The Forrester Group just released a video that outlines the top customer experience trends from 2011. It’s a quicky and well worth the 3 minutes you’ll spend watching it. But, if you can’t spare 180 seconds, here’s a quick summary. According to Forrester, these are the 3 key trends in customer experience:
- There is a growing sense of urgency around thinking about Customer Experience (CE) and addressing it in a holistic way inside companies.
- More companies are working to build customer experience as a core organizational competency. They are focusing on customer experience across the enterprise, not just for a specific business unit or channel (like improving CE on the website). There is a greater sense of teamwork to define and manage customer experience as a whole.
- Companies are striving to leverage their qualitative and quantitative customer data to really dig into what their customers care about — things that the company may never have thought of or realized were important.
As I sat listening to the Forrester analysis, the words “Wow Factor” kept popping into my mind. Because, in my opinion, that’s what 2012 is going to all about for businesses.
Everyone is looking to Wow their customers, right? The pressure for companies to compete and differentiate themselves in the marketplace has been building for years. The difference in 2012 will be the way that companies look to strategically and quantitatively determine what their own unique Wow Factor is or could be, and build an organization-wide strategy for delivering an experience that will knock the socks off their customers. Touchpoint analysis plays a huge role in a company’s ability to do this.
If you’re not familiar with what a touchpoint analysis or a Journey Map (Customer Experience map) is, let me briefly explain. It’s essentially a way to bring your customer journey to life. It provides a complete picture of every encounter (touchpoint) your customers have with your business, illustrates how customers feel when they do business with you, and reveals areas where you can better meet their needs and expectations. A Customer Experience map can help you find your Wow Factor!
A Customer Experience Map Can Help You Uncover Your Wow Factor by Enabling You to:
- Visualize Your Wow Moments: How do you plan to Wow your customer this year? Are your touchpoints aligned and equipped to support that plan? Do you even know what all of your touchpoints are? A Customer Experience map will help you take inventory of all your touchpoints. When you can visually identify and organize the encounters your customers have (or could have) with your company, you’ll have a clear picture of where you’re already wowing your customers and uncover where and how you can improve their experience.
- Synthesize Existing Treasure: By treasure, I mean your customer research and feedback — all the “stuff” you’ve collected over the past few years. You’ve probably already reviewed this data, but look at it again and synthesize it. Combine it with the specific touchpoints you mapped in step #1. What are your customers telling you they need/want within a certain touchpoint area? How does this voice of the customer information align with the service you’re currently delivering? When you combine your customer data with the associated touchpoints and lay everything out in a visual, map-like format, you’re able to see your business in a whole new way. You get an accurate picture of your current state and can start putting plans in place to deliver some major Wow Factor. Expect several “ah-ha” moments!
- Realize What’s Working & What’s Not So You Can Invest Wisely: You may already know some of the services that are exceeding your customers’ expectations, but your experience (journey) map will likely uncover additional things that may never have even been on your radar. Your map will show you what’s working and what’s not. It can help you understand which touchpoints are the right ones to continue or start investing in and the ones that could and should be cut. Use your experience map as a guide to help you create your strategic customer experience plan. Use it to help put your Wow Factor in place.
At Touchpoint Dashboard, we’re thrilled to see what Wow Factors will be uncovered this year. It’s exciting to know that we have a Customer Experience Mapping tool that can help companies like yours shape and redefine the ways in which you serve and engage your customers. We look forward to being a part of your 2012 customer experience strategy.
What’s your Wow factor? Drop us a line and let us know.