Customer expectations have changed; by 2020 it’s
predicted that Customer Experience will overtake price and
product as the key brand differentiator.
Consumers are on the hunt for ease, simplicity, and
fast-paced results and assume there’s always a better
way to access most products and services; an assumption that
simply did not exist a decade ago. These days your customer
automatically thinks someone else is doing what you do
better and quicker. And they are probably right.
By identifying the truths behind behaviours, actions and
motivations, you can create rapid and practical CX and UX
plans, with the focus on delivering a positive impact
quickly. Creating intuitive on and offline journeys and
interfaces that are seamless, convenient and joyful should
be your mantra.
I like to say there are three key parts of Customer
Experience: ‘Simple, Human, and Useful’.
How can you make simple changes to your customers’
experience? Do you understand the human behind the purchase?
Can you be more useful to your audience? Here are my top
five thought starters for 2019.
1 – Address ease, convenience and speed
These are your hygiene factors, the minimum a customer
expects. Take simple steps. Maybe you could reduce the
amount of questions you ask the customer on a form, or
eliminate one stage in a process? No one enjoys, or has
time, to fill out a complicated form and ideally, they would
avoid a long phone call regurgitating the same information.
Yes, you still need to take the time to find the relevant
information to best serve your customers need, but could you
draw some data from other sources and strip back a stage?
2 – Appreciate the time they have taken to choose
Customers who are making high cost or high value purchase
decisions will inevitably go through a detailed
consideration process. That’s why it’s important
to make every step of the experience effortless, while also
making the most of the peak moments of the journey. When you
purchase a car, the moment you receive it is arguably the
best moment of that journey to date.
At BMW, they often reveal the chosen vehicle with a great
amount of ceremony, creating a theatrical experience for the
customer. Actions like this create memorable moments in the
journey and encourage advocacy and loyalty, leaving the door
open for simple lifecycle transactions like servicing. This
is often where the commercial value of the purchase exists
for the brand.
3 – Remember, not all transactions are supposed to
Understand the emotional state of the customer along the
way. Empathy, used appropriately, will put your customer at
ease. Appreciate your role, at the various stages, and
optimise your communication to respond to that. Buying
insurance or applying for a mortgage can be daunting and
create degrees of anxiety for a buyer.
These sectors are often associated with the unknown, people
fear they will get it wrong and the consequences could be
significant. By adopting the right language, presenting the
right information and training your frontline teams to be
prepared for customers’ emotional state, you can turn
stress into confidence, something your customer will
appreciate and remember.
4 – Being in touch with your buyer in a timely
fashion can be the difference between good and
Energy company Bulb use clear language and timely e-CRM in
their switching process to help create a simple, useful
customer on-boarding journey. They eliminate the need for
the customer to question what is happening and pre-empt
their concerns. They have challenged the standard
expectation from the big providers – inefficiency and
poor service. They have removed the need for the customer to
have to take each next step themselves.
One extra email, timed just right, can save a flurry of
phone calls, especially as 89 percent of customers are said
to get frustrated because they need to repeat their issues
to multiple representatives.
5 – Being relevant means really understanding
Traditional personas might help us understand ways we might
appeal to a person, given certain factors in their life, but
they don’t help us understand what they are trying to
do, and how we can help them do it better. Service Design
methods can help organisations see their customers in a new
way, less as a segment – more as a series of problems
to solve at the right time – regardless of the other
traits of the person. Look at the needs and not the types
and you will see customers in a new light.
Note: This article is written by Eliot Sykes, Head of
Customer Experience at Ethology, a sister company of