So we have analysed the customer's journey, looking not only at the different steps our customer goes through, but also how he feels along the way. We've also checked the different touch points the customer interacts with and identified gaps or points for improvement. Useful techniques that help us better serve the customer. But one question is left untouched: does the customer care?
Let me rephrase that question: when the whole journey offers me an enjoyable experience, when all touch points perfectly fulfil their role, will I be a satisfied customer? Will I be a customer that returns or even becomes an ambassador? Maybe, maybe not.
As I already touched upon previously, ultimately, the customer wants his needs fulfilled. He may not ask directly for his needs (as a matter of fact, he usually doesn’t ask for his actual needs), but in the end, needs are what matters. At all levels in the journey and touch points.
The best experience in the world will not create loyalty or ambassadorship if the customer’s need is left untouched. - Tweet this
Going back to the travel example, my need is a great travel experience. That’s quite a high level need, spanning months of dreaming, planning, travelling and enjoying memories. We could even take this one step further: I want to enjoy family life and recharge my batteries.
When we dive into the journey, more detailed needs pop-up. We have four young kids, and we love them. But after a full day of playing with them, we sometimes need (there you have it!) a bit of time to ourselves so the two of us can enjoy dessert and coffee after the evening dinner with four chatterboxes. When it’s raining three days in a row, we look for an alternative activity for the planned hikes and visits to outdoor parks, because we need to keep the whole family happy and entertained. And so on.
Several techniques exist to discover needs at all levels, like the value proposition canvas and the job-to-be-done. Customer journeys and touch points will also provide you with many insights. They’re all useful techniques, but the challenge is to really step into the customer’s shoes. Be your own customer. Take an outside-in view on what your company has to offer. Are you really responding to an underlying need, or only answering the customer’s direct question without looking at its broader context?
Outside-in is about making the shift from providing solutions to answering needs. - Tweet this
It’s true that, in order to deliver a good customer experience, you can’t stop at simply fulfilling a customer’s needs. You also must make the experience easy and enjoyable. No arguing with that. But the best experience in the world will not create loyalty or ambassadorship if the customer’s need is left untouched. On the other hand, it doesn’t get much better than being able to fulfil latent customer needs.
So how well do you know your customer’s real needs?