Tag Archives: customer journey

Top 10 Human-Centered Change & Innovation Articles of April 2023

Top 10 Human-Centered Change & Innovation Articles of April 2023Drum roll please…

At the beginning of each month, we will profile the ten articles from the previous month that generated the most traffic to Human-Centered Change & Innovation. Did your favorite make the cut?

But enough delay, here are April’s ten most popular innovation posts:

  1. Rethinking Customer Journeys — by Geoffrey A. Moore
  2. What Have We Learned About Digital Transformation Thus Far? — by Geoffrey A. Moore
  3. Design Thinking Facilitator Guide — by Douglas Ferguson
  4. Building A Positive Team Culture — by David Burkus
  5. Questions Are More Powerful Than We Think — by Greg Satell
  6. 3 Examples of Why Innovation is a Leadership Problem — by Robyn Bolton
  7. How Has Innovation Changed Since the Pandemic? — by Robyn Bolton
  8. 5 Questions to Answer Before Spending $1 on Innovation — by Robyn Bolton
  9. Customers Care About the Destination Not the Journey — by Shep Hyken
  10. Get Ready for the Age of Acceleration — by Robert B. Tucker

BONUS – Here are five more strong articles published in March that continue to resonate with people:

If you’re not familiar with Human-Centered Change & Innovation, we publish 4-7 new articles every week built around innovation and transformation insights from our roster of contributing authors and ad hoc submissions from community members. Get the articles right in your Facebook, Twitter or Linkedin feeds too!

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Human-Centered Change & Innovation is open to contributions from any and all innovation and transformation professionals out there (practitioners, professors, researchers, consultants, authors, etc.) who have valuable human-centered change and innovation insights to share with everyone for the greater good. If you’d like to contribute, please contact me.

P.S. Here are our Top 40 Innovation Bloggers lists from the last three years:

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Customers Care About the Destination Not the Journey

Customers Care About the Destination Not the Journey

GUEST POST from Shep Hyken

On a recent flight, the captain of the airplane announced over the PA system what time we would arrive at our destination. That would have been enough to make most people happy. However, he continued his announcement with a three-minute-plus speech. We learned that we would take off to the west, make a U-turn a few minutes later to head east, how high we would go, the various cities we would be flying over, that we would take a right turn as we approached the runway to land, and more. I looked around and noticed many people were annoyed or had stopped paying attention to the long-winded announcement.

The point is most customers don’t care as much about the details of the journey as they care about the destination.

Here’s another example, which has nothing to do with a journey but does have to do with an overload of details that can hurt a sale or erode the customer experience. Some people love a fancy, expensive sports car, while others just want reliable transportation. Even though these customers essentially want the same thing – a car to get them from one place to another – they are very different customers.

Shep Hyken Lobster Cartoon

A few years ago, my wife and I were looking for a new car. We narrowed it down to the make and model – even the color – we thought we wanted. We walked into the dealership and were approached by a salesperson who was very friendly and engaging. Then, we told him what we were looking for. So, he took us over to the exact car we wanted. He was very excited. He started to share details about the size of the engine, how many cylinders, how quickly the car could accelerate from zero to 60, the RPMs, and other details that mattered nothing to us.

Had he asked why we were interested in this model car, he would have realized we had no real interest in such details. Our version of the destination was that we wanted a nice-looking car (and it was) that was comfortable, safe, and easy to drive. Maybe we wanted to know a few other details about the car, but nothing to the extent he was sharing. Had he paid attention, he would have noticed he had us when he said, “I have the exact car you’re looking for.”

My point is that most customers don’t care about the details behind the experience or product they are buying. It’s up to us to recognize this and respond accordingly. All they want to know is what awaits them at their metaphorical destination.

Image Credit: Shep Hyken, Pixabay

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Rethinking Customer Journeys

Rethinking Customer Journeys

GUEST POST from Geoffrey A. Moore

Customer journeys are a mainstay of modern marketing programs. Unfortunately, for most companies, they are pointed in the wrong direction!

Most customer journey diagrams I see map the customer’s journey through the vendor’s marketing and sales process. That’s not a customer journey. That is a vendor journey. Customers could not care less about it.

What customers do care about is any journey that leads to value realization in their enterprise. That means true customer journey mapping must work backward from the customer’s value goals and objectives, not forward from the vendor’s sales goals and objectives.

But to do that, the customer-facing team in the vendor organization has to have good intelligence about what value realization the customer is seeking. That means that sales teams must diagnose before they prescribe. They must interrogate before they present. They must listen before they demo.

That is not what the typical sales enablement program teaches. Instead, it instructs salespeople on how to give the standard presentation, how to highlight the product’s competitive advantages, how to counter the competition’s claims—anything and everything except the only thing that really matters—how do you get good customer intelligence from whatever level of management you are able to converse with?

The SaaS business model with its emphasis on subscription and consumption creates a natural occasion for reforming these practices. Net Revenue Retention is the name of the game. Adoption, extension, and expansion of product usage are core to the customer’s Health Score. This only happens when value is truly being realized.

All this is casting the post-sales customer-facing functions of Customer Success and Customer Support in a new light. These relationships are signaling outposts for current customer status. Vendors still need to connect with the top management, for they are the ones who set the value realization goals and provide the budgets to fund the vendor’s offerings, but for day-to-day reality checks on whether the value is actually getting realized, nothing beats feet on the ground.

So, note to vendors. You can still use your vendor-centric customer journey maps to manage your marketing and sales productivity. Just realize these maps are about you, not the customer. You cannot simply assign the customer a mindset that serves your interests. You have to genuinely engage with them to get to actionable truth.

That’s what I think. What do you think?

Image Credit: Pexels

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Avoiding An Unamazing Customer Experience

Avoiding An Unamazing Customer Experience

GUEST POST from Shep Hyken

NICE isn’t just the right way to treat people. It’s the name of a software company that specializes in helping businesses improve their customer and agent experience. NICE has analyzed billions of customer interactions to better understand customer behavior. They know what customers like and dislike. They know what frustrates customer support agents and what gets them excited about helping their customers. But often, it’s not an agent experience that gets customers to come back.

A recent study from NICE found that 81% of consumers today start with a digital channel when they have a question, a need or want to buy something. They don’t call the company. They go to a website, YouTube, Google search, etc. They want and expect the companies and brands they do business with to have answers readily available. What they don’t want is to call a company, be placed on hold for what seems like an unreasonable period of time, talk to a rep who transfers them to another rep, etc., etc.

I recently interviewed Laura Bassett, Vice President of Product Marketing at NICE, and had a fascinating conversation about how customers’ expectations are changing. She said many experiences are unamazing. They simply disappoint, which doesn’t give a customer the incentive to come back for more. Bassett said NICE’s mission is to rid the world of unamazing customer experiences. Here are some of the nuggets of wisdom Bassett shared on how to do exactly that.

1. Customer experience is the entire journey.

Many people make the mistake of thinking that customer experience is customer support. It’s much more than that. While customer support is part of the experience, it really starts when a customer initiates a Google search, finds your company and interacts with your website. The service begins with how easy it is to do business with you regardless of where they are in the customer journey.

2. Customer experience involves every person in the business.

Just as customer experience includes the customer’s entire journey—not just when they reach out for customer support—it also involves every employee. If you aren’t dealing directly with a customer, you support someone who is or is part of the process that will impact the experience. Even people behind the scenes, who never interact with the customer, have impact on the experience. Everyone must understand their role and contribution to the customer experience.

3. Proactive communication is essential to the customer experience.

Companies know many of the questions that customers ask. So, why not be proactive about giving customers information before they have to make the effort to get answers? Bassett said, “Companies should understand and predict when they can answer a question before customers even realize they have it.”

4. Walk in your customer’s shoes.

This is an old expression, yet its meaning is timeless. You must understand what the customer is going through at every step of the journey. Then compare it to the experience you would want. When designing an experience that makes customers want to come back, think about what would make you come back. Is the experience your customers receive different than what you want?

5. Agents are consumers too.

Their expectations have accelerated. They compare what they should be able to deliver to what they experience with other businesses. When they have an amazing experience with another company, they want to repeat that experience for their own customers. They must be equipped with the tools to deliver what they consider to be an amazing experience.

6. Make your customer support agents knowledgeable.

This is a great follow-up to No. 5. Help them understand that they don’t have to follow a script when it is unnecessary. They don’t want to feel held back. They don’t want to feel over-managed or under-enabled. After you hire good people and train them well, you should empower them to do their job. Bassett said, “Turn agents into customer service executives who can really own that experience.”

7. Amazing customer service doesn’t need to have fireworks.

Seamless and simple wins every time. This is the perfect concept to close out this article. Nothing shared in this article is rocket science. It’s common sense. It’s what every customer wants. To be amazing, you don’t have to go over the top and WOW the customer with the most incredible service they have ever experienced. Delivering the simple and seamless actually creates the WOW factor so many businesses believe is unattainable. Just be easy. Eliminate friction. Easy and seamless isn’t that hard—and for customers, it’s the opposite of unamazing!

This article originally appeared on Forbes

Image Credit: Shep Hyken

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