What do your customers say about your company?
They’re telling everybody and their brother how terrific your company is, right?
That’s the hope, but how can you be sure? What can you do to build the best possible customer experience to ensure only glowing recommendations?
Let’s get something straight – your customer experience is your brand.
Your brand is not what you proclaim it to be, what your mission statement states, or what your board says – it’s the experience your customers have. Your customer experience is your brand.
So how can you build out a roadmap for the best customer’s experience? Here’s what Alder shared.
Ask “Who Are We, And Why Do We Matter?”
This may seem obvious. You matter because you have employees with families, bills to pay, and in some cases, shareholders to keep happy, right?
Those are true statements, but it goes much deeper than that.
The question may seem silly, but if you took a survey of everybody in your company and had them answer that one simple question, odds are you would receive a variety of responses.
Sure, there may be a common thread weaved through them, but everybody is going to have a different answer. So knowing who you are, at your core, is paramount to establishing the customer experience.
The next question you have to answer is “why do we matter?”
With this question, you’re not asking some deep, philosophical, “why are we here?” type question. You’re not solving the deep mysteries of the business world.
What you’re asking is simply, “Why do we matter in this particular marketplace, in this particular geography, and what can we offer our customers that no other business can offer?”
This is why you matter.
What Journey do You Want Your Customers to Take
Once you’ve figured out who you are, and what you bring to the table, you have to decide what journey you want your customers to take.
It can be easy to jump into crafting a marketing story and ad initiatives before you create the customer experience. Alder says that mapping the customer journey must come first.
Mapping the journey of your customer from never having heard of you to be your most loyal customer isn’t revolutionary, but the power comes from doing this first.
Start by asking yourself, “What is the ideal journey for any customer?”
This includes everything from contractual relationships to the emotional side of being your customer — basically map every moment a customer interacts with your business through the entire lifecycle.
Once you understand the journey you want your customers to take, you then have a set of criteria for how to organize the rest of your business.
Build your business around your ideal customer journey. You build your business around your ideal customer journey.
What If You Didn’t Start On The Right Foot?
If you’re reading this and realizing you didn’t map your ideal customer journey from the get-go, hope is not lost!
Alder says that if you didn’t start out with this strategy, you can make incremental changes that improve your business at any stage.
Instead of mapping out your ideal customer journey, map out the journey in place today.
This will reveal low points for your customers: pain points, inconsistencies, and gaps in the experience.
Those end up being the low hanging fruit you pick off first by judging which cause the most pain for your customers and which have the greatest impact on your bottom line.
Remember, your customer experience is your brand.
Putting the customer first doesn’t only apply for once you have them. It applies to putting them first before you’re even open for business.
Start by identifying who you are and why you matter, then map your customer experience.
With these two pieces of information, build your business on a foundation that will set you up for success.