Experience Action

Defining Customer Experience

January 10, 2023 Jeannie Walters, CCXP Episode 6
Experience Action
Defining Customer Experience
Show Notes Transcript

❔"How do we define what customer experience truly is?"❔

Another AMAZING question 💪 Defining what customer experience (CX) means to your organization is essential. It's often presented as a very vague concept, which can lead everyone to make assumptions about goals and outcomes and leaves the door open for a lot of guessing from all parties. We need to remember that whether or not we are being intentional about customer experience or our CX programs, our customers are ALREADY having an experience. 

This week, Jeannie aims to help you define what customer experience means to your organization. She takes a look at key factors like...
- Aligning with customer expectations
- Tying strategy into the overall success of your CX program
- Action you can take to create a customer experience plan
- Why having a customer experience plan is important for your business

She also provides some FREE resources you can use to help get everyone aligned with the plan, which includes a handy formula to help you along.

Resources Mentioned:
Experience Investigators Website -- experienceinvestigators.com
Free CX Mission Statement Workbook -- bit.ly/cx-mission-workbook
Free CX Success Statement Workbook -- bit.ly/cx-success-workbook
Free CX Charter Guidebook -- bit.ly/cxcharter

Want to ask a question? Visit askjeannie.vip to leave Jeannie a voicemail! (And don't forget to follow Jeannie on LinkedIn! www.linkedin.com/in/jeanniewalters/)


Experience Action. Let's stop just talking about customer experience, employee experience and the experience of leaders. Let's turn ideas into action. Your host, Jeannie Walters, is an award-winning customer experience expert, international keynote speaker, and founder of Experience Investigators - a strategic consulting firm helping companies increase sales and customer retention through elevated customer experience. Ready, Set, Action. 1. 2. 3. 4. 

Jeannie Walters 

Hey everyone. It's Jeannie. I'm so happy to be back with you on Experience Action, answering your questions. Don't forget you can leave me a voicemail at speak pipe. .com/ExperienceAction - just like this listener did with a great question. 

Listener Question 

I'm leading the customer experience effort here at our organization. And as I'm talking to different areas such as marketing and customer service, and even our call center, I'm finding that we all have a little bit different definitions of what we see as customer experience. And so to kind of get us off the ground as we move forward, I think we need some help just understanding or or aligning around a singular definition of what customer experience is. And was wondering if you could. Kind of help us. Get that vision, get that understanding of you know how we should be seeing what customer experience truly is. 

Jeannie Walters 

All right, I love this because really when we're talking about customer experience, sometimes we're making tons of assumptions. And, when we're talking cross functionally to different leaders, they might have their own definition of customer experience and specifically what role they play in delivering that experience for customers. But here's the tricky part. Customer experience is going to happen, whether or not you are intentional about it. Because customer experience is essentially the entire experience end to end, meaning the minute a customer becomes aware of your brand all the way through to either when they leave you or hopefully when they stay with you forever. So when we look at the actual end to end experience we're talking about. I'm not leaving. 

So when we look at the actual end to end customer experience we're looking at so many different interaction points, right? This can be purchasing from you. This can be walking into a store. This could be just researching on Google and happening to find your brand. This is when they have those service issues and they need to contact your contact. center or they need to submit something. All of those different interaction points, the unboxing experience, everything is the customer's experience. But here's the goal. It's based on their expectations as a customer and then their perception of what is actually delivered. So their experience, whether they say, "yes, it was delightful and amazing" or, "it was super disappointing and I'm never shopping there again." That is based on expectation. What do they expect when they deal with your brand versus what is the? Oh no. 

That is based on expectation what do they expect when they deal with your brand versus what is the reality and how do they perceive that? So I'll give you an example when you decide to take a bus somewhere you don't expect there to be attendants on the bus, right? You don't expect to be served drinks. You don't expect to have movies available. All of those things are not expected because we understand that the bus's promise to us is getting us from point A to point B. But if you purchase a first class airline ticket and you got on that plane and they had no flight attendants and you received no services and you were, you know, stuck in a bus seat, let's say you would be disappointed because that's based on your expectations versus perception. And all of this really comes back to what is the promise that we're making the customer? What are their expectations? So every organization has to have their own unique definition of customer experience success. And it's great if your whole C-Suite knows yours. This is perhaps one of the most important roles that a CX leader can play to really define what is customer experience here, and we do that by thinking of it as three things. It is a mindset. So how do you get everybody on board in your organization understanding that customer experience is about this promise that we're making? So we use something called a customer experience mission statement. It's about a strategy if we're only talking about customer experience, as you know what, let's be nice to customers, eventually, your C-Suite is going to scratch their head and say, OK, we can do that without investment. We don't need to do anything with this, but then we're missing the opportunity around customer experience management. And this is really strategy. This is where you define what are the results that we're looking for for our organization versus what are we actually doing for customers? And so we use something called a customer experience success statement. Now this is where you literally define what are our organizational goals, what are our leadership goals and what are we doing about that for customers, what can we expect for our organization, that's strategy. But at the end of the day, you need discipline, right? You need to have governance around this. You need to have cross functional leadership teams. You need to make sure that people are living up to the very things that you are promising. So when we talk about what is customer experience, the general sense is really that it's about the end to end experience that a customer is having. We use a formula that I really like because it's essentially perception minus expectation. Meaning what are? What am I perceiving as a customer versus what did I expect? But then we have to consider all of that divided by emotion. What are the emotions that we are trying to elicit from customers? What are the emotions that they're bringing into that equation? You know, there are customer experiences around things that people don't like to think about, right? We have to pay parking tickets sometimes. That is a customer experience. How do you pay that parking ticket. You might not like. It you might not be looking forward to it, but hey, if they could make it easier or more convenient for you, it's better than waiting in line at the town hall and trying to be there during your working hours and only paying through something like a money order or something that you don't  have available to you. That's all. What is the customer experience of paying a parking ticket? So when we think about that formula of perception minus expectation divided by emotion. You can start really thinking about OK, what is it we're trying to do? What are they bringing to the equation and how do we define this throughout our organization? So those two tools that I mentioned can be very, very helpful. The 1st is the customer Experience Mission statement. The 2nd is the customer experience success statement. And, then if you have that cross. functional team, use a CX charter. Now this is where you say, OK, who's doing what when? Who's responsible for this part of the customer experience and what are we promising to one another? So you want to get into details like how often do we meet, who owes what to whom, all of those things. Because otherwise it becomes talk. And as you know, this podcast is called Experience Action because I believe we need to be committed to taking actions every single day on behalf of our customers. And on behalf of our customer experience for our organization. So if you're ready, I would say back up and define your own customer experience based on those ideas. All of you are very capable of this. We have so many resources on our site at experienceinvestigators.com. Go to our Learning Center, search whatever you want. It's all available there for you because I believe you can do this. And one of the most important roles for any CX leader is to really define what is customer experience here at this organization and how are we using that definition to better manage and proactively design the customer experience for our customers in order to get those results that we want, because we're all in business, we need to justify this. We need to make sure that we are seeing those outcomes that are leaders desperately want to see. Take this one on. For the year. Make sure that you are defining this in a way that makes sense, in a way that's meaningful, and in a way that's inspirational and something that you can really share with every single leader throughout your organization so that everybody understands their role. 

It's no small feat, but I believe in you. And I know you can do this. So thank you so much for this question. This was another great question. Please feel free to leave me that voicemail at speakpipe.com/ExperienceAction. We want your questions about customer experience, employee experience. Or if you're a leader and you're struggling with how to implement these things, go ahead and ask those questions. We are here for you. I'm Jeannie Walters. Thank you so much for joining us this week and I look forward to seeing you next week. To learn more about our strategic approach to experience, check out free resources at experienceinvestigators.com where you can sign up for our newsletter, our year of CX program and more, and please follow me Jeannie Walters on LinkedIn.