By Brad Harbison
As a company that has transformed itself from being strictly a provider of Global Positioning System (GPS) technology to one that is a solutions provider, GPS Insight understands the importance of delivering the total customer experience. Thus, it was fitting that “enhancing the customer experience” was the theme of a recent GPS Insight Virtual User Conference.
Throughout the three-hour event, members of the GPS Insight team discussed how users can get the greatest return on investment (ROI) from using GPS Insight.
Jason Walker, vice president of sales, GPS Insight, kicked off the event by reviewing how customers can maximize the value of their partnership by utilizing all of the GPS Insight tools at their disposal.
Walker said GPS Insight wants all of its clients to become “3rd level” customers, meaning they not only “know the assets,” but are “fully engaged” and “take advantage of collected data” in order to improve operational efficiencies. Walker then turned things over to keynote speaker Steve Koch, managing director of Cast & Hue, a consulting firm that helps companies improve their customer experience.
Koch said that while messaging is important “if you can’t deliver on the experience, your organization may not reach the goals it hopes for because 75 percent of the perception of your organization is based on the experience they have. I like this quote ‘We don’t define our brand’ and we have to remember that. Our customers define our brand based on their experience touchpoint by touchpoint.”
Koch identified two areas companies can examine to find gaps in customer experience: (1) competition; and (2) delivering the emotional experience.
In terms of competition, Koch said it is important for company leaders to recognize they are not just competing against other companies in their category, but “You are competing with every organization your customer experiences every day.”
For example, a company that has raised the customer experience bar is Domino’s Pizza, Koch said. In 2009, Domino’s was a struggling pizza chain whose stock was at an all-time low. That year, Domino’s instituted a number of changes, most significantly the introduction of the Pizza Tracker, which allows users to track (on a cell phone, computer or iPad) a pizza order from when it was placed, to when it was put in the oven, to delivery. “It impacts expectations of your customers,” Koch said. “They say, ‘Hey, if Domino’s can show me when my pizza is arriving, why can’t the cable guy show me when he’s arriving?’”
Koch said companies often make a mistake of focusing their customer experience on rational elements (processes, efficiency, ease of use) — and not enough on emotional elements. “The reality is the emotional mind makes almost all of our decisions. The emotional mind works much faster than the rational mind — about 1,000 times faster than the rational mind.” Koch said emotionally engaged customers are three times more likely to recommend and repurchase. Koch then provided three steps for providing a better customer experience:
Measure and Understand Your Current Holistic and Emotional Experience. Don’t rely solely on customer satisfaction surveys and comments; instead talk directly to customers. Koch recommends developing journey maps. This involves bringing together customers (similar to a focus group) and finding out from them “what went right and what went wrong.” The goal is to identify and correct gaps in the customer experience.
Create Better Experiences Across All Touchpoints. Once you and your team identify key touchpoints, test out various strategies for addressing them. Again, Koch suggests customer interaction. “Ask them questions like, ‘What would you think if we did this when we arrived?’ and ‘What would you think if we made these changes to our website?’ There are a lot of different ways you can test ideas and they don’t have to be high tech.’”
Benchmark, Measure and Continuously Improve. Koch said this exercise doesn’t have to be overly complicated. He recommended using the NPS Net Promoter Score, a management tool that can be used to gauge the loyalty of a firm’s customer relationships. The score is based on how customers responded to the following questions: How likely are you to recommend our product or service to a friend or family member? Why? “It’s a great question because hopefully none us are going to recommend a poor service or product to our friends and family members. It should measure some realistic feelings that our customers have for us.”
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