This quarter was mostly about experimentation, so I tried a bunch of new things. If you like any of it, let me know. I completed three paintings. One was created with Alcohol Inks. Another was an attempt to try glow in the dark paint over Acrylic and the last one was alcohol interacting with Acrylic. Some interesting results from my perspective.
The topics of interest in this quarter were around Customer Experience, IoT, Cognitive, Digital Transformation and the Power of Process in the Digital Era. The monthly totals are hovering over 20K hits even with a cut back of posts on my part because of work load balancing. I am heads down working on a Digital Business Platform rating and starting a Customer Journey Mapping rating. While my readership is world wide, the US dominates the hit count. You might find it interesting what the rest of the world is doing the chart below.
We all know mapping the customer journey / experience is one of the linchpins of digital transformation. If you are a planning organization, you map the journey before designing the customer experience. If you are a measurement focused organization you mine the experience and map it for analysis. If you are an organization that pursues excellence, you map the journey before you design, test the new experience with focus groups and keep measuring the satisfaction with customer experience audits. The often lost idea is that you can also complete journey maps for employees, partners and managers.
Employee Experience Mapping:
How your employees feel can often affect how the customers feel about your organization, so creating a pleasing journey for your employees as they service their customers can be as important as the customer journey itself. If this is not motivation enough for organizations, consider how difficult it will be to attract the new and tech savvy generations to your organization, if the experience is not pleasing and effective. Organizations are not only competing for the hearts of customers, but also for the hearts of employees and recruits.
Manager Experience Mapping:
While employee journeys lead to happier employees and increase the effectiveness of your organizations operations through employee workbenches or personas, managers are often left to fend for themselves. As the speed of business increases in velocity and the emergence of new signals and patterns happen more frequently, managers will struggle without some journey mapping for recognizing opportunities / threats, making effective decisions and taking appropriate actions. Organizations will be dependent on managers doing the appropriate thing in any number of business scenarios, so the managers journey will become more important over time.
Partner Experience Mapping:
Like it or not the end to end process or journey to deliver a product or service will become important over time as well. Even if you are outsourcing parts of the experience, you will want to consider the overall effectiveness of the journey for the partner and your customers affected. If you have intimate partners that really add significant value to your product or service, making them happy is just smart business practice. The days of "big dogs" dictate to partners is evaporating, so partner experiences are growing in importance.
While the case for customer journey mapping is pretty obvious today, there are other opportunities to create a better digital organization. I think that journey mapping will become a staple for organizations in many ways in our new digitally focused world that is constantly changing and improving. How can you compete over time without journey / experience mapping?
It's easy to just "pave cow paths" when attempting digital transformation. Many organizations are just putting old transactions into a new mobile experience without considering if the customer really wants that as a customer experience. Maybe that works for the short term and buys time, but today's educated tech savvy customer wants something else. Don't get caught by your competitors designing traditional customer experiences by leveraging customer journey mapping. See this research note for some advice on customer journey mapping. If you are not into reading, please attend this webinar
The days of just pleasing the bottom line are over. The powerhas shifted to the customer and organizations that just try to solve this with technology only are in for a surprise. Yes a great mobile experience is table stakes and social like collaboration is appealing, but you have to get into the head of your customer and really understand the moments of truth that happen at customer touch points. If this sounds a little fluffy, keep in mind that it costs 4 to 10 times as much to acquire a customer than it does to maintain one. By the way, your competition is making it easy to switch. In this blog we will dig a little into the seven things customers want. If you want to hear more, sign up for this free webinar.
The Customer Wants Now and May Demand in the Future
Wants You to Know Them:
No longer can you just interact with a customer online or over the phone in the way that you want. Since they have been kind enough to give you their business, you should know what they have done in the past, how to service them in with a great experience now and what they might want in the future. This goes far beyond cross selling and up selling, though this should be the prize. This time you will have to win them with your user experience, knowledge of them and leaving them with a feeling of "You made my day". If you don't. somebody else will.
Wants a Painless Interaction:
You just can't push customers to weirdly designed voice recognition(VR) menus that name your departments (billing, technical support and online experience). Customers want it in their lingo like "I have issues with your product/service" or "I don't understand why I have to pay this now" or "Your competition has a better offer" or "Why am I getting all these offers from you". While the smart digital assistant is a ways off, these unfriendly implemented VR menus have to go.
Wants Fast Turnaround:
Your customer does have time to fool around with your complicated user experience or wait in line to get a single minded specialist with a script. They are under pressure to get things done as fast as possible and you do not have the right to steal their time, hoping they calm down before someone attempts to deal with their issue or transfer them to the right person. Patience is a virtue that modern times absolutely wants to obliterate. Remember customers do not necessarily have only one thing to accomplish with your organization and they don't respect your departmental stove pipes.
Wants Complete Visibility:
The idea of only giving status when you thinks it's right is no longer acceptable. Have you ever tried to refill a prescription that needed a doctors authorization? All you know is either it works or it doesn't. If something goes wrong, you have no data to resolve it. The pharmacy blames the doctor and the doctor, who is not rewarded for refill authorizations, blames the pharmacy. With the proper visibility up and down the value and supply chains, customers will be well informed and can help you resolve things with the expected outcomes are not coming in time.
Wants You to Beat Expectations:
It is no longer good enough to solve my immediate need, because it is probably boring at best and infuriating at the worst. Organizations have the opportunity to make the customer experience better than great. Imagine adding some entertainment options to a online servicing opportunity that leverages immediate rewards and maybe a gaming or a virtual reality experience. This would please a number of your younger prospects and customers while getting ready for their future demands of an engaging experience.
Wants a Feeling of Well Being:
Nobody wants to be treated as a revenue annuity for your organizations, but yet this happens all the time. What is the sense in making people feel used so that you get a great bonus or an increased stock price. How about finding ways of making them feel valued and respected?
Wants You to Care About Them:
While real business is based on buyer beware, why make it easy to leave your organization. Unless you are a sole source or a monopoly, you really need to pay attention to your customers and care for them. No you are not their mother or father, but you do need a heart.
There is more to your digital customer experience than providing mobile access. The customers journeys need to be understood in light of touch points. What are you doing to your customers? Are you driving them away or are you working all your assets to please them? This is a huge change that digital brings. See and hear more on this webinar this Friday
While it is exciting to see 5000+ attendees at Boxworks, here in San Francisco and it is great to hear all the great features and additions that Box is adding to it's secure content management capabilities including 3D images, 360 images and video, there is a not so subtle change in what Box is doing. Box in aiming to be a digital destination with the addition of a Box/IBM built process/workflow capability called Relay and the recent acquisition of Wagon Analytics. Combine these new pieces with an emphasis on ease of use, an API to everywhere attitude, a strong reach out to developers and a pension for security in the cloud, Box is headed for something bigger in a mid range time frame.
Now it is going to take some time to mature each of these pieces, but Box has assembled some great pieces to offer it's droves of current customers which now stands at 65K+ and 60% of the Fortune 500. While the CEO, Aaron Levie, appears to be a young and enthusiastic guy, he is making the right moves to be a long term player in the digital era. This is good, but I was even more impressed with the speed that some of the box customers have implemented and delivered positive business outcomes. There were case studies a plenty for business types and workshops a plenty for the developers.
Box has progressed from file sharing to secure enterprise content management in the cloud in a short period of time. Now that Box has made the content richer and they will be able to process and analyze it new ways, I can't wait to see the kind of digital platform they become over time.