What does that have to do with a picture of my foot (to the left)? Read on to find out!
I had foot surgery three weeks ago, and for the weeks that followed, I walked around in what was not-so-affectionately dubbed my "frankenshoe." For a very active person, trust me, it was extremely annoying to be so immobile. As it usually does, stuff like this gets me thinking about the customer experience - and, of course, a new blog topic.
During my recovery (the shoe is off now, thank goodness), every step I took required a bit of effort. I needed to plan ahead if I wanted to go from point A to point B (where often point A was my office and point B was the kitchen downstairs!), pooling all my needs into one trip. This got me thinking about customer effort and the efficiency of processes customers go through to achieve what they are trying to achieve with your business.
Do you have old, outdated, or unnecessary processes that customers go through to accomplish a simple task? Do you need examples? How about that antiquated phone tree on your IVR system? Or the million clicks that customers need to go through to purchase an item online? Or the multiple calls that need to be made to get an issue resolved? Or the search for a phone number just to call your support line? Or your return process? I could keep going...
Why does it have to be that way? It doesn't have to be! The crazy part is that we are all customers, and yet, we still design these awful processes that make no sense. Why isn't it just common sense?
In the all-too-often absence of common sense, we need a plan.
The customer experience can be immediately improved by reviewing the steps your customers have to go through in order to interact with your company. Not sure where to get started? Well, honestly, it's a pretty straightforward process.
- Map your customer journey. Walk in your customers' shoes to identify the journey, but walk in their frankenshoes to understand their effort.
- Listen to customers at key moments of truth.
- Conduct a root cause analysis to get to the heart of the matter. Surprised that it's a ridiculous process? Don't be. Just fix it now that you're aware of it.
- Act on the feedback. Improve the processes that they say are broken or cumbersome.
- Map your internal processes. Look at your behind-the-scenes process, too; likely they are a burden to your employees, which then trickles out to your customers and their experience.
Nothing is less productive than to make more efficient what should not be done at all. -Peter Drucker