It’s back to work for most people now at the start of a New Year, so I just thought it might be helpful to suggest a few practical resolutions that may help make a real difference to you and your brand.
1. Talk to, listen and watch your customers interact with your brand
Please don’t just passively listen to research feedback, join in some research groups, queue with your customers waiting to experience your brand and chat to them, listen to phone calls into the customer service team and even just spend some time watching how customers interact with your brand on and off-line.
2. Get up out of your chair and walk through your customer experience
Get to observe, at first-hand, what is actually happening at each interaction your brand is having with its customers. Record what you see and hear, it will come in very handy later. Dare yourself to ask some customers to give you their thoughts on film, very powerful stuff for others to see the issues and opportunities you see.
3. Spend some time listening to the people who deliver that journey day in day out
As you are walking through the customer experience, talk to the people delivering it, they will have first-hand stories of how the customers are acting and reacting to everything your brand does. They always know what the issues are, well before any research group or internal project. Respect their feedback and act on it.
4. Include some more people from across the business into brand discussions
Take people from across the business with you on a walk through and help them see the impact of their decisions and actions on the brand’s relationship with its customers. You will be amazed at the positive results this will achieve.
5. Put some brand vision into your change programmes
Stop internalizing your change projects, put the brand and its customer right into the heart of them and you may well find that you can save money and increase customer satisfaction!
6. Get the team to bring the customer journey to life for the whole business
Once you have done all of this, have some fun. Get the whole team to use all the film, photos, voice recordings of customers and colleagues to bring the customer journey to life. Build a unique and dynamic illustrated narrative that shows not just the experience but what it currently feels and looks like and what it needs be when driven by the brand vision.
Here’s to a totally Aligned 2014.