Customer experience – getting to 99% journey satisfaction

  • Posted on January 8, 2018
  • Estimated reading time 3 minutes
99% journey satisfaction

This article was originally written by Avanade alumn Ken Ramoutar.

The Misperception of CX
Customer experience (CX) is often confused with satisfaction around a single customer touchpoint. Common examples could be calling in for a warranty claim for your cell phone, processing through the checkout line at the grocery store, or interacting with a retail associate to help you find and select the right pair of shoes. While these single touchpoint experiences are important in shaping customer perception, they are only one point in the overall journey. This misperception often leads to sub-optimizing both CX process improvements and CX measurement strategies.     

Take, for example, a simple and common brick and mortar grocery store visit scenario. Think end-to-end from driving to the grocery store, finding a parking spot, fetching a shopping cart, navigating through the store to grab all the items on your list, and finally the dreaded checkout line or self-checkout. Let’s say everything goes smoothly until you can’t find the Ziploc bags. So you roam around the store looking with hope, perhaps trying to find store personnel who knows what aisle they're in, and in the end burn an extra 10 minutes of your time. Even if the checkout line is fairly fast, what is your overall experience? Probably frustrating, right?

Think cumulative experiences 
Here is the deal. Companies can’t get 4 out of the 5 interactions right. They need to get all of them right to deliver a great experience. That’s why creating great and consistent customer experiences is so hard.

In the McKinsey article, "The CEO Guide to Customer Experience," it quotes, “Too many companies focus on individual interaction touchpoints devoted to billing, onboarding, service calls, and the like. In contrast, a customer journey spans a progression of touchpoints and has a clearly defined beginning and end.”

Measure what matters to customers. Do your homework and constantly acquire customer feedback to determine what really matters and what really irritates customers. This could be wait times, confusion on where to go, friendliness of staff, traffic jams in your parking lot, etc. Too often companies measure what matters to them in terms of operating metrics vs what matters to customers.

Get the Math Right. Each touch point needs to be monitored, continuously improved, and cumulatively multiplied together to create a great experience. Five touch points (traveling to the store, parking, acquiring a cart, shopping, store associate help) operating at 90% perfection yields a great journey less than 60% of the time. Those 5 touch points operating at 99% perfection yields a great customer journey 95% of the time. That means It takes incredible focus and feedback to get the entire journey right. That’s why 99% doesn’t come easy.

The reality is that the series of interactions, touch points, and even the repetitive occurrence of those interactions and touch points is what creates the customer’s overall experience sentiment. If your CX strategy focuses on touch points only, you will sub-optimize your CX program.

Take the Interactive Customer Experience Trek to see where your company CX readiness stands. Also check out Avanade’s Customer Experience Practical Guide to see how to start exceeding customer expectations.

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