Understanding the Evolving Aspects of Customer Experience
John D. Hanson, a proven customer service leader, has professionally engaged customers & team members by adding value in every career opportunity. A passionate advocate of Customer Experience, he brings to the table years of expertise in Customer Service and Customer Experience. He is also a leading keynote speaker at CX platforms and is the author of the book, ” 7 ways menu: Wow your customers”
We had the pleasure of asking him a few questions on the evolving aspects of CX and here is what he had to say.
Q and A session with John Hanson, Customer Experience Expert.
1) Would you say that the modern customer is no longer loyal, considering the range of options one has?
Absolutely not! A global ZenDesk survey revealed that within 5-10 years, purchasing decisions will be based on the companies customers Know, Like & Trust, not price or brand recognition. Because relationships will be treasured, businesses that are forward thinking have the opportunity to design & implement processes and communication that will engage, add value and resonate with their customers. It will not be solely focused on the product or service they provide; it will be the holistic package of how the business engages all of their stakeholders.
Loyalty is a 2-way street. While customers may have the spending power, businesses have a far greater power: the ability to positively impact every human touchpoint of their organization, on a global scale. Consciousness will trump convenience, and value will no longer mean the lowest price but the highest endeavors.
2) How can you add Empathy into the process of Customer journey mapping?
I have been strongly empathetic for as long as I can remember. This has served me well in the realm of the Customer Experience. But what about personalities that are not naturally able to easily slip into someone else’s shoes? Can an organization teach anyone to be more empathetic? Absolutely! Emotions are the key.
We all have them, and whether we believe it or not, make decisions with them. By first identifying the emotions that are present in every transaction, both from the customer and the team member serving them, we are able to more quickly recognize the strong emotions behind both positive and challenging interactions. By separating the emotions from the situation, we are able to do what I call, Q-TIP: Quit Taking It Personally. The emotions wrapped up in the transaction do not yet have anything to do with the team member involved. How the team member handles the interaction going forward can add to the strong emotion already in play, or create a brand new one.
Identifying and mapping the emotions of the customer and team members helps to provide a holistic picture of the journey. Without isolating the emotions of all the people involved, we cannot create a realistic CX plan that will succeed in the long run.
3) How can brands keep up with the evolving customer expectations?
My personal definition for Customer Experience is this: Customer Service is what we provide to our customers; Customer Experience is what they take away. It’s our brand. Even more importantly, I believe that it is essential to identify & engage all 4 types of customers through Customer Discovery: Identifying & Engaging All 4 Customer Types.
Rather than applying this term simply to paying customers we may not have found yet, I introduce a globally-unique concept that reveals most CX efforts only engage 25-50% of all customers. The 4 types are the External Customer (the ones who pay us), the Internal Customer (our team members, leadership, suppliers, and professional network), the Inner Circle (our family, close friends, mentors & coaches), and The Most Important Customer. Where did I discover these 4 types of customers? The Dictionary, of all places! I would love to share the 4 customer types with you in greater detail.
For now, let me leave you with this thought: the disrupters, in every industry that is notorious for poor service, share one vital aspect: every human touchpoint of their organization is engaged. No matter what size or type of business, if they neglect to invest in 100% of the human relationships at play, they will never be able to achieve lasting, generational success. And isn’t that what the Customer Experience is all about: win/win relationships.