Mind the Gap in Your Business – Customer Journey Special
My inspiration for this week’s article originated from BBC Two’s latest series – World’s Busiest Cities – which is fascinating in terms of Scale, as you can imagine.
Dan Snow and his team go behind the scenes to reveal the hidden systems and armies of people running some of the greatest cities on earth. This time, they were in Delhi, capital of India, with a population of 26 million and rising.
They discover how this growing city feeds itself, visiting Asia’s largest fruit and veg market, a round-the-clock operation spanning an area the size of 80 football pitches turning over a billion pounds a year.
They explore how Delhi has grown from its origins at the heart of the great Mughal Empire to the capital of the world’s largest democracy.
They brave the city’s back streets to get a taste of life as a porter in one of India’s oldest markets. It is hectic, it is noisy and it is hot. How on earth does this city of 26 million people live, thrive and survive?
All impressive examples of Scale and many lessons on systems and processes we can all take and analyse in our own businesses.
But the discovery I was most intrigued with was the Metro system…
Dan Snow visited India’s Delhi Metro which is now the world’s 12th largest metro system. Planning started was back in 1984 but it took nearly 20 years to open Phase 1.
To give you Scale of this project:
- 8 million passengers use the Delhi Metro every day (August 2016 saw a new record of 3.3 million).
- By 2016, DMRC carried around 700 million people. That is more than the double of the population of the US.
- A train arrives every 2 minutes 11 secs.
- On an average, trains make 2,880 trips per day.
- The 200 trains cover a total distance of 69,000km every single day – to put this into perspective, the earth’s total circumference is 40,075km!
- The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation was certified by the United Nations in 2011 as the first metro rail and rail-based system in the world to get “carbon credits for reducing greenhouse gas emissions” and helping in reducing pollution levels in the city by 630,000 tonnes every year.
- The deepest point of the Delhi Metro lies 45 meters down – below the Rajiv Chowk station. It is the airport express, which carries 500,000 passengers per day.
All very impressive, right?
But do you know the BIGGEST challenge in this project?
When Phase 1 opened in 2002, it was kitted out with Escalators, as you would expect traveling 30+ metres underground.
But there had never been any Escalators in the entire city of Delhi before (apart from the International Airport).
Getting people ON and OFF the Escalators was a HUGE challenge which required a lot of assistance, education, patience, and discipline. They’ve even developed a unique ‘sari guard’ feature that side tracks loose clothing like saris of ladies from getting trapped in the escalator.
This simple, yet huge Psychological Barrier, was overlooked at every stage. It’s not really surprising based on the scale and complexity of the project. But seems obvious now, right?
So, what about YOUR Customer Experience and Journey?
Are there any ‘Psychological Barriers’ or other ‘Obvious’ Gaps that you may have overlooked or simply missed?
You’ll be surprised….
Every time a customer contacts your organisation or your representatives, there is an opportunity for a customer “moment of truth”.?These “moments of truth” are opportunities for you to make a good or bad impression on your prospect or customer…and these are key moments in your customer journey.
Some of you will have sat in one of my CX (Customer Experience) Workshops – a hands-on approach to identifying the ‘Four I’s’ in your business:
- Insights – do you have a clear understanding of the needs of your customers (and prospects)?
- Impact – do you have a clear focus on the resulting business value?
- Issues/Opportunities – do you know what’s getting in the way, or could be improved, in order to meet these needs of your customers?
- Innovate – have you, or can you, design solutions that deliver both customer and organisational value?
I am surprised and shocked at so many businesses that I come across that haven’t truly mapped out their Customer Journey.
A Customer Journey Map visually illustrates your customers’ processes, needs, and perceptions throughout their interaction and relationship with you. By undertaking this process, you will be able to:
- Understand and diagnose experiences as a team.
- Design or redesign experiences – these can be existing experiences or new ones.
- Implement across your business as blue prints.
- Communicate and train your teams.
When I run a Customer Journey Workshop, the feedback I always get is one, or a combination, of:
I’ve never considered my customer as playing a defined role in my business
I had no idea of all the things my customer comes into direct contact with along the journey
I’ve never fully considered the emotional feelings of my customers; only them buying for a ‘moment’
I didn’t realise the third party we use for X, directly influences the experience of my customer so much
We’ve wasted so much time on supporting people and things that my customer doesn’t even interact with along the journey
I had no idea that introducing a reduced refund rate would have so much of positive impact on the experience of my customers – and on my bottom line!
Our brand is all about ‘meaningful experiences’ but in reality, we’re only operating at a useful and functional level.
What a fun team work exercise
You may not be building an entire underground system, but these principles are just as important to your success whatever the size, type or age of your business – attitudes drive behaviours, and experiences influence attitudes.
And the best way to get started is to think about one of your actual customers and map it out with them in person – so you get what the customer is really thinking during each moment and in their OWN words.
So, this week I challenge you to get that customer session booked in with that star client and make sure you’ve got plenty of white boards and Post-It Notes to the ready to start filling the gaps in your customer journey.