As consultants, companies bring us in all the time to help them find deficiencies/opportunities in their service. We call this a Customer Experience Audit. These audits are a full analysis of the total customer experience. We do site visits, focus groups and interviews with customers, employees, suppliers, and employees. Then we analyze customer comments and complaints from the company and across the web. This report has been known to exceed 50 pages for some larger companies and is rarely is less than 20. We put a lot of work into identifying areas of opportunity and deficiencies. We create action plans, suggestions, customer maps, emotional touch point tracking, etc.. As you can imagine these reports take many hours and a lot of thought to produce. So imagine my dismay when, almost without fail, we begin a meeting to present our findings and we hear some version of the same question.
“So what are the low hanging pieces of fruit we can capitalize on?”
There is always low hanging fruit. There are always easy fixes that will improve an organization's customer experience. The problem is the focus on quick fixes...on hacks. This fixation on the easy impedes organizations from making the change necessary to be great. Because of that I decided to write this.
I don’t want to give you the wrong idea. Almost every company on the planet has some fast, relatively easy and inexpensive changes they can make to greatly improve their customer experience. The cool thing about low hanging fruit is that you don’t need me or another consultant to get started finding quick wins. You can easily start doing for yourself. I will give a simple, step by step methodology you and your team can use to find the low hanging fruit.
I got this methodology from a friend of mine, Dave Young. He is one of the best advertising experts I know. He understands that ad success or failure depends on not only the quality of the ad but on the experience the company offers. (You can find Dave atshortcutcontent.com. He has a great service for those too busy to blog, but know they should.) Bringing more people in the door is gas on the fire. For companies with bad customer experience it can destroy them. On the other hand, if your company has a great experience it can be an amazing catalyst. To help his clients he developed what he calls the “5 Senses Customer Experience Audit”.
This is my twist on Dave’s methodology. Here is how it works: (you can do this alone but you can get much better results if done in a team.)
As you could probably tell by its name, this is a multi-sensory audit. In this audit you are going to evaluate your own company and at least 2 competitors. To do this you will take into account three different viewpoints. The first will be at 100 feet from your location. The next will be from 10 feet away. Finally, from inside your store/shop/office/restaurant/whatever.
At each viewpoint you will write down 2 things for each sense. Let me break it down (at the end of the article there is a downloadable form to help you do this. Each person should fill out their own form.)
Sight: What are you seeing? How does it make you feel? (Try to name the emotion.)
Smell: What are you smelling? How does it make you feel? (Try to name the emotion.)
Hearing: What do you hear? How does it make you feel? (Try to name the emotion.)
Taste: What do you taste (if applicable, don't lick sidewalks or anything)? How does it make you feel? (Try to name the emotion.)
Touch: What can you touch? How does it make you feel? (Try to name the emotion.)
Again, you will repeat this at each distance: 100 ft away, 10 feet away and in the facility. Once you have done this for your company, move on to your 2 closest competitors. Take the information gathered and honestly rank yourself. Try to find where and what you can improve to be number 1 foreachsense ateachviewpoint. If you can make changes to become number 1 in most categories, you will have an amazing head start. This will prepare you to take your customer experience to the next level.
Companies that do this don’t have to ask us for quick wins. They have already done the leg work. They are ready to make exponential improvements to their customer and employee experience.
This isn’t meant to be an end all, be all but it will do 2 things for any organization. First, it will improve you customer experience. There is no doubt in my mind that doing this exercise and then taking steps to make improvements where needed will make your experience better for your customers. Second, and maybe even more important, it will put the experience your company offers in the front of your team’s mind. The conversation and action will have begun. People will now know it is important for you as an organization. This will bring more and better improvements and you will be ready for the next step. We call this the Experience Action Bias. Once you start it is much easier to keep going.
If you company would like help doing this feel free to give me a call and I would be glad to walk you through it step by step. This isn’t me selling or offering our services. I will help get you started free of charge. If you find value in this process, and wish to, you can call me after to tell me how it went and see what other ways we can be involved in the next steps. Or call just to brag...you will deserve it. But for now, just get out there and do something to make your customers’ experience tomorrow better than today’s. That is payment enough for this simple process.