As I mentioned in my last blog Stephen Covey heavily influenced my thinking and I have used his principles for years. One of Covey’s principles was 'start off with the end in mind'. This is at the heart of our thinking when we train people on how to redesign their experiences. For years we have preached that most Customer Experiences are not deliberate. You must design a deliberate Customer Experience to be successful. ‘Deliberate’ is just such a great word. It implies you must discuss the design of your experience, you must deliberate over it. It means you must consider different options and reject some. Deliberate comes from the word ‘liberate’. If you liberate something, it is free, it can go anywhere; when it is DEliberate it means it is purposeful, considered; thought through. A key output of a deliberate Customer Experience is that it is consistent! Consistency saves money!
To start off with the end in mind means you must define the experience you are trying to deliver. You must define the end point. Way back in 2002 we called this a ‘customer experience statement’. A clear articulation of what the customer would feel at the end of their experience with you.
As over 50% of a Customer Experience is about emotions, it is important to include how you want the customer to feel. This means you must define the emotions you want the customer to feel at the end of your experience.
Then you should design your experience to deliver against that. Therefore, you need to design your experience to evoke the emotions that you have decided you wish your customer to feel.
I am sure you are with me so far. But here is the challenge. Clearly, all this work needs to happen based upon sound customer research. The challenge is that often Customers don’t know what they want. For example, when Disney researched their guests on what they would like to eat at a Disney theme park, the reply came back that they would like to have an option of a salad. But Disney knows people don’t eat salads at theme parks they actually like to eat hot dogs and hamburgers! Therefore, defining what customers want is just one step and Customers should not always be believed! You also have to discover what drives value for the organization, $$$. You may wish to read about this aspect of the Customer Experience journey design in a recent blog The most common mistake of a Customer Experience change and how to overcome it.
Starting with the end in mind is a key principle that all organizations should be adopting when designing their experiences.
Colin is Founder & CEO of Beyond Philosophy LLC who help organizations grow by improving their Customer Experience and identifying hidden unmet needs. As a result, the Financial Times selected Beyond Philosophy LLC, as one of the best management consultancies for the last two years.