Customer Experience Research
Many organisations now recognise the importance of experience within a value proposition, but often are not sure how to accurately identify what's important to customers....and why. This challenge has been the focus of our work at Customer Faithful since we started in 2009. Our Lifelines™ methodology uses a range of techniques, balancing in-depth qualitative interviews to get at the reasons for ‘how’ and ‘why’ customers value certain things, alongside larger sample surveys to identify variations between segments and groups.
Our own research experience has taught us that 'context is everything'. The only way to make every clue and insight count towards building the bigger picture is to be able to place its meaning in context to the life of the customer. To achieve this, we've harnessed leading-edge technology tools and methods from fields as broad as linguistics, healthcare and criminal justice to business operations, human resources, and marketing.
The result is a forensic approach to experience research - creating an evidence base to back up our findings that is as compelling in a business case or a boardroom as it is in a peer-reviewed research journal.
By working back from the 'end-frame' accounts of how customers, patients, passengers, users experience a product or service in their everyday lives, we can design back towards how processes can be improved, products reengineered and even new products developed.
Most of all, our clients can have confidence that the intelligence and insight they make decisions against is truly customer-centric, or as we like to call it, "customer faithful".
Customer Journey Mapping. Reinvented.
We're often hired by clients to create journey maps from the CX insight captured through Lifelines™. To do this, we recommend adding in a number of other 'layers' of insight, because understanding a customer experience and successfully delivering it are simply not the same thing.
Here's how we do it, and what you can expect from us
Once customer experience feedback and evidence is collated, we advise adding in the internal view (sometimes called the 'as-is'). Don't be tempted to start with this though, as it can fix your thinking in the current way of doing things and make change harder.
Getting insight and feedback from employees is vital, in order to give you everyday examples of what actually happens (as opposed to what should), and clues into what stops the planned experience from taking place.
Then there is internal comms. We use this term broadly to also include how employees are trained to deliver the customer experience, as well as incentives, measurement and priorities. This layer reflects how the brand and the business speaks about CX, and will give you a clear picture of how consistent your culture is around being customer focussed.
From these layers, you will arrive at key moments of truth - areas that make a stand-out difference to customers. These moments need special attention, and typically involve a mini-journey of their own. Once they are defined and understood, it's time to add in and update company processes for delivering the experience, using the other layers as guides. It's quite usual to go back to earlier insight work at this point and dig deeper, perhaps adding a little more research to reaffirm your understanding.
Finally, you're ready to prioritise which process to start implementing - this can vary according to external factors, such as competition, legal frameworks and so on (e.g. if you're breaking a code of conduct, you'll hopefully choose to start there even if other improvements will improve the bottom line more). Some businesses create roadmaps and champions for each area. This is more about the style of your brand and its communication. But one way or the other, clarity about who's responsible for each element is key to success and getting traction.
We love to help any business that is committed to improving their customer experience, no matter what stage they're at - perhaps for some straightforward advice, right through to customer research projects and employee engagement training.
Feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org