Why map an ideal customer experience?


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map_an_ideal_customer_experienceWould you ever embark on a trip – long or short – without a route planned to your destination of choice? If your answer is yes, then I envy your free spirit and ability to let go. For the rest of us, going a trip without a plan in mind would be incredibly stressful. Uncertainty breeds confusion, disorder and, oftentimes, a failed experience (or at least a multitude of wrong turns).

So why would a company build a business model without the identification of an ideal customer experience? Your guess is as good as mine. But unfortunately, it is a common problem. The good news is that it’s never too late to start planning – and mapping – your company’s customer experience model. You only stand to gain. Here’s why:

You’ll be more effective. Making a u-turn when you know where you’re going solves a problem. But making a u-turn when you’re hopelessly lost is an exercise in frustration. My point simply being: if you know where you are headed, it is much easier to adjust your course, but making incremental changes without the end in sight is a waste of resources.

In Stephen Covey’s book, “7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” the second chapter implores leaders to “begin with the end in mind.” Covey maintains that all things should be created twice – first through mental visualization and secondly through physical creation. By clearly mapping out the road to your ideal customer experience, you facilitate decision-making. Every turn won’t be the right one, but if you realize that a decision doesn’t take you one step closer to your desired customer experience, turn around!

You could miss unmet needs if you don’t. A common theme we see in companies lacking a customer experience map is that they instead use an ad hoc approach – fixing the pain point of the moment, but not addressing the underlying issues. But by using this approach, you could be missing an opportunity to “leap frog” forward.

As Henry Ford is reputed to have said, “if I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” Is your company’s ad hoc response to customer experience pain points keeping you from finding a bigger solution? The customer may think they know what they want, but without a customer experience map, your company is at the mercy of the customer, as opposed to providing a great customer experience along with the product they never knew they wanted.

Stand out from the crowd. Do you want to be a company that customers choose because you’re their only option? Or would you rather that your customers keep coming back because they want to? Many companies exist in a somewhat saturated market. Through a differentiated – and better – customer experience, you can gain market share above your competitors.

Has your company found that visualizing a map toward the ideal customer experience is effective? Share what benefits you’ve seen in the comments.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Linda Ireland
Linda Ireland is co-owner and partner of Aveus LLC, a global strategy and operational change firm that helps leaders find money in the business performance chain while improving customer experiences. As author of Domino: How to Use Customer Experience to Tip Everything in Your Business toward Better Financial Performance, Linda built on work done at Aveus and aims to deliver real-life, actionable, how-to help for leaders of any organization.


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