Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Yup...there are 5 senses....

A crumpled welcome pack, an arrogant glance, high noise levels, incoherent responses, delayed replies, stale ambient air...if these are stray or consistent events littering your customer's journey, its time to quickly head back to the basics.

Truly successful service organizations have clearly mapped their customer journeys, attempted to standardize the rendered experience and create differentiators in key points of delivery.

Kingfisher Airlines, a leading Indian airline, addresses its passengers as "guests". At the end of a long 14 hour day as you await boarding the return flight home, those words can make you feel rather special. An honest smile further reinforces the experience and significantly enhances the latent value of those frequent flier points.

I've noticed that several CRM and loyalty programmes have clearly defined value propositions and crisp coherent written interactions with their customers. However the challenge arises in providing a 360 degree service delivery that is consistent with the brand promise and value proposition addressing the five senses.

As we strive to determine new product offerings and path breaking differentiators, it is imperative that we also identify and address critical opportunity areas in the customer journey. Get into a huddle with all customer facing stakeholders, experience the brand as your customer and realise the true value of your loyalty programme. Several organisations have customer experience owners and champions to address these aspects. You don't need one to find out that you've got stale air in your lounges, you need a ventillation system!

There is nothing more painful than to have a customer seeking to cross her points redemption threshold so that she may quickly pick up her free gift and bid adieu, as the quiet lounge area of a few years earlier has turned into a cacaphony that she simply cannot relate with. Even double bonus points in a charming gold envelope would not keep her back!

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