Are the individual "touchpoints" that make up the total experience for your customers at odds or in conflict with one another, thereby hurting your business?
It may sound simple, but if you are a company or organization that is striving to provide the best possible experiences for your customers, are you "clued in" to the "touchpoints" that together will affect their overall experience?
From the moment that customers drive into your parking lot, walk through your business' doors, carry out their transactions and then depart, they are left with a series of impressions, or "touchpoints", that are either carefully managed or are random and haphazard.
Those smaller, individual and distinct events are what we call "sub-experiences" and together they affect the total customer experience. How those "touchpoints" are aligned will affect your customers’ experiences with you. They include quality of goods or service, choice of words, employees’ body language, sights and smells associated with the business.
Companies that are "clued in" know how the "touchpoints" cause the customers feel about themselves when they do business with them. In turn, those companies also know how the customers’ feelings shape how they feel about their total or overall experience with the business and brand.
Are you managing those "sub-experiences" so they are coordinated together to create a favorable impression that will stick with patrons? If one sub-experience is great but another is awful, that will drag down the customer’s overall impression of doing business with you.
Case in point: A recent trip that a colleague of ours had when they flew to the East Coast and needed to get a rental car. When they stopped at a car rental store, the shop purported to value customers. It was displaying a wall poster that was a photograph of a stand of large trees with the words "Grow Your World Around Customers and More Customers Will Grow Around You."
Those sentiments were laudable. But this wall poster was not in sync with our colleague's actual experience in getting his rental car. The rental car check-in line stretched out to the store entrance and our colleague waited in line for an hour before finally reaching one of the clerks at the service counter.
"About the only thing they can do to make this worse is to not have my car", he recalled.
Well, our colleague got his rental car. But he was in for a surprise when he turned on the ignition to his car: On the dashboard were lit up the words "Maintenance required."
The bottom line was our colleague’s experience with the car rental agency was completely at odds with the intended feel good words of the wall poster. Only when the various "touchpoints" from sub-experiences are aligned and working together will you will have a total customer experience that is pleasing and keeps your patrons coming back again and again.
It’s the institutionalization of a distinctive approach around being conscience of clues and managing those clues that makes the difference for the long haul. That works in the background, aligning the junction of insight and action into compelling experiences that drive loyalty, competitive advantage and ultimately stronger financial results.
To learn how you can design and manage your company’s customer experiences so they avoid haphazard clues, contact Experience Engineering at 952-942-8880 and ask for our founder and CEO Lewis (Lou) Carbone.