“Walking in your clients’ shoes” is an expression commonly used in business to imply you’re thinking of your clients 24 hours, seven days a week. However, when do you actually put their shoes on? How do you know what your clients really experience when they deal with your business? Yearly feedback and online surveys are a start to capturing their experience, but to provide true value there is no better way than to go on their journey.
The Customer Journey Experience (CX) is fast becoming a trend, with companies such as Canon going as far as recruiting a Head of Customer Experience.
CX looks at the many interactions clients, stakeholders and/or customers have with an organisation, and describes their full experience – providing a full and current picture from a client's perspective.
Organisations learn how their clients feel when engaging and communicating with them. They can identify areas for improvement as well as transformation opportunities, which enables them to develop an overarching organisational strategy and operating model that puts the client in the centre.
Some may also be able to compare their performance with leading industry practice and other organisations within their market / region. As well as look into the future of client experience and service delivery.
For the past two years we’ve seen many organisations embrace CX through various means – dedicated Chief Customer Officers, internal customer experience teams as well as engaging external consultants such as Beca to provide objective views and develop organisation wide CX strategies. When integrating customer experience at the heart of a business, every interaction a client has with the business needs to be assessed. This includes assessing the fit-for-purpose of customer-enabling systems, channels, processes, service delivery models and organisation structures.
Understanding an organisations CX journey is all about putting their clients' shoes on. For us it can involve the following (and more):
- Gaining industry and customer insights through a series of interviews and targeted surveys.
- Mapping customer journeys and insights to illustrate end-to-end customer journeys.
- Developing customer personas to better understand the needs of specific customer segments.
- Reviewing organisation structures, operating models, strategies and internal processes to assess fit-for purpose in service delivery.
- Benchmarking against local industries and global trends to develop leading practice standards.
- Developing a transformational implementation roadmap to drive change and address the burning question ‘where to from here?'.
The digital world we now live in also introduces new and exciting opportunities when it comes to walking in your clients’ shoes. It is simply not enough to encode current practices and processes with out-of-date technology that fails to create a seamless customer experience. Delivering services to your clients through digital channels requires new ways of working, and the design of customised digital solutions that are seamless, smart and secure.
Technological innovations such as cloud computing, as well digital advancements that provide more comprehensive analytics and enabled mobility, are helping organisations improve their clients’ experience and operational productivity, and supercharge team collaboration. It’s because CX brings to light the key needs and challenges of clients, and one way to address them is through the design and implementation of their digital experience.
In a nut shell, CX enables you to walk in your clients’ shoes, to improve client satisfaction, increase repeated business, attract new business and, most importantly, improve the relationship you have with your clients. While it can be a very confronting exercise, it also is very rewarding. It’s like going to the gym: putting the shoes on is the hardest part… the good news is you can leave the heavy lifting to us!