It’s that time again when many people embark on the annual tradition of spring cleaning. Whether it’s dusting off an old shelf, clearing out a crowded closet, or finally sweeping out the garage, spring cleaning can bring a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction – not to mention a nice charitable donation for your taxes.
While you’re thinking about spring cleaning at home, why not consider spring cleaning at work, too? No, we don’t mean clearing out all the old coffee cups on your desk; we’re talking about a spring cleaning of your customer experience.
Inventory Everything During Spring Cleaning
Whether you have a Chief Experience Officer and official customer experience team or not, it’s important to periodically look at the entire customer journey from start to finish – from onboarding to offboarding and everything in between.
When we take the time to focus each specific element of the customer experience, we can identify two different outcomes:
- The experience is working. Fantastic! Now see if you can uplevel it from ordinary to Extraordinary, because customers don’t share ordinary experiences.
- The experience is not working. Uh oh! Eliminating pain points and reducing customer effort will lead to higher satisfaction and loyalty.
Your CX Spring Cleaning Project
So where are some places to focus for your CX spring cleaning project? Here are some ideas that are borrowed from our free CX Challenge:
- Look at all of your communication channels and review every communication piece. Every time we communicate with a customer, it’s an opportunity to create an experience where one doesn’t already exist. It can also be an opportunity to show off some Witty Examples include physical letters, automated emails, SMS messages, social media posts, customer service agent scripts, signage, and more.
- Reduce the steps needed to complete a task. Very rarely do companies count the number of clicks or taps that are required to perform a certain action on their website or mobile app, but they should. Try reducing three steps to two, two steps to one, or as my team did at Discover Card, make it zero steps. Fewer steps make it easier on the customer, which is especially important when they are trying to complete a task that isn’t exactly fun to begin with.
- Eliminate pain points. Ask for customer feedback and don’t be afraid of complaints. Customers complain because they care; they actually want you to fix the problem so they can continue doing business with you. But “death by a thousand paper cuts” is a real phenomenon in customer experience; eventually customers get tired of the little irritations and move on to the competition in search of a better experience.
What else? We’ve got our brooms and mops out already, so we might as well use them. Here are some other CX spring cleaning ideas:
- Look at customer transitions – when customers move from one department to another, or from one place in the journey to the next. These transitions or handoffs are often fertile ground for mistakes or CX failures because siloed departments don’t communicate with each other. Pro tip: Wherever you’re looking within the customer journey, figure out where the customer was before arriving at that point, and where they would typically be going next. Then you can smooth out that transition.
- Figure out what experiences within your customer journey that you’d like customers to be sharing with others. After all, word-of-mouth marketing is the most valuable kind of marketing there is, because other people are saying nice things about us instead of us having to say them ourselves. When you identify the point at which you would like more sharing, create something that is actually worth sharing. Think of when you last pulled out your phone to capture a moment without anyone telling you to – that’s the feeling what we’re trying to create here.
- Identify experiences that are the way they are either because “we’ve always done it that way” or because “everyone else is doing it that way.” Both of those scenarios are key indicators that your company needs to be more creative and innovative in developing customer experiences.
While of course we want to be thinking about customer experience all year long, the feelings of renewal and optimism that come with springtime make it an ideal time to dig in to find new opportunities. Happy spring cleaning!