We'll begin with a little reminder: a customer journey includes virtually any customer experience with a product or a service, from the first time they became aware of your company to the last day they are with you. Now, it is in your best interest to do everything in your power in making their journey memorable and, above all, satisfactory. Let's learn how your services can be designed to make your customers truly satisfied in the long-term.
Areas to keep in mind at all times
The philosophy behind enabling an outstanding customer journey is, in fact, quite simple, the customer needs to the focus of your undivided attention. To do so, listen to what they need, offer it, and deliver and observe how your services make them feel. Keep things simple, provide a timely response to requests, inquiries, and complaints, and let your customers know their opinion is valued. Your goal is to make them feel acknowledged, involved and valued.
Improve the customer feedback input
One of the initial steps in designing new customer services is carefully studying the ones currently offered. Naturally, the best way to do it is from the customer’s point of view. Still, do not make the usual mistake of relying much on the info gained from customer focus groups. The problem with them is that some participants will be more dominant, some quite reserved while the rest will go with the flow. Your aim should be to hear as many individual voices as possible. Conducting ethnographic research that will include individual email surveys, customer interviews at the store, and online questionnaires would be complex but, at the same time, a more rewarding approach.
Cultivate your customer experience ecosystem
As you probably know, every service has its front and backside. And, for this service to be perfectly functional, every component needs to run flawlessly. For example, your sales and advertising sectors need to work in sync with the HR and finance departments. The well-being of an ecosystem depends on all of its components and the specific role they play. When one of them changes, all others have to evolve, as well. In a nutshell, the fundamental task of service designers is to cultivate all parts of the customer experience ecosystem. As this master's degree in service design explains, professionals in this field need to continually evaluate and transform the existing services, create new ones, encourage experimental attitude and sensitivity towards the latest innovations.
Create a customer journey map
To fully understand how your customers perceive and experience your service, it is essential to monitor their entire involvement. This includes everything from the very first time they became aware of your brand until this very moment in time. Analyzing all the phases and touchpoints they went through and where they eventually ended will give you a critical insight in creating an improved future service design. Again, it is essential to emphasize that all your departments need to be involved in providing a seamless customer experience.
Practice what you preach
How many times have you entered a store following their latest advertisement only to find that the discounts advertised are not fully applied or that the promised complimentary coffee was the worst one you ever tasted? Did you go back there after such disappointment? Of course not, and neither will your customers if you make the same mistake. Building customers' trust takes time and losing it only a second. So, before you announce anything, make sure you can live up to it at all times.
Keep the customers informed and engaged
As mentioned before, each step of your customer journey is vital in keeping their interaction with your brand alive. You have to nourish them and help them transit from one stage to another. The safest way to do so is to keep them engaged and informed. Once the interaction is lost, there are increased chances for the customer to lose interest in your brand in general. You should always have the next step in place to smoothly guide your customers to the next touchpoint of their experience with your company.
If you want to design services that will provide your customers with exactly what they need, all parts of your company need to work in sync, focus on customers' experience and keep them engaged throughout your entire interaction.