Are you one of those people that reads the last page of the book first? My guess is that many people, if not most, would respond, “Oh heavens, no, it would ruin the experience of reading the entire book.” Do you apply that same theory to your business and the customer’s experience?
It’s natural to start designing an omnichannel customer experience with a vision in mind, or as in our example above, by reading the end of the book. For example, do you create a 360-degree view of the customer to accurately predict and anticipate customer needs? You have a vast amount of information about each customer to leverage, ranging from, “He likes to pay his bill every month,” to the customer’s most common customer service issues and preferred way to connect with an agent. Do you envision creating an effortless experience that delivers consistency as it transitions across multiple touchpoints and provides both added value and access to a live agent?
Once they have a vision, many companies jump right to functional requirements, just like reading the last page of the book first. This means skipping the important step of defining the actual customer experience. Yet, it is critical that you consider how to design a memorable experience in the customer lifecycle that maps to the needs of your particular customer segment and that aligns to your brand values.
There are six best practices to help you design a strategy to deliver upon a great customer experience. Today, I am going to share the first two, and suggest you download the eBook, Best Practices for a Seamless Omnichannel Customer Experience, to learn about all six of the best practices.
#1 – Omnichannel Customer Experience Design Best Practice: Identify your target customer segments and what matters most to each of them
Let’s use an airline example to illustrate this best practice. To determine your target customer, consider who your most profitable customers are. For an airline, this might include factors such as reservation frequency, average cost per ticket, the cost to serve, and the established relationship. Once you have identified the target segment, determine the customer’s critical needs. For example, if you are a low-cost airline, critical needs for the customer segment could include on-time arrivals and departures, low price, and customer service. Once you have determined what market needs you are going to address, you can align the critical customer needs with your brand value.
#2 – Omnichannel Customer Experience Design Best Practice: Baseline the current customer journey for each segment
As you begin to baseline the current customer journey for each segment, it’s important to identify both the high points and the low points along the way. As you do this, define the journey from the emotional perspective of the customer.
Key points to remember:
- You may identify different journeys for each customer segment.
- Make sure to include the emotional element and think through what it is like to be that customer.
- Put yourself in the customer’s place: for example, in our airline scenario, actually make a reservation.
This is just the beginning. Are you interested in learning additional best practices for designing that omnichannel customer experience? Check out our eBook, Best Practices for a Seamless Omnichannel Customer Experience.