Targeting transactional customer experience (CX) can short-change your business long-term. You miss capturing strategic, mission-critical processes and opportunities essential for impacting customer success and customer retention.
The longer the lifecycle of your products, equipment and services, the more customer journeys and perceptions are involved.
Do you focus only on capturing periodic transactional customer experience touchpoints? Alternatively, do you combine transactional touchpoints to create a rich translational tapestry of contextual experiences which are leveraged for innovation?
McKinsey defines customer experience as a perception. However, there is nothing fleeting or transactional in the implications of their definition.
Customer experience is a perception. This is not an operational KPI as you usually have in your company. This is a perception driven by a very clear equation. It’s the observed performance that the customer has with its supplier, minus its expectation.
Targeting transactional customer experience keeps you self-focused on KPI score-chasing. Targeting translational customer experience keeps you focused on gaining visibility throughout the enterprise.
When you measure transactional customer experience, that is only what you get.
If your organization sends out periodic post-transaction surveys, you essentially measure “So how did we do?” You and I receive these surveys after each airline flight. Most of the time, the individuals completing these surveys are the end users of that experience.
However, let’s say you aren’t a hotel, airline or a theme park. Let’s say you are in the industrial vertical. Now the value creation equation changes. There are longer product lifecycles involved and far more translational customer experiences to capture along the customer journey.
Why focus on short term transactional customer experience when you can understand how customer perception changes after repeated experience with your equipment, products and services?
When you stick to transactional customer experience, that is what you are stuck with, too.
Let’s say you send out periodic surveys to the same decision makers and buyers you initially sell the equipment to. These folks, in your mind, represent “sticking close to the customer,” since they authorize purchase orders and sign checks which generate revenue for your company.
However, sticking close to decision makers and buyers does not necessarily capture translational customer experience. As your products, services and equipment are adapted into the heart of the smart plant ecosystem, end users generate the translational end user experience which impacts whether what you sold is truly valuable to the enterprise or not.
And whether that company will continue to do business with your organization.
Focusing on the translational value of end user experience (UX) rounds out your strategy of sticking close to the customer. Why only target transient customer experience when you can gain a more robust – and granular – picture of customer context, requirements and performance throughout the enterprise?
End users have different criteria for evaluating customer experience than buyers and decision makers.
Do you understand the subtleties of these differences?
The people participating in the initial Customer or Buyers Journey may not be the same people who continue the product, service and equipment journey on the customer side of the equation. Products and services with longer lifecycles, particularly in the industrial sector, have anything but transient impacts on the growth, expansion and sustainability of an organization.
As long as decision makers, buyers or managers continue to complete CX surveys, can you be certain you understand critical-to-outcome differences impacting customer success and customer retention?
Stick close to the end users of your deliverables, as well as the decision makers and management team. Round out your own perception of what execution of business and manufacturing strategy actually looks like as played out within the smart plant ecosystem, day in and day out.
To impact customer success and customer retention, utilize Voice of the Customer insights as part of your CX strategy.
User experience (UX) is more than collecting data points. It involves researching the Voice of the Customer, those stated and unstated needs and requirements which yield best in class performance, quality and innovation.
After all, end users are best able to let you know whether what you promised the enterprise is delivering anticipated results or not. Voice of the Customer insights identify gaps in both perception and performance which impact subsequent upsell, cross sell, training and customer retention efforts.
My CX Playbook includes Voice of the Customer UX (end user experience) as part of an overall CX (customer experience) strategy. Consider the number of organizations who are dissatisfied with execution of strategy. Why limit yourself to measuring transactional customer experience?
Your strategic goal? Create a continuum of translational customer perceptions both observed as well as measured. Correlate with the success of that customer. Leverage customer success for execution of your customer retention strategy.
Babette Ten Haken is a writes, speaks and coaches about customer success for customer retention. She traverses the interface between human capital strategy for hiring and developing collaborative technical and non-technical teams. She serves manufacturing, IT and engineering intensive companies. Babette’s playbook of technical / non-technical collaboration hacks, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon. Visit the Free Resources section of her website for more tools.
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