When we think of “customer experience,” the following scenario typically plays out in our minds: A customer is interacting with a store representative, receiving attention, information and diligent care. The customer leaves, excited about the incredible interaction they had and raving about how attentive the store representative was.
However, in 2019, there are so many more factors that play into customer experience. For starters, digital interactions shape customer experience more now than ever before. Similarly, customers are more informed, looking for aspects like the ethos of a company when making purchase decisions and have higher standards for convenience.
In these ways, customer experience is dictated not only by positive interactions, but by avoiding negative interactions. But how would they ever know when they had dodged a negative interaction. The reality is that a great deal of the customer experience is invisible to the customer. Think about the following aspects of your customer experience and its invisible elements.
Mapping the Customer Journey
To understand what is visible versus invisible to your customers during their interactions with your brand, a thorough customer journey map can answer a lot of questions. Specifically, separating the aspects of your business that customers see versus the parts they don’t can help you understand what they care about, where you can improve and what your company’s biggest selling points are.
Cutting and Shortening
As individuals who tend to be excited about the brands we represent and the products/services we sell, we often enter customer experience improvement with the mindset of making every customer touchpoint perfect. We imagine customers being excited about working with our company and enjoying every step of the process. While this is a good goal to strive for, it doesn’t take into account the way convenience is being provided to the customer. Is their time being respected? Is every interaction necessary? With this mindset, organizations can cut steps in the customer journey that don’t bring value, expedite the entire interaction and create a customer that truly values the customer’s time and attention.
Sometimes, there are moments when you want your brand to become invisible. In particular, points of regular dissatisfaction should be shortened, removed or mitigated, rather than trying to turn something historically painful and lackluster into gold. Other times, those shortcomings need to be addressed and improved, even if the process is arduous and difficult, to make sure there isn’t a point in the customer journey that is particularly poor. Unfortunately, not every customer touchpoint will delight, but there are some moments when being adequate truly is good enough, especially when the rest of the customer journey is excellent.
Make Customers Know How Good You Are
Perhaps most importantly, brands should find ways to promote their efforts that go into their positive “invisible” customer service experience. Promotional copy should highlight aspects of their business customers might not notice, like time efficiency, making the process for purchase/registration easy, and other behind-the-scenes efforts that are conducted to make their purchase experience better. Shep Hyken advocates for not letting your customer experience become invisible, and we partially agree. Anything that can be done to respect your customer’s time and attention should be valued, even if the customer doesn’t explicitly state their appreciation. Once those pieces are in place, be sure to talk about your organization’s efforts to make the purchase process easy. You’ll be able to deliver on your promise of an expedited, hassle-free customer journey.