Thursday, August 7, 2014

Why is Customer Experience a Journey?

Have you ever wondered why the customer experience is a journey, not a destination?

The best journeys answer questions that, in the beginning, you didn't even think to ask. -Jeff Johnson

I often get asked why I named this blog CX Journey and why I consider the customer experience a journey and not a destination. Most recently, in a chat with Customer Service Guru, I was asked: You place a lot of emphasis on the idea that customer experience is a journey and not a destination. What’s the reason behind this belief, and how can this perception help companies deliver a better customer experience?

“Destination” means to me that there’s an endpoint; you’ve arrived, and it’s over. I don’t believe we ever want to rest on our laurels and be satisfied that we’re delivering the best experience possible. Customer needs and expectations evolve over time – so must our efforts to deliver a great experience.

When we engage with customers (or, when they engage with us), we are (hopefully) engaging for the long-term, developing a relationship. We want customer relationships, not just customer transactions. And relationships take time and work, every day; the focus and the desire to keep the relationship alive and strong should never stop because, when it does, the relationship will end. That never-ending focus – that’s the journey.

Along similar lines, every transaction or interaction, when combined, sums up to the total experience. While we need to ensure that we deliver a great experience during each interaction, if one of those interactions breaks down, it doesn’t have to be the be-all-end-all. We don’t give up. We work to correct and recover and then do better at the next interaction. That’s the journey.

Those organizations that focus on delivering a great experience at each interaction, at each touchpoint - but, importantly, don’t lose site of the bigger picture, the journey - will find success.

And finally, the customer experience is the sum of all the experiences along the customer lifecycle, and that lifecycle is often represented as an infinite loop. We want an infinite loop; it means our customers are with us for the long haul. That’s the journey.

Read the rest of the conversation with Customer Service Guru here.

It is good to have an end to journey toward, but it is the journey that matters in the end. -Hemingway



6 comments:

  1. Annette, I'm an ops guy, I look at processes, systems, interactions and I totally agree it is a journey. There isn't an end point, you can always get better. The minute you think you are at the end and stop somebody else will just walk right past you.

    James

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  2. Hi Annette,
    If the objective is to deliver great service and a great experience and to follow that with retention, loyalty and advocacy, does it not follow that it has to be a journey?

    Adrian

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    Replies
    1. Great way of thinking about it, Adrian.

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