customer experience with a customer journey map
After the strategic background work, the next step is to plan the customer experience. This is done by using customer journey maps, which are used to investigate the different stages of the entire customer journey in more detail. There are at least three steps in the customer journey: before, during and after the service. These three steps are universal and can be applied to any business. However, it makes sense to divide the phases into even more detailed sections, for example according to the touch points.
The customer experience consists of several different touch points. Touch points are all moments when a customer is in touch with the company and all touch points together make up the customer experience. For example, for the Waffle Wednesday event it includes at least the following touch points: an individual is informed about an event, registration for an event, coming to Wonderland Work, participating in an event … etc.
The customer journey has two sides: open and background. The open side contains all the things that are visible to the customer. The background side, on the other hand, consists of things that are not visible to the customer, but affect all the things the customer experiences. The intent is to make both components work seamlessly together to improve the overall customer experience.
There are often two driving forces behind a good customer journey today: communication and systems. Communication refers to how well communication takes place between different touch points and channels, for example, personal communication or digital communication. Systems mean, for example, what technological systems we have chosen to create a customer experience.
One common mistake when outlining a customer journey is that it is created among managers. The customer journey should be outlined with real customers and employees who are in direct contact with these customers. This way, the customer journey becomes as realistic as possible and not just an ideal.
Measuring touch points
After creating a customer path, meters are needed to measure each touch point. One measure is, for example, the NPS. Net promoter score measures customer loyalty and satisfaction. However, this only gives an indication of how satisfied the customer was overall and does not tell you where the experience was good or bad. The best option would be to use a separate meter for each touch point to determine which phases of the customer journey work best and which are the worst.
Objectives of touch points
After outlining the customer journey, it is a good idea to go through each touch point and set goals for it:
- What do we want our customers to do here?
- What do we want them to think?
- What do we want them to feel?
- How we make everything work: place, processes, communication, etc.
CX management system
The environment is changing, so the customer experience and customer journey should always be taken into consideration. Therefore, companies of all sizes should have a CX management system. The customer experience management system helps you focus on and continuously improve your customer experience.
It is also good to know that besides the customer experience there is always the employee experience. This is also a really important area, and often, before improving the customer experience, the employee experience should be improved. In general, without a good employee experience there is no good customer experience.