Hindsight is 20/20.
How many of us kick ourselves for not purchasing a boatload of Apple stock a few years back? We tend to put off taking actions, not because we don’t see the upside potential, but because we’re busy fighting fires. Here is a tip you can bank on. Happy customers are your only source of long-term revenue for your organization. Our recent economic downturn has compounded the problem; organizations responded by cutting budgets and by diverting attention inward. You may be kicking yourself down the road when a seemingly weaker competitor has stolen your customers. Now is the time to preempt this potential loss. Stop being a crisis manager and start delighting customers. Stop fire fighting and get your organization back on track to realize opportunities.
Two steps to improving the customer’s experience and your bottom line.
Step 1 – Map the customer journey to gain insights
Step 2 – Execute on quick wins that improve the customer experience
Map the Customer Journey to gain insights
The first thing to do is map the customer journey, so everyone in the organization understands the interactions with customers. Understand the customer’s experience by doing an experience audit. Establish a baseline using Net Promoter Score. Look at the touchpoints from the customer’s perspective. Learn what your best customers are trying to accomplish and how your products and services fit into that effort. Determine which touchpoints are most important to customers and provide the “moments of truth” where interactions build loyalty or cause defection. Making the customer come alive inside your organization leverages employees natural empathy and bridges department silos. Journey mapping is an approach to look beyond individual and department biases to positively impact the customer experience.
execute on quick wins that improve the customer experience
During the journey mapping exercise, participants often get that aha moment when they discover ways that they can directly improve the customer experience. Employees gain insights into making impactful changes or products and services innovations that are good for customers. Prioritize these improvements and take action. Improvements can also be made by eliminating complex or unnecessary steps that add costs, but not value. Even making little changes have a cumulative effect, building a culture of innovation that is more responsive to customers’ evolving needs and desires. Small improvements to the experience will smooth the path to long-term relationships, build brand loyalty, and increase profitability.
“A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” Lao Tzu
Although taking the first step may be the hardest, not having a map to follow makes reaching the destination virtually impossible. You probably missed out on the Apple stock, but don’t kick yourself for not investing in your own organization. It’s not to late to improve the customer experience and as a result realize a better bottom line.
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