Channel Agnostic Customer Experiences
Today, many organizations are striving to change their products to be less channel-specific. This post describes three commonly overlooked elements when working with customer journeys so that product managers and designers can improve their product discovery process.
1. Digital did not delete the physical world
Essential customer tasks, such as Browse or Order, often include interaction in both the physical world and the digital world. We tend to use linear visualizations to show these in an end-to-end customer journey map, but they are often anything but linear. Journeys span across channels and environments as customers attempt to complete their tasks. For example, we’ve drawn an experience for a customer who is trying to buy groceries for the week; a simple-sounding journey, that is far more complicated in reality.
It is more important than ever for product managers and designers to understand how digital and physical experiences coexist, and how the different channels affect each task. A non-linear journey map with multiple entries and exit points can help avoid missed opportunities and focus on how the customer interacts with your company.
2. The customer is talking to you, not a device
A single or limited channel approach can increase friction with customers, especially when their preferred interactions are not available. Historically, products would be built with one channel (example: mobile app), and customers adapted their needs to use that channel. Today, customers expect products to adapt to the channels they want to use without friction.
Let’s look at how this applies to our grocery shopping scenario. The preferred channel for coupon redemption is in the mobile app, which is not available for the customer. This friction caused a trigger for other low-quality moments and drives unplanned services to take place.
To provide engaging and satisfying experiences, there must be continuity for the tasks customers perform in the channels they prefer.
3. Teams, meet your customer needs
Team structures should align with the core tasks customers complete. This will improve how smoothly a customer navigates the experience with your company. To improve accountability for customer needs across your teams and foster better collaboration, we’ve outlined the pyramid below to help structure your teams around customer needs.
Starting with customer Tasks/Moments focuses on the most important actions customers take and the channels they prefer to use. Starting here will eliminate wasteful and frustrating experiences. Structuring Teams & Services against each Task/Moment will drive ownership and accountability within the team(s) dedicated to customer needs. Lastly, Outcomes define the results your customer experience will deliver, both for the business and the customer.
Wrapping It Up
Anyone can improve their company’s customer experience. Streamlining physical & digital interactions, speaking to your customers in their preferred channels, and aligning your teams from Tasks/Moments to Outcomes can be the difference between building good and great products. Business results of this approach can include higher customer retention, improved sales, and stronger customer satisfaction.
We hope that this post can help inspire you and your teams. If you are interested in learning more or looking for help with some of this, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit us at Involve Design. At Involve, we are always happy to help companies become a more focused, human-centered team.