Customer Experience: Embodying a Five-Star Experience

The customer experience lifecycle is changing; in today’s market, you need to be inventive and transformative to attract, delight, and maintain customers. A 5-Star Rating experience starts before your customer has ever touched your product or service and lives far beyond the review. This requires a company culture driven by a uniquely tailored, end to end, customer experience lifecycle. At Momentum, we use design thinking methods to achieve successful omni-channel experiences, closing the loop in a seamless approach to customer re-engagement. Using the following principles, you can modernize your business and achieve a repeatable lifecycle that feeds into itself.

Find your Audience.

Determining the best value per spend can be a great challenge for marketing. Adapting to an increasingly C2C market means tailoring your content to hit your audience’s needs  while reaching them seamlessly across platforms. How can you target and convert effectively?

  • Create inventive experiences across channels
    • Attract customers online and offline with engaging omnichannel experiences
    • Optimize resources across digital and traditional marketing
    • Bring brands to life through immersive experiential marketing
  • Personalize your approach
    • Create personalized messaging and experiences based on past behaviors and data
    • Use data targeting to reach the masses across social channels and paid media
    • Measure and change to adapt to the customers needs and changes in the market
  • Activate your network
    • Utilize the positive connections of your experiences to increase your visibility to more potential customers
    • Target influencers in your network who can expand your customer base
  • Nurture through tailored content
    • Collect deep marketing and data insight on your leads
    • Use marketing cloud integration to specifically target and convert based on your potential customer’s needs
    • Know what your customer needs before they do

Own your first impression.

Today’s customer rarely arrives at your doorstep without having done their homework. Chances are, they’ve researched you, your product, and your competitors. How do you control that experience?

  • Drive positive feedback into your visible presence
    • Encourage satisfied customers to leave feedback on local directories, review sites, social media, etc.
    • Identify and target ranking sites relevant to your services or product
    • Seek awards competitions that add credibility to your company or product
  • Manicure your presence
    • Provide clear messaging across channels to represent your brand, product, and/or services
    • Keep your website design modern, responsive, and easy-to-use
    • Solidify your social media presence with strong branding
  • Set yourself apart
    • Make it clear why your product is better or unique than other options
    • Speak directly to the problem your customer is trying to solve
    • Create a user-friendly customer experience, not just a user-friendly product

Create an experience, not just an end result.

While you may be hoping the product will speak for itself, today’s customers expect more. On top of increasingly quick interactions and simple interfaces, you are selling an experience around your product that individual influencers will connect with. Think of the Apple Store or Starbucks. Fans of these brands are coming for more than just the product. Additionally, customers are interacting with these brands across a variety of in-person and online platforms. How can you make the shift?

  • Create an innovative and seamless omni-channel experience
    • Integrate between platforms, from web, mobile, app, to brick-and-mortar
    • Design multiple “entry points” for users to connect with your services
    • Collect data across channels to serve a tailored experience to your customer
  • Explore the end-to-end customer journey
    • Map the full path of your customer before designing to identify problems before they start
    • Use data to analyze existing paths and spot pain points in your workflows and processes
    • From administrators to basic users, every workflow should be effortless and rewarding
  • Make a lasting impression
    • Build an experience that naturally re-engages the user and becomes a positive, integral part of their workflow
    • Design around the concept of why an influencer might recommend or share your product

Align your internal and external cultures.

Focusing on customer experience, alone, is not enough. Consider the experiences happening internally at your business– connecting directly with the consumer has become the mainstream of successful business. Zappos sends all new hires to work their call center for the first 3-4 weeks of their employment to ensure every staff member has a personal understanding of their customer’s needs and the backbone of their business. Companies as large as IBM and Logitech have pivoted toward consumer-friendly “design thinking” for even their most technical teams. Are your staff members being provided with the tools and environment they need to exude your company’s soul in everything they do?

  • Know your internal pain points
    • Collect data from your staff to improve your internal workflows and environment
  • Empathize with the personas and problem(s) at hand
    • Create environments where employees can experience customer difficulties firsthand
    • Understand what problem your user wants to solve and how your product can express an understanding of that need
    • Monitor social channels and triage issues in real-time to reduce image negativity
    • Provide accessible, public-facing customer service that exposes your sincerity
  • Eat your own dog food
    • Set customer-centric core values that your company lives by, breeds into the culture, and into your products
    • Absorb your company’s outward-facing brand into the fabric of your organization
    • Set up effective training that pushes positive customer experiences in all aspects of your organization
    • Build transformative in-house tools that integrate your brand’s external culture
  • Reward your champions
    • Create incentive programs that encourage customer centric, behavioral change in the organization
    • Align corporate and executive goals with performance reviews and compensation

Close the loop.

The customer experience lifecycle is just that– a cycle. It has no end. The outcomes of the first cycle should influence the next one, and so on. How can you iterate to improve and raise the value of your satisfied customers?

  • Analyze your user data
    • Determine actionable change that can be made based on learnings from happy and unhappy customers
    • Be agile in acting on data collected to improve your products, services, and experiences
    • Collect data that helps determine improved marketing cloud integration, SEM targeting, and social channel marketing
  • Funnel happy customers toward reviews
    • Guide people who enjoyed your products or services into a rating or review process that will boost your reputation
    • Tap your satisfied customers for referrals to grow your customer base
  • Provide the resources necessary to understand your product
    • Ensure the customer experience outside the product is still a positive one, from training to support
    • Provide accessible, customer-centric tools for troubleshooting, contact, and more that radiate your empathetic, personal touch
  • Tie it in with marketing cloud integration, social channel, and SEM retargeting

Finding a place to start can be a challenge in any organization. Lean operations may grapple with devoting resources to this effort, as it may not directly contribute to investor presentations. Complex, hierarchies can be daunting with many managerial and departmental layers to mobilize. If the board or executive team isn’t driving a top down approach, how do you get buy in? It may be easier than you think.

If you ask around, you will not be the only agent of change in your company. Look at corporate or executive goals and connect the dots between issues, circumstances and opportunities to solve them with. This will give you a voice and the power that you need for change. Find your counterparts across the organization who believe in transformation and define a cross-functional program that allows for these changes. This alignment of goals can show positive results to leadership. Continue to enforce your decisions through supporting data that demonstrates the success of the changes, delivered in a way that your team and your leadership can absorb and embrace.

Drivers also come from corporate or executive goals that can be tied into integrated employee reward programs. Recognition of your team’s successful programs will radiate across the organization. These methods collect allies who will champion your cause, which is synonymous with the customer’s cause, and therefore, the business. This lays the groundwork for a full 360-degree customer experience management program.

In an increasingly C2C world, these changes to your organization and marketing programs create radiating interest in your customers which is imperative to your ongoing success and growth. You don’t have to be a management consultant to drive change or design company to express design thinking. You simply need to be human-centric. Be the five-star experience, as a person, as a team, as a business, and as a presence. The lifecycle will reward you from every direction.