Overview of Customer Obsession Toolbox

Product Management

People are persuaded not by what you say, but what they understand - John Maxwell

 

successful in commercial ideas have four characteristics.

 

  1. an ability to persuade people into action faster
  2. an appealing offering that stands true to its promise 
  3. utility that consolidates emotional attachment and
  4. a virtuous viral loop that sustains market interest 

  

Experts in branding believe that such a cult following is only possible when ideas can offer meaningful, memorable, unique, delightful and unexpected experiences to the customers every step of the way on their journey. 

 

In the consumer world, scope of any offering that seeks to enthrall the customers should cover a vast variety of anticipated and unanticipated scenarios. Delighting them with outcomes that are fresh and mindblowing in every single use. Indeed, a tough act to sustain over long periods of usage without continuous and fast improvement. 

 

Fortunately, the enterprise needs are strictly limited to the jobs, roles and related aspirations of the audience making it comparatively easy to maintain mind share. Precisely why most organizations are structured along functional lines. Customer experience was about a string of pearls where the individual moment of interaction mattered the most.

 

To maximize touch point experiences teams were mandated to deliver differentiated benefits through novel features. Popular war cry was to achieve local maxima and connect the dots. With the ever expanding technology capabilities, touchpoints have seamlessly merged into a continuum. Omnichannel, always on, seamless, data centric and personalized offerings are forcing functional boundaries to disappear. 

 

Unfortunately, the utilitarian approach which yielded results in the past carries depreciating leverage. Departmental thought leadership that cornered a larger share of the followers in the boardroom is a thing of the past. Changes in customer habits and consequential behavior is demanding a new kind of  approach to staying relevant. customer love, satisfaction and loyalty requires contextual maxima. 

 

Mckinsey studies have found that new age customers with their power, choice and influence are demanding improved offerings that is designed to deliver end to end experience. They have also found that strategies focusing on customer experience transformation can generate a 20 to 30 percent uplift in customer satisfaction, a 10 to 20 percent improvement in employee satisfaction and 20 to 50 percent economic gains.

 

Further other studies point to reduced retention rates, improvement in referral business and upsell opportunities as outcomes. Overall, it is noted that customer experience improvement  will become a key business differentiator in a crowded marketplace.

 

A lot of proactive organizations do invest a lot in hearing the voice of the customer. They leverage internal capabilities, develop new ones, hire consultants and launch initiative after initiative to learn customer feedback. Methods like NPS (Net Promoter Score). CSAT  (Customer Satisfaction Score), CES (Customer Effort Score), Predictive NPS continues to be implemented in the hope of finding improvement levers.

 

While all of it is well intended, they are found to offer only limited insights. Depending on the rigour and integrity with which they are rolled out, they can deliver anywhere between junk and data. Add to it the multi-level data fudging prevalent, we have nothing but dressed up data that is useless and potentially harmful.

 

Many Failures of many new product launches can be attributed to customer obsession gone wrong. Voices of the customer is very attached to the personality of the individual and the larger DNA of the organization. Distinct and nuanced, they can only be generalized with rich dimensions of input data.    

 

Unfortunately, a lot of the aforementioned methods popularly deployed today unearth conscious expressions only. Ambiguous and Subjective, they can at best deliver only the rational afterthoughts carefully camouflaged as honest feedback. Contradicting our human self that relies on unconscious habits and emotional impulses is not helping anyone.

 

Traditionally experience management was the forte of the marketing department. While some stakeholders, departments and organizations make sincere efforts to measure and improve the overall experience, a lot of effort goes into exaggerating the positives to the suppression of the negatives.

 

Emotional outbursts of customers are normally unheeded, undocumented and left unresolved. Even if it does, it is under utilized to improve customers life due to siloed functional operations. Whatever little makes it to the decision makers is bruised and blistered with departmental justifications that it ends up with zero transformative value. 

 

A perpetual cycle of  frustration is set in motion that leads the organization downhill. Couple it with the zero accountability culture and lack of systematic approach the voices become vices of the customer. A systematic approach to capture customer feedback, thoughts, reactions, ideas and feelings on a company’s value package is important to improve overall customer experience. 

 

As per McKinsey Customer Experience Report 2016, 25% of customers will defect after just one bad experience. (ie) all the hard work that went into bringing customers into the fold through diligent study of them, their needs, the execution, the resources spent and their loyalty will go for a toss if and when they have a single unpleasant encounter. 

 

Many business veterans suffer from the tunnel vision of limiting unpleasant encounters to bad customer service. Limiting it to pitfalls in after sales service does a disservice to the customer intellect and overall gamut of impressions throughout their journey that leave a sour taste. With the plethora of ways consumers are receiving their brand inputs, influence then is a function of relevance and distribution. 

 

No organization can claim to offer 100% positive impression in 100% of all interactions. Even the most customer centric organizations have lacunae in their customer experience implementation and try hard everyday to identify gaps and fix them. Concern is about an overall satisfaction levels keeping in view the specific customers expectations in specific situations. Staff in all areas of a business must play a role in shaping how a brand is perceived and experienced.

   

Lower satisfaction is attributed to negative audience perceptions across any of their interactions. Poor Experience is attributed to the difference in expectations versus reality. Intangibles with no clear cut definition. Such subjectivity causes a lot of heartburn for those seeking to deliver delightful experiences and sustain high customer satisfaction.

 

Experience and Satisfaction are a function of environment and engagement. Moment, Mood, Medium represent the specific customer environment. Engagement on the other hand depends on the depth of interaction. Together they offer levers to establish and improve a perception. While Environment plays a huge role as a determinant, It’s humanly impossible to control it. So, teams vying for mind share have no chance other than to focus on the interaction factors.

 

Several Studies by leading institutions including harvard have found 13 factors namely Simplicity, Intuitiveness, Quickness, Navigability, Accessibility, Spontaneity, Language Convenience, Accomplishment, Personalization, Novelty, Surprise and Benefit as keys to enhance interaction. There could be eve more.   

 

A combination of these factors in the right proportions is essential as no one thing will please all customers. Getting the priority right on these elements depends a lot on the industry constraints and audience profile. Another important aspect is that what’s in rage today might be out of fashion tomorrow. Also, as new channels of interaction emerge there will be variance in the mix. 

 

Evolving these factors, improving them and bringing in new factors requires a constant research in contextual understanding of specific customer segments and business domains. In order for design teams to influence, they must be adept at managing subjectivity and consequential perception.

 

A lot of well meaning folks lay a lot of stress on obvious factors like  innovation in products, competitive offerings, advanced technology, diligent customer service, delightful customer experience etc as ways to increase  customer interaction. It is indeed true that these positive levers reiterate positive associations. 

 

Unfortunately, stopping at obvious things blindsides us from looking into non obvious factors like  music, fragrance, insignia, layout, taste, touch and gestures. Point of the argument is that the root cause of all bad perception is due to lopsided significance given to some at the expense of other human factors.

 

Forward looking retail companies deploy sensory engagement in addition to traditional approaches. Notwithstanding the limitations of the digital world, companies must extend their strategies and tactics beyond limited arsenal of buzzwords like omni channel to include a larger array of tools that deliver embodied cognition.

 

In other words, cognizance of our decision-making behavior as exhibited in the real world  is a must. Research indicates that we are consistently biased towards emotional appeal while the creators demonstrate a strong orientation on rational processing. Acknowledging that we need to espouse feelings in every interaction is the first  step in designing experiences that deliver emotional outcomes.

 

The Equation “Satisfaction = ∑(Experience – Expectations)  fundamentally has two flavors. Most businesses invest in the logical flavor while most customers operate at emotional level Resolving this contradiction requires a toolbox that assists us emulate the other.

The first step in exceeding your customer’s expectations is to know those expectations - Roy H. Williams

 

Running any successful business boils down to customer excitement, loyalty and evangelism. All well meaning companies percolate  and fine tune their objectives and key results towards the achievement of these ideals. They also collect frequent feedback to ensure that the organization as a whole is doing everything in its capacity towards the attainment of these goals.

 

Depending on why, when, who, how, where and for what these feedbacks are collected, they gain a meaning and significance of their own. Put together, they try to grasp customer perceptions in individual interactions and aggregate sense of comfort with their relationships. In other words, a feedback loop that is based on both spur of the moment perceptions and long term opinions about an offering.  

 

A large number of business interchangeably use experience and satisfaction. Connecting them to pre purchase expectations in terms of benefits and post sales relationships in terms of service without distinguishing them sufficiently. Restricting them to confined terms results in limited priorities to be worked upon. functionality and responsiveness dominate team consciousness ignoring other important aspects. 

 

While these overlapping grasps were good enough for the bygone era, recent studies have found that human satisfaction and experiences are much more layered and situational. A much more generalized coverage is necessary to grasp the larger landscape of events that affect experiences and satisfaction.

 

Experts in marketing refer to experience as a relationship customer has with any output. Satisfaction is the level of comfort with decisions based on available outcomes. In other words, experience is simply proportional to how good the product/service/communication is structured to be of value. Satisfaction is proportional to how well the solution eradicates customer suffering and advances customer objectives.

 

In the b2b software product world, functional coverage, quality and quantity of features, the feature process alignment, the feature sensory relevance, marketing collateral, the website usability,  channel breadth, service access etc contribute to the experience. sales, revenue, growth, synergy, value realization contribute to satisfaction.

 

While the oversimplification of the past helped position these terms in the aisles and boardrooms they left a lot to be desired when it came to aspects of  customer influence. Exploring it through single dimensional tools only offered us a tunnel vision into the world of our customers. Need of the hour is an integrated set of tools that provides us a barrage of perspectives.  

 

A customer has both a traceable and untraceable journey. In the online world he leaves footprints via content consumption and engagement across a wide variety of channels.Offline world, is unpredictably hard to decipher. However, the advancements in visual and spatial data processing is improving the odds of appropriately interpreting customer behavior.

 

Improvements in technology have opened the doors to blend quantitative, qualitative and behavioral inputs. Gaining a 360 perspective of the customer journey life cycle have never been this easy. Analytics on the blended data opens up a holistic perspective of the good and bad in the journey, thus offering opportunities for positive intervention. 

 

Jason Miller, the author of “Intelligent Interaction” states that the key ingredient to a better customer experience is Relevance. According to a harvard business review article authored by researchers at Accenture, it was found that “the future of marketing and in the big picture, many businesses depend on serving a customer’s most relevant needs in the moment”. 

 

In fact, the article extends its thinking to postulate that we are living in an era of relevance where business can thrive only by “building symbiotic ties with their customers as if those relationships are with a concierge, butler or friend”. In other words, business must anticipate what would be expected in general and make available those when and where customers need it. Further, in the case of personalized user requests, teams must develop the capability to respond with specific adaptations.

 

Relevance is not about what we expect the customers to do, rathers it’s about what the customers allow us to serve. Many firms don’t get this. As a buyer, you don’t think that you are moving from unaware to aware, from aware to interest, so on and so forth. Most customer experience strategies depend on the idea of staging the customer purchase process as a foundation to explore the journey. 

 

This inside-out perspective applies a business constraint to how customers should behave. Unfortunately, most customers don’t navigate their way just as we aspire for them to do. So, taking a pipeline driven approach is the antithesis of customer evangelism. Outside-in is a much better way to explore and empathize with the customer point of view. 

 

Irrespective of the methods used, our goal is to retrieve insights about the experiences that are suboptimal, below expectations and a matter of utmost concern to the day to day quality of life. Unearthing and surfacing the hidden moments of truth requires exploring beyond the norms of accepted knowledge.

 

In this era of disruptive technological change, products and services get outdated in short spans. So, the only sustainable differentiator companies have is experience. To continue winning hearts, minds and money, they must demonstrate having customers best interests in offerings.

 

When it comes to expectation study, the typical culprit is the classical categorization into implicit, explicit, static, dynamic, interpersonal, technology and situational expectations. While these are fine for general exploration, they don’t help us grasp the transactional nature of humanity. The highly collaborative social life forces us to seek mutually beneficial relationship with anything we deal with. People, Animals, Nature, Products and brands fall into this bucket of give and take.

 

Genuine human touch is necessary to gain involvement. We are hard-wired to contribute as much as we consume. Creating a sense of control and balance of power is essential to influence choices, opinions and perceptions. Achieving it is only possible with this psychological principle of reciprocity.

 

Empathy and Empowerment are the cornerstones of expectation management. Degree of reciprocity achieved directly impacts our sense of happiness and Joy. Being Listened to in interactions and fairplay in transactions are important aspects till we establish a level of trust in each other to do things that are a win - win.

 

In a business setting, at least seven groups of expectations needs to be explored. Interpersonal, Functional, Capability, Distribution, Interface, Social Proof and Customer Success together capture comprehensive expectations as their needs get fulfilled. By thinking proactively about the questions customers might ask us and by exploring the dimensions of meaning within customer conversations, we can grasp the interpersonal expectations.

 

Interpersonal Expectations : 

 

Given below is a set of expectations modeled as questions to signify the reciprocal nature. By repeatedly asking these across different stages one can come to a reasonable conclusion of the lacunae in meeting expectations.

 

 

Customer

Company

 

Do you sincerely care about us ?

Do you respect our capability ?

 

Have you articulated your promise ?

Will you adhere to our norms ?

 

Can you respond dynamically to situations ?

How fast can you Learn new things ?

 

Will you be able to resolve our pains ?

Do you have the capacity to reward us with gains ?

 

Will your offering cover all scenarios ?

Will you continuously converse with us ?

 

Can i see value in your solution ?

What price point is affordable for you ?

 

Do you have comprehensive feature set ?

Will you utilize all of them immediately ?

 

How frequently can you demonstrate variety in your promise ?

Do you have the maturity to accept novelty ?

 

Will you rapidly evolve with us ?

Can you promise us unhinged loyalty ?

 

Will you continuously improve outcomes ?

Are you ready to trust us with long term relationship ?

 

Outcome expectations :

 

Factors that will deliver sustainable customer success. Grasping “why?” of current customer dissatisfaction with existing results and exploring the belief at the possibility of better extractable  value is at the heart outcome management.

 

A desire for progress manifested through identification of hitherto unknown gaps that are dragging down the performance or leaving a lot of opportunities wanting to be leveraged. In a b2b environment, It’s about getting the best return deal for investments in people, process and tools.

 

ex: increase (revenue, market share, customer satisfaction, quality, production), decrease (costs, risk, rework, downtime, defects)

 

Information expectations :



Functional expectations :

 

Explored using Fit - Gap analysis tool to capture and order known requirements. Traditionally, this tool is only used as a feature gap analysis where you talk about features, components, process, integrations and their priorities. While this is indeed required at a later stage, Identifying Situations, Exploring customer pains, dissecting them into problems that need to be attended to should dominate expectation capture during the design stage.

 

It is a big exercise, we will explore later. For now it is suffice to know that we will leverage Jobs to be Done and the thought leadership around it to make it happen.

 

Personalization expectations :




Capability expectations :

 

With broad adoption of technology across the enterprise somethings are becoming default for organizations to appear smart in front of their customers, save money, have flexibility in their operations and still secure all their assets. These defaults are the building blocks to building seamlessly integrated and continuously improving products.

 

ex single sign on, unified customer master data, scalable and elastic infrastructure, availability, developer tooling, Pay per use, multi - tenancy, isolation (containerization), network effects, quick checkouts, automations, multiple data states, visualization options, management operations, user collaboration, consistent design philosophy, omnichannel connected service front, anticipative resolution, reliable migration, workflow capabilities

 

Distribution expectations :

 

The growth of any business, leave alone SaaS, is largely determined by user uptake. While business can do everything perfectly to attract customers, the final decision of adoption rests squarely on the shoulders of customers. An important thing customers worry about in selecting software is the aspect of fitment in to their daily routine and tools already in use. Software distribution discusses the processes and tools leveraged to reach end users. It can be achieved by direct method using websites or apps, assisted methods like extensions or add-ons and indirect methods like directories or marketplaces. 

 

 - ex application directory, browser extension, platform embedding, programmable platforms, on the fly integrations, on demand localization, on the air continuous improvements, 

 

Interface expectations : 

 

- ex intelligent interfaces, socialization capabilities, seamless interaction handoffs. 

 

Social Proof expectations : 

 

Social proof is the psychological phenomenon used by customers to improve self confidence with their decisions. It is a process of social validation  where in customers explore both positive and negative feedback to self assured themselves of their choices during the buying process. 

 

ex: user generated visuals, ratings, reviews, case studies, testimonials, scarcity messaging, association with thought leaders, trust icons, guarantee seals, 

 

Customer success expectations :

 

Ex: Prompt dispute resolution, proactive service, personalized interactions, connected experiences across channels.

 

By being aware of these expectations and being conscious of their need in particular target customers life is an important first step in the exploration of the bare minimum that will satisfy customers.

The key is to set realistic customer expectations, and then not to just meet them, but to exceed them – Richard Branson

 

Managing Client expectations makes all the difference in producing happy and loyal customers. Any seasoned executive will tell how hard is that end goal to achieve. If it were so easy to handle, then every business would thrive.Unfortunately, a lot of organizations in both service and product sector fail miserably due to poorly managed expectations.

 

Bringing customers and companies on the same page is the holy grail of a successful business. It is easier said than done due to the competing agendas within and outside the organization. Aligning the different functional silos and harmonizing the agendas of different leaders is a life's work  for a lot of thought leaders.

 

Push to structure and streamline corporate execution started with the industrial revolution and  gained pace with modern manufacturing. Fore Fathers of Scientific Management embarked on a mission to meet high demand through accelerated production by leveraging scientific measurement techniques.

 

Evolution of these techniques have morphed into different flavours of management collectively called “Management by Objectives”. Underlying goal is to deliver customer value at a cost that is affordable and sustainable through continuous improvement of production methods. 

 

While the idea of setting definitive objectives helped bring improvements to the factory operations collectively, it also became a tool to improve individual performance. As more and more employees were brought into the ambit of performance objectives, the incentive to focus on customer value devolved into an opportunity for internal driven, shareholder focused effort.

 

With the passing of time, the broad based agenda of these effectiveness initiatives have been water down into narrow efficiency specific goals for individuals. While there have been efforts to segregate customer, company and individual goals to avoid a meltdown in the organizational mission, their interconnected nature is playing spoilsport. 

 

Teams have to find a method that can be used to drive customer outcomes, organizational stakeholder objectives and shareholder expectations. Objectives and Key Results (OKR’s), brings together these disparate constructs into a formal structure for easy implementation of the shared objectives.

 

The thesaurus to manage expectations is filled with terms like outcomes, results, outputs, actions, activities, process, inputs, objectives, behaviors, etc. Each having a significance of its own in pursuit of getting a job done in the best possible way. Notwithstanding the do’s and don'ts of OKRs like cycles of definition, multiples of objectives, standards of scoring, frequency of reviews the larger goal is to work backwards from the customer outcomes and business objectives.

 

Unfortunately, a lot of organizations use it primarily as an employee evaluation tool. A few organizations use it as a management tool.  While it’s natural to mix up and consider it as a compensation lever or performance measurement aid, it bequeaths the purpose with which the original implementers envisioned OKR’s.  Limiting it to the realm of organization dwarfs it’s real potential of working backwards from the customer.

 

Thoughtflow for the customer has a symmetry to the workflow of the business. OKR’s defined in isolation of this mirror image is an exercise in futility because it doesn’t propagate contextual nuance so essential to improve. Yields are not commensurate with the efforts as there is no clear cut synergy between what customer expects and what business functions are working on. 

 

  1. Scenarios -> Outcomes -> Journeys -> Jobs -> Tasks -> Tool
  2. Performance -> Objectives -> Process -> Features -> Interfaces -> Tool

 

Right approach is to connect the dots and ensure a seamless flow starting with Customer Outcomes. Management Objectives and Individual Activities must follow. Enforcing empathy in the calendar ritual ensures a priority for customer desire over and above shareholder and stakeholder aspirations. OKR’s driven by customer expectations helps keep the mission of customer happiness alive in a politically and competitively structured business environment.

 

For example, take this first hand situational statement of a pay manager with a cash flow crunch. 

 

“when I notice that our receivables are lower compared to our payable, I instantly recall past firefighting days and moments that plagued us. As a consequence, I get very concerned that we may not have sufficient resources at month end to meet payroll. To overcome the risk, I will frequently remember myself and instruct my team to check cash and bank balances so that i can regulate the flow of capital and muster the necessary resources to meet commitments”

 

Some of the outcomes he would likely expect in the given scenario are as follows. All of these outcomes have a lot to do with what the user needs when he can overcome the technical facades of tools.

 

  1. salaries to staff can be paid on time
  2. anticipated monthly operational expenses can be met
  3. awkward and embarrassing situation doesn’t arise
  4. career growth is not impacted by operational blip 
  5. stress doesn’t affect my health and personal life
  6. Needn’t have to raise high interest working capital
  7. imbalance in income to expenses doesn’t derail business
  8. transition in leadership can be quickly facilitated

 

Consider for example, the outcome “salaries to staff can be paid on time”, it is relative in its expression. So are the other statements. Subjectivity in outcome expectations depends on how well customers can articulate their desires. Some customers can be exact with what they need while others cannot be.

 

Irrespective of who the customer is, product teams need to define the outcomes in black and white. Over communicating capabilities and limitations is essential to conditioning customer minds into a frame of realistic expectations that is comfortable with predictable disappointments. overpromise and under-deliver has never worked if you are on a mission to create a loyal customer base.

 

Under-promise and over-deliver is the open treasure of the most successful companies. Expectation management is about having transparent conversations on what is possible given the context. An exercise that opens up opportunities for the erudite product teams to explore and understand the layers and levels of customer criteria.

 

In addition to defining the relative factor’s operating range, teams need to explore the ecosystem perspective of an outcome. “staff can be  paid on time” could be required as an antidote to a poisonous situation where staff turnover is high due to perceived volatility. It is in product designers' interest to go that extra mile. Furthermore, there could be other situations that will warrant the exact same outcomes but with a different expectation.

 

Subjective elements become well defined with rigorous exploration. Having clarity on what is needed, when and why is crucial to visualize the ecosystem perspective. When products can fulfill the bare minimum outcome, it will probably end up “meeting expectations”. A neutral state within a range of possibilities that doesn’t elicit emotional responses of satisfaction or dissatisfaction.

 

To either end of the nonchalant state, we have exceptionally Delighting, exceeds expectations, partially meets expectation and didn’t meet expectations each of which create a favorable or unfavorable mindshare. In other words, customers progressively become more and more satisfied with proportional fulfillment of their expectations. extremely dissatisfied, dissatisfied, indifferent, satisfied and extremely satisfied commensurate with the expectation matrix.

 

confirmation occurs when actual performance exceeds target performance. disconfirmation occurs when actual performance is beneath the target performance. A standard and popular tool used by product designers to analyze and categorize expectations is the kano model. Developed by Professor Noriaki Kano, an expert in customer satisfaction.

 

It provides a canvas to map perceived customer preferences within their expectation set. Tapping into the idea of prioritization, it tries to confidently position expectations in 5 universal categories with a goal to ensure a scientific selection of product capabilities that have an endearing mix for the customer at a point in time.

 

Kano model hypothesizes that customers typically need a good portfolio of functionalities in a solution that fulfills basic or hygiene expectations, performance or desired fitment expectations and enthusiasm or delighting expectations. It also further recommends that care should be shown to avoid those functionalities that were not needed in the first place. It also imbibes the transient nature of expectations and their degradation over time as new expectations emerge. 

 

In other words, product design teams should give careful thought about each expectation group them for relevance, categorize them for satisfaction, prioritize them for impact, create option sets for balance and select the one that best represents the needs and aspirations of the target group under consideration without ignoring their life cycle perspectives.  

 

A recent study by google consumer research found that “60% of people expect brands to provide consumers with information they need when they need it”. Only “< 30% feel that brands are delivering on their information expectation”. It is natural to focus only on the statistics, the real treasure trove here is the statement “information they need when they need it”.  

 

In other words, we can say that as consumers navigate through the buyer journey, they have to consume different kinds of information at different points in time. They expect the thoughtful vendor to anticipate their need for information and fulfill it through appropriate channels so that they become well informed in taking progressive decisions. 

 

While the buyer journey is a tool to help business become empathetic, the real travails of customers are unlike any sanitized, standardized and gated course of action. Depending on the roles they play, the kind of information expected will be different and the angles in which that information is reviewed will be different.

 

Take a sample scenario of credential search, a typical manager might just explore certificates, accreditations and customers reviews while a decision maker might be looking at founding teams pedigree, social proof. Imagine the many many scenarios in a business setting and the different kinds of information sought. It’s humanly impossible to anticipate all of it without a disciplined approach at understanding them.

 

A customer journey is a visual map that helps product designers outline the customer story through an expectation and experience prism. A very methodical way of documenting the motivations, expectations, channels, interactions, emotions etc so that we can identify opportunities to present information, improve involvement, influence conversion and command loyalty.

 

When a user, decision maker, buyer etc travel from being a prospect into a customer and then into an evangelist, they carry with them overwhelming amounts of  expectations, these expectations are spread over a vast canvas of interaction with the business. Irrespective of the mode of contact, the customer expects us to position value throughout the journey 

 

Honestly, in a b2b environment every customer role has journeys. Each journey has several Jobs to be done. Every Job is broken into tasks to be completed which in turn becomes possible through several tools with a rich feature set. A multi headed hydra that is only possible to make sense through careful calibration of each role, each outcome, each journey, each job.

 

Team’s have a choice to focus on customers who want to make modest progress or path breaking progress. Ambitious design teams focus on people greedy for the most progress. By doing so, they are also able to gain the attention and loyalty of all. Offering an above the par customer experience from the first impression is essential to deliver that progress .

 

Most of the choices we make each day may feel like the products of well-considered decision making, but they’re not. They’re habits... William James

 

A lot of the proponents of design a product to help the high-expectation customer make most stress on journey mapping as the silver bullet. It definitely has a lot of value in bringing together a combined grasp of actions and attitudes. However, an over emphasis on “customer” journey allows for an ideal “process” driven manifestation of a person’s life linearizes in exclusion of labyrinth reality.  

 

else as a hype. New ideas always come with a big promise to change the status quo.  They rarely do in isolation as there are many other methods and tools.

 

An experience is very different. We have experiences all the time. You are having one now reading this. An experience is ‘in the moment’ and looks at all aspects of human behaviour. Therefore when we talk about a ‘Customer Experience’ we are just segmenting a person’s life to when the person is a Customer.

 

That is why most Journey mapping sucks. Most journey mapping just looks at the rational side of a Customer Experience and that is less than half of a person’s human experience. If you wish to map a Customer’s experience, then that is VERY different. By just using the word ‘experience’ means we should be looking at all the aspects that make up human experience when using journey mapping.

 

Human experience encompasses the conscious/rational experience , emotional experience and the subconscious experience and as we outlined in our last book Customer Experience Future Trends and insights Palgrave Macmillan 2010 the whole area of ‘experience psychology’ comes into play. These also need to be part of your journey mapping. Designing a Customer Experience properly is not for the faint hearted. That is why most experiences are poor.

 

Even those organizations that recognize this overdependence on single tools to improve customer experience struggle to get the right set of complementary tools.

 

  As the reality of “customer centricity” and what that actually means in practice bumps up against entrenched attitudes, journey maps are likely to fall out of favor or simply become a “check box” for business process or marketing teams to check.

 

Every portion of our life is optimized for habits. home, commute, work, leisure etc. What starts as deliberate action evolves into intuitive as we master the moments. Learning and reinforcement helps us do Jobs, Tasks, Activities efficiently. Effortless behavior is an outcome of habits.Habits thus formed stick with us. Our brains are conditioned to recall these behaviors when presented with a cue from the past.

 

Expectations are nothing but habits .

 

The Pygmalion Effect, also known as the Rosenthal effect, states that when a teacher/manager/supervisor has high expectations of someone, that seems to increase the person’s performance. That has been proven true even when the person with the expectations tries their best to hide it.

 

As a concept, it is often associated with the concept of the ‘self-fulfilling prophecy’, which states that even a false belief might end up becoming true, as it influences both beliefs and actions. As soon as the belief becomes true, it creates a feedback loop, as we then assume we were always correct.

 

The reasons the Pygmalion effect is, well, in effect, is because when we interact with and have expectations of others, we tend to offer a lot of subconscious clues about these expectations, through our tone or body language.



On the satisfaction axis customer look for feelings of delight, satisfaction, neutrality, dissatisfaction and frustration. On the fulfillment scale customers review the functionality to be  nothing, some, basic, good and best. Reference (https://foldingburritos.com/kano-model/)

 

5 by 5 matrix of balanced scale . Point is that there is a review system in place that customers leverage in their journey of acquiring and dropping things. Customers are buckets things mentally and categorizing them to take decisions.

 

Things that create wow factor are termed attractive, things that matter now as performance, things that are table stakes are must-have.   

 

A product’s functionality is constantly getting reviewed in the personal and professional realms. What might be attractive today might slide down to just performance and then down to must-haves. 

 

Expectations evolve with shift in customer context. In the enterprise this could be about a change in role or a job. with the change in objectives on the job to be done, there is a change in hiring criteria.



Outcomes cannot be achieved out of thin air. It’s not only about the measure. It needs to be implemented  

 

 salaries to staff can be paid on time

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