The example below hits the nail on the head. Take a look, then read on. (this image first appeared in an article on a WordPress Blog, Experience Matters in 2010, it is used here as reference only)
This customer experience wheel captures the essence of what CX is meant to do – to identify ways to create positive experiences either by manufacturing them, or altering the mundane in a way that removes friction or negativity. It also creates a way to identify two important facets of the process – one using what looks like a boomerang symbol – indicating a make or break moment and a second – circle with an ‘i’ – which indicates the need for data in order for the CX opportunity to be productive. (These icons are important to a digital strategist or marketing technologist as they indicate key integration and communication needs which can be extrapolated to systems and resources).
All this is put on the background of the simplest and easiest concept to comprehend – BEFORE, DURING, AFTER. No matter what you sell, offer, peddle, resell, deliver, share or buy – there is always a before, during and after. Always.
Sure you could make this more difficult, but why? If we are looking to create momentum, let’s not run the risk of people saying ‘no’ – let’s make it easy for them to say yes.
The 30 minute exercise
So put simply, we are going to run through a one person (or small group if you are ambitious) process to fill out a blank version of this wheel (downloads at the end of the post) where you can express visually to colleagues and decision makers how paying attention to CX is a natural, no brainer way to think of the brand value to the customer.
The components, moving from the center to the outside.
Name the person
We will only do this for ‘one person.’ We aren’t trying to boil the ocean here, just get some momentum. A possible second step if you get some buy in is, ‘let’s do this for some other segments.’ Definitely pick the most obvious, recognizable and (ideally) profitable segment of customer, who with any luck has some down numbers CX can promise to bring up.
Name the experience
Every experience should have a name, just like every person. The simplistic nature of before, during, after, demands we put up some restrictions on the experience, or again, we look like we are trying to boil the ocean. Settle in on one type of macro business transaction which has some meat on it – maybe bigger than you can handle in this simple exercise. By choosing an experience which seems bigger than you can solve you open the opportunity for the other person (decision maker) to add their own two cents, which invests them in your success.
Before, during & after
Simple enough, we’re organized, let’s move on.
Here is the meat and potatoes of the wheel. First, put yourself in character. You are no longer an employee of the brand, you are the customer. Spend a few minutes thinking through the process you would go through in this transaction or process. Imagine yourself in each step and in your head when something becomes difficult, or you could sense it becoming difficult. STOP. This is your moment to identify a touch point between the customer and the brand that wins the customer (you) over.
As you move through the process mentally, as you come to something that is simple and easy, STOP. How can you delight in this moment? How can you create a well of good will that will act as a reservoir of forgiveness when something else goes wrong? (and something else always goes wrong…)
Move through this and identify as many touch points as you can before, during and after. If you can’t fill out each line, simply remove those that are empty. No need to call attention to them.
Once you have the touchpoints laid out according the wheel, evaluate each one and assign the icons as appropriate. Ask yourself the following questions on each item:
- Does this opportunity delight, or simply maintain satisfaction? (smiley face for delight, straigh face for maintain)
- Is this a mission critical touchpoint, i.e. if we fail here, we lose a customer (boomerang icon)
- Does this opportunity require data from a system we aren’t yet tapping (information icon)
Make sure that none of these are overused. The goal is to make this visually simple. If every touchpoint is critical, or requires data the concept becomes overwhelming and thus, undesirable. Remember, consensus building, not overnight transformation.
Any tenured salesperson will tell you, the trick isn’t convincing someone to buy what you’re selling, its helping them understand they need what you have. It’s as much a process of realization as anything and this will be the same.
Take a minute and examine your audience – if customer experience is foreign term to them, don’t use it. You can obtain buy in and support in the concept before a label is put on it.
Keep it casual – let this be the result of a side project you have as a hobby – because you care so much about the brand. If you create formality and gravitas around it, you’re creating expectations and managing for formal feedback. This will be better as a casual conversation.
Define your win, and make it small – the goal here isn’t to get your manager or decision maker to buy in kit and caboodle. Sure, passionate and decisive people exist who will give you budget and tell you to go spearhead it, but it’s rare. A win in this conversation is to get permission or even be asked to continue down this line of thinking. Maybe access to some numbers or a more formal artifact. Take your win and move on to the next step in the conversation.
Jason Fields and Agency Oasis specialize in Customer Experience and Digital Transformation – to learn more about how we can help you and your organization create strategies to win with, just give us a call or contact us.
Here are two downloadable documents which are the shell for this exercise.