Creating customer-centric user experiences is one of the most important dimensions of digital transformation. At the same time, we often think about of customer journeys - the paths and touchpoints through which sales prospects and buyers interact with our brand.
On episode 183 of CXOTALK, I spoke with author and analyst, Brian Solis, about precisely this set of issues. During the conversation, we talked about critical points necessary to gain a complete understanding of user experience.
Among these key points is the idea of empathy. Looking at customer journeys effectively requires the ability to develop empathy for the customer. In other words, looking at customer relationships through the lens of what the customer feels and perceives.
In the short segment below, Brian talks about customer journeys, the challenge of change, and the importance of user experience. The entire conversation was 45-minutes in length, which you can watch in its entirety, and read a complete transcript, at the CXOTALK site.
Here is an edited transcript of the short video embedded above:
What is the link between customer journeys and experience?
We tend to look at the customer journey through touch points and devices. But we're not looking at, [for example,] the relationship with your mobile phone and how has that changed decision-making? How has that made you a little bit more impatient? How has that changed the questions that you ask? How's that change where you go for information? How's that changed the way you want to see, or view, or experience information?
When you start looking at things that way, you realize that you can improve the customer journey through iteration, and you can also introduce a highly modernized and efficient journey through innovation.
What are the obstacles to transformation?
Improving the customer journey is important, but taking an empathetic approach and introducing opportunities for innovation to unlock new experiences requires a lot of work. This is one of the reasons why I study digital transformation as an analyst; how are companies changing from the inside, with operations, process, systems, you name it.
But the biggest challenge is perspective. How to get executives to see the market differently? Rather than just bring your checklist, the way you work, your operational standards, your metrics. How to think differently, in these moments, to do things differently. And, to design experiences that are meaningful to a different generation of customers, a different generation of employees. We can't assume that we understand what they want and then try to design what they want.
What about the process of change?
At the end of the day, we're talking about change management. But even change management takes out the EQ from the equation. How do we allow ourselves to be empathetic in a culture that doesn't necessarily allow for it?
I think there are some things that begin when you look at the hierarchy of priorities. You have to fix basics first. But the basics are all the things that you know are broke and that you just can't get to because of lack of budget, lack of resources. We can't design great experiences if we can't manage the experiences that are broken right now. At the end of the day, if we can't do that, then how are we supposed to innovate and move forward?
The conversations that you have when you try to fix what's broken -- you have to be a cheerleader; you have to be a lawyer, you have to be a politician.