The “eye” is one of the most powerful spots in a hurricane. So too, is the “eye” of the customer universe. Getting to the “eye” in each case, requires courage, skill and an unwavering focus on the endgame. In the case of the customer, the “eye” represents the collection of memorable moments that converge during a transaction or interaction with a business, to create a defining moment for him or her. Defining moments, mind you, can be negative. But let’s focus today on the positive.
It has been a double whiplash for businesses over the past two years. The first was the need for a lightning speed response to ensure continuity. Now, in the aftermath of the most severe portion of the pandemic, the same lightning speed response is needed to reimagine the next generation of experience delivery systems.
Gone are the days of throwing superficial service at customers.
Ideally, these reimagined systems would be shiny, bright, refreshed and cleansed of the old legacy styles that have no currency in the new customer experience universe. Gone are the days of throwing superficial service at customers. Today’s customers are not prepared to grin and bear the pain of disappointment. Tomorrow’s customers are going to be even more disinclined to give businesses more than one opportunity to get the customer experience right. To those businesses that have been happy with dishing out traditional service, I would say that the gig is up.
The new mandate facing leaders, managers and supervisors, is to design a customer experience that is so immersive that it can be felt across a human, digital, and omni-channel pipeline, with no dips in quality. This, I predict, is going to be really challenging for many businesses that have gotten overly comfortable with their traditional way of meeting minimum levels of customer satisfaction.
Generally, an immersive experience takes the customer beyond just a live interaction and into a new experience universe (metaverse perhaps?), that mimics or brings digital twinning to the real world. The experience will include exposure to artificial reality, as in interacting with a smart assistant like Siri, to augmented reality, as in walking through a virtual space that is set up exactly like its physical parallel. In an immersive experience, several senses are triggered. Touch, sight and hearing, all contribute to shaping the customer’s ultimate emotional and interaction experience.
The new mandate facing leaders, managers and supervisors, is to design a customer experience that is so immersive that it can be felt across a human, digital, and omni-channel pipeline, with no dips in quality.
Whilst this strictly immersive experience may be a long way off from becoming mainstream, (Amazon is already ahead of the game) businesses can start with small steps to enriching the customer experience. Mind you, small steps still require disruption of the status quo. Even Columbus understood that he needed to lose sight of the shore, in order to “rediscover” new lands.
The first step towards moving into this immersive zone would be for a business to dedicate focussed effort to collecting memorable moments. Can you imagine each employee in the contact centre, at the counter, on the online chat platform and in the back office, saying to himself or herself, “What can I do to make this exchange memorable for this customer?” Think about the possibilities. I just read that when a business wants to imbed a newly-minted habit amongst its employees, the “say-do” ratio is a credible source for determining the probability of success.
Here’s what’s going to be a defining element for tipping the scales of success for this experiment. If all members of the leadership teams in all departments show up and pitch in with visible examples of creating memorable moments for the staff.
The first step towards moving into this immersive zone would be for a business to dedicate focussed effort to collecting memorable moments.
While the cumulative effect of internal and the external amassing of memorable moments may not create a quantum shift in service delivery immediately, it will create a motivational push to keep the internal and external goodwill going. As a Service Evangelist, I can say that service centrism sparks when internal and external experience have a happy collision.
One thing we know, is that the businesses that are complacent about service, stand a slim chance of getting to the “eye” of the customer universe. Those that are willing to do a little extra, by motivating employees to release discretionary effort, however, have a better shot at becoming game changers.