I came across a Twitter post recently from one of my most trusted customer experience management resources, Bruce Temkin, which I found to be especially impactful. Bruce was relaying a comment made by Scott Hudgins, VP of Global Customer Managed Relationships at Disney about moments in a customer journey.
“No one owns the guest but someone always owns the moment.”
Scott couldn’t be more correct and the idea of owning the moment is critical to the success of any retailer. Now more than ever, retailers need to understand which moments within their customers’ journeys are those that can create the most delight and opportunity for competitive differentiation. If a retailer is able to correctly identify, own and act upon those moments then chances are good that a great customer experience will be the result. I think we all have had the pleasure of a great shopping experience where everything seems to magically come together and it sticks with us as a benchmark that we compare all others to. Did that experience happen by chance? Of course not and most likely it was the result of a well thought out CEM strategy that began with looking at the multiple points of interaction between consumers and the retailer, or put in a different way the customer journey.
In order to identify the most actionable moments in a shopping experience it’s critical for a retailer to engage in this exercise. It is a process that allows retailers to walk in their customer’s shoes and understand the way points along the journey that may be encountered. In addition to location visits, the journey mapping process should include more in-depth research such as sitting down with groups of front line stakeholders, including store/restaurant/branch owners, managers, and front line staff, to facilitate an understanding of the various “moments of truth” that are encountered by customers in their journey through a transaction with the brand. To do this, it’s important to follow the chronology of a customer experience:
- What is observed through the customers’ eyes (and nose, touch and ears)?
- What emotive senses become involved at each functional stage of the visit, be they pleasure, expectation or impatience?
From the very beginning of the exercise, starting from the outside looking in (the view from a parking lot, the street, or mall) all the way through to what is experienced as a customer leaves, you can deepen your understanding of the important moments in the environment that build (or detract) from a great customer experience. The facility’s visual layout, the product and its positioning, the communication boards (be they aisle signs in grocery and shops, posters in a branch, or menu boards in a restaurant) and the experience touch points with people – all these are examined as potential key moments to own for imposing brand standards and consistency in operations to ensure every visit is a perfect one.
As a retailer, make sure owning the moment is part of your CEM strategy and start with journey mapping. If done correctly you’ll determine the magic moments that need to be built, managed and monitored to ensure a differentiated and compelling shopping experience.