As the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic becomes clearer in terms of how it’s changing consumers behaviours, many organisations are rushing to realign their customer experiences and accelerate their transition to the new low-touch digital economy.
Many customer-experience transformations begin with the top team’s assumptions about what matters. Are these leaders overly weighing the voices of a few dissatisfied, highly vocal customers who are “squeaky wheels,” or are they seeing the world through their own experience as customers? Some organisations set out to “boil the ocean,” transforming all parts of the business at once. They therefore spend significant time and money on things that, in the end, don’t matter to customers.
Successful transformations tend to start with a rigorous attempt to identify those things that matter most to customers. Such efforts establish a clear understanding of where improvements in the customer experience can create value across the organisation. While it might seem logical to ask customers directly what matters to them using surveys and other traditional research methods, most customers can’t articulate what is most important to them and are often affected by recency bias.
The best mechanism for understanding the causal drivers of customer behaviour is the Jobs To Be Done methodology pioneered by Professor Clayton Christensen at Harvard. He understood that people are ‘hiring’ products and services to get jobs done and that if you understand the job, then improving the product or service on dimensions that matter to the customer becomes relatively straightforward.
Having understood the elements of the customer experience that are core to their perceptions of value, it is important that organisations focus on improving customer journeys and not just touch-points. Evidence shows that resolving a particular touchpoint e.g. a contact centre interaction, will not create significant value if the rest of the customer’s end-to-end experience of buying or using a product/service is still poor.
A good example of this is the work we did looking at rail transportation – one of the really important learnings was that the rail journey was just one part of the overall customer experience. For travellers who were going shopping, for example, the journey started at home with the car and ended up with the shopping brought back home – the rail journey in the middle was just one part of a much bigger experience.
Having understood the journeys that matter to customers in driving their value perceptions, leaders must leverage the power of cutting-edge design capabilities to ensure the customer remains at the centre of experience redesign efforts. Great organizations apply the tools of human-centred design and design thinking to create distinctive customer experiences and separate themselves from the pack. Companies can apply these tools equally across product, service, and digital experiences.
So if you’re ready to focus on the causal drivers of customer behaviour and target your redesign efforts at the experiences that truly matter to customers, then we’d love to talk to you and help you create a customer centric pathway from insights to design.
The Orange Squid team
Orange Squid is a strategy and innovation consultancy which operates at the intersection of best-practice strategy, innovation and organisational psychology.