One of the things that has changed across the board with the recent business shutdowns is the type of interactions/experiences customers are having with businesses. Suddenly, a premier digital customer experience is necessary to make sure that the customers you have are the customers you keep. This is not a nice-to-have, it’s a must-have. Yes, you’ve likely had an aspect of your business that was digital, and probably a big part of your customer interaction has been online. However, when there is a breakdown in the customer experience online – a gap or a complicated solution needed with no customer service rep available – that’s when the rubber really meets the road.
A real-world example:
I’ll give an example from my own experience: I was traveling in June and my travel itinerary was changed by the airline, which created a 6-hour layover between planes. I wasn’t notified, but I caught it several days before my plane was to leave and tried to change my second flight online. The website didn’t allow for changes, so I called and was told there was a 5 hour wait for customer service and they would call me back (at 10:30 PM). The call came in at 2:30 AM (I wasn’t awake). So, I went to the airport and it took 2 customer service agents 20 minutes and a phone call to a supervisor to change my next flight to an earlier one. And they were going to charge me to make the change.
Obviously, this was a terrible customer experience and it’s not my first one like this with this airline. If they were smart, the airline would create a more flexible online customer experience (CX) and make travel changes easier, especially after the flight moved due to airline schedule changes. I’m not the only one who had issues – as evidenced by the 9+ hour delay in phone help. This is an example of a company that hasn’t mapped the customer journey to see where they fall short.
Here are the steps needed to identify and solve a problem like this:
- Take a look at your customers’ experience and all touch points both online and offline
- Track what happens when things are going well
- Track what happens during CX breakdowns and detail the additional touchpoints that are needed – think about what has changed recently, and will likely remain changed long term
- Identify the gaps in customer experience between a fluid experience and a bad one
- Once the difference in customer experience is identified and detailed, how can that problem be anticipated and solved to give the customer a seamless experience?
- Gather ideas from employees involved in all touch points and develop online and offline solutions to anticipate and smooth out these situations
The customer journey isn’t difficult to recreate if you’re willing to look at your customers’ interactions from their viewpoint – take some time to walk in their shoes, so to speak. Is your way of looking at your business model getting in the way of customer satisfaction? Now is the time to think about ways you can help improve the process for your customers and you’ll get payback in the form of loyalty – thereby benefiting your bottom line.