A simple process to optimise your customer experience
- Understand your customer’s goals
- Design a journey towards a customer’s goal
- Map and measure customer needs/wants along the journey
- Build new ideas that help customers reach their goals and fulfil their needs/wants
- Track and resolve issues
1. Understand your customer’s goals
Customers use products/services because they represent progress towards a goal. They transform a customer's current state into a desired state. If a customer is bored/hungry a restaurant both leaves a customer satisfied and entertained. If a customer is unemployed a job board serves as a first step in landing a new job. If a customer isn’t confident doing their own taxes, an accountant transforms a customer's state to completing their taxes with confidence.
Your product/service may only play a small part in a much larger goal (i.e. the job board), but having a good understanding of what progress your target customer desires is imperative to designing an attractive offering.
N.b a goal = a desired state.
2. Design a journey towards a customer’s goal
Design an ideal/target journey towards a customer’s goal by layout out the stages and steps a customer will go through using your product/service. Demonstrate how your product represents progress towards their goal in the end.
Typical journeys could include the purchasing journey, the onboarding journey, a fulfilment journey and a post-fulfilment journey.
While not all journeys represent progress towards a customer’s goals directly, like the purchasing journey, they can still feel like progress to a customer (i.e. the relief and hope associated with finding a new possibility).
3. Map and measure customer needs/wants along the journey
While progressing towards a customer's goal is the primary concern of a customer, meeting and exceeding needs/wants along the journey can vastly improve the experience, differentiate the offering and make an offering significantly more desirable in a marketplace.
A simple example is two coffee shops side by side, both selling a cup of coffee for $3.50. The goal of the customer might be to grab a pick-me-up on the busy commute to work. One only accepts cash, has a changing roster of baristas that don’t know you and their lids don’t quite fit the cup. The other accepts Apple Pay, the barista knows your name and order, and they source beans from some of the best coffee regions in the world. It’s not a difficult choice as one is serving your needs/wants better than the other.
Plotting these needs/wants along the journey and then reflecting (preferably with data) on how well your serving needs on a scale of ‘not meeting’, ‘meeting’ and ‘exceeding’ is an important step.
4. Build new ideas that help customers reach their goals and fulfil their needs/wants
Capture, evaluate and prioritise and implement ideas that lead to a change in how a customer can reach their goal or how you can fulfil a need/want more successfully (Established in previous steps).
Keep a list, tag the intended effect of a change against a goal, need/want. Prioritise the highest impact ideas to now, next, and later. Build and launch improvements and then measure whether they've had the intended effect.
5. Track and resolve issues
Continually review the experience and listen to feedback to track customer's issues. Resolve these issues continually. Communicate with affected customers to notify them of the improvements.