This week we feature an article from Liliana Petrova, founder of The Petrova Experience. She writes about preparing a productive and successful customer experience strategy and why it’s important to have one. This summer, The Petrova Experience conducted a Customer Experience Preparedness Survey. One of our questions assessed brand maturity in terms of customer experience strategy. Only 28% […]
This week we feature an article from Liliana Petrova, founder of The Petrova Experience. She writes about preparing a productive and successful customer experience strategy and why it’s important to have one.
This summer, The Petrova Experience conducted a Customer Experience Preparedness Survey. One of our questions assessed brand maturity in terms of customer experience strategy. Only 28% of the respondents had a well-defined customer experience strategy.
That means two-thirds of the organizations we surveyed have not prioritized customer experience in their budgets and overall strategy. We are here to tell you that there is no better time than now to start this process.
We are living in a transformational period. No matter your industry, you need to pivot to one extent or another in order to meet your customers where they are. Without a well-defined customer experience strategy and roadmap, you risk investing in the wrong technology and designing the wrong experiences.
When we refer to investing in the wrong technology, we are talking about technology solutions that are too expensive, have low adoption, and fail to deliver ROI.
Let’s take an airline that invests in a paid facial recognition fast track experience at the security checkpoint. If this airline has primarily leisure travelers (i.e. families, vacationers, infrequent travelers) the adoption of this technology will likely be low. This is an example of the “next shiny thing” investment that is not strategic and will have a limited impact on the customer experience of that airline.
Similarly, when we talk about the danger of creating the wrong overall experience, we are talking about experiences that are not connected. These experiences feel like a patch on the customer journey, rather than elements of a unified whole.
These are the kinds of experiences that affect ONLY one moment on the customer journey, in isolation. As we have seen, if you do just one thing for experience, in a vacuum, absent of strategy, you are likely to generate more dissatisfied customers than if you had done nothing. Consider this seriously.
When you offer only one better touchpoint, all the other points look and feel even worse. So, take the time to build your customer experience roadmap and align your budgets with it. Do it yourself, or engage with a customer experience consultant like us. But make sure you do something to position yourself for the 2020 customer. They deserve it.
A customer experience roadmap is a long-term timeline (covering 5 years) that includes both large and small customer experience projects. Together, these projects build the customer experience you envision for your customer. Further, the roadmap enables your organization to get behind the funding required to get things done.
See, it is one thing for your CFO to say in a meeting, “Yeah, I agree we should invest in our customer experience in the next few years.” But it is much more powerful to get that same person to say, “I approve the 5-year investment of $20M in our customer experience roadmap that includes our digital experience transformation, contact center refresh, and hospitality training of all our frontline employees.”
Do you see what I just did?
I created a high-level customer experience roadmap for you. And I got your CFO to make a budget commitment! All you need to do is allocate those $20M appropriately and begin your work. Think of the customer experience roadmap as one of your most powerful tools to transition vision and strategy to significant operational efficiencies and experience improvements.
Let’s put this in practice. Imagine you are a major airport and a hub with wide and narrow body planes coming and both domestic and international passengers.
Take it a step further, and imagine you are bombarded by all kinds of technology firms telling you they can help you build a contactless experience for your customers. Where do you begin?
You know you have to do something, but you have no idea where to begin. This is where your customer experience roadmap comes to the rescue! Once you have defined what your passenger experience should be, and that contactless is part of your vision, you are ready for your roadmap.
We know restroom cleanliness is a major passenger complaint. So, that could be your first item. Biometric technology is another important item to add to this airport’s customer experience roadmap. But not just biometrics! Think through WHAT you need to use the technology for in relation to your staff and your passengers. Last but not least, allocate funding for your customer experience communications. Often, this is overlooked and/or underfunded. Especially for our imaginary airport, passenger communications should take up a good part of the roadmap.
Creating a customer experience roadmap is not an easy exercise. It takes time. It will take even more time to socialize it to the proper people who need to support its execution. A successful customer experience roadmap is driven by customer insights and your customer experience strategy. And it is well worth the effort – for you, your brand, and your customers.
Liliana Petrova CCXP pioneered a new customer-centric culture that energized more than 15,000 JetBlue employees. Future Travel Experience & Popular Science awarded her for her JFK Lobby redesign and facial recognition program. Committed to creating seamless experiences for customers and greater value for brands, she founded The Petrova Experience.
For more articles from Shep Hyken and his guest contributors go to customerserviceblog.com.
Read Shep’s latest Forbes article: Ten Business Predictions for 2021 Part Two
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