Three Tips for Creating a Winning Customer Experience

By Kathy Butler
A shopper walking through an aisle, about to step on spilled liquid. There is a caution sign, but it is unnoticed. The image is a metaphor for designing a poor customer experience.

Optimizing Customer Experience appeals to the “fixer” in all of us. Is there a spill in Aisle 3? We can fix that and can come up with a program to ensure aisles get spot checked periodically so it doesn’t happen again. Wait times on hold too long? Let’s implement smart systems to ensure customers are prioritized based on wait times and re-direct resources during particularly busy call times.

Customer experience insights work can uncover small and large factors that undermine relationships and lead to quick wins that strengthen customer engagement. When we help clients navigate these issues, Customer Experience can be incredibly gratifying, impactful work.

Like many satisfying things in life, however, customer experience work can also have its challenges. What if there isn’t an easy fix? What if there are major operational barriers to addressing the most prominent issues? What if a few negative customers don’t reflect the broader experience of most customers?

To mitigate these challenges, we’ve identified three tips to keep in mind when optimizing Customer Experience (CX).

Actively Involve Customers

No matter how good the vision for optimized CX is, any major changes could be a shock to customers. Capturing customer insights along the way ensures that you don’t go too far down an irreversible path and allows internal stakeholders to stay focused on what matters most.

Consider Customer Expectations, not just Experience

Extensive CX overhauls can still ultimately fall short if internal teams do not have a clear understanding of what customers expect. What are competitors offering? What dimensions of CX are tablestakes vs. those that differentiate and delight customers?

Early Wins Build Momentum

Accomplishing small goals that enhance customer experience early in the engagement demonstrate the value of the initiative for both customers and internal stakeholders. Early wins also support the overall value of a CX engagement and provide evidence that success is attainable.

One common thread throughout these tips is to limit the element of surprise.  Customers naturally shudder when they are caught off-guard, and internal teams should always aim to limit the unknown. Frequent, early communication and internal and external transparency helps to avoid surprises.

While optimizing CX can be incredibly challenging (and it should be!), it is also one of the most rewarding things a company can accomplish. Hitting pause and thinking through the plan to create and socialize CX findings is critical.

Whether optimizing your customer experience means a more seamless digital transaction, one less step in mobile ordering, streamlining store flow, or cleaning up a spill in Aisle 3, actively involving customers, considering expectations and gaining early wins best positions you to create a winning Customer Experience.

Reach out to Kathy Butler to discuss how to amp up your customer experience efforts.