First things first. Take the time to understand your customer needs and your customer experience through their own eyes.
Whether it’s through conscious design, or adhoc interactions, your business presents a journey to its customers. Every stage of this journey is an opportunity to engage your customers, meet their needs and solve their problems. Depending on where they are in this journey they will need very different experiences, information, services, products etc.
We depict the stages of this journey as outlined below: Design, Discovery, Deliberation, Decision, Delivery and Devotion. We have built a business methodology around these stages called the 6D Customer Experience Model™. It can ultimately help describe and manage any customer journey and business that chooses to put their customer at the heart of their business.
We started using the 6D Customer Experience Model™ in 2013 and have been evolving it ever since. What started as a journey design tool has become a planning, prioritisation and management tool when embraced fully. It helps businesses to see their business through the eyes of their customers — then helps them to map their touchpoints, data and business workload accordingly.
The 6D Customer Experience Model
Next, measure your customer journey. This will determine where to apply your efforts, and how much effort to apply.
The 6D Customer Experience Model™ helps describe your entire business, as seen through the eyes of your customer. As such it can be a bit daunting to know where best to apply it due to its sheer size. But you don’t need to boil the ocean. At any given time there is only one stage of your customer journey constraining your business. Correctly applied, the model can help you identify this constraint and point your efforts in the right direction.
In the example below a 10% conversion from lead to sale is considered poor — while a 30% conversion from addressable market to visit is considered outstanding. If we invested further into DISCOVERY and DELIBERATION we’d simply create more leads that DECISION would struggle to complete — if they could address them at all. DECISION is the stage that is constrained and where we should focus and apply effort.
By focusing our efforts on the DECISION stage we can improve our sales process, increase conversion rates and (hence) increase the capacity in that stage of the Customer Journey. This will shift the constraint, most likely back to DESIGN (as we can see our DISCOVERY team can handle a larger addressable market). This example highlights a very basic approach to mapping your data back to your customer journey to help with prioritisation.
Applying Data to your Customer Journey
Finally, work with agile methods and agile partners to ensure your experience evolves at the right pace.
As the constraint/s in your business move, you will want to switch focus and efforts accordingly. This might happen as frequently as monthly – or even weekly in some cases.
The speed at which you can elevate constraints as they move through your business determines how quickly your business will grow. In our example above, if we shift the constraint every month (and create a 10% improvement each time), we create a 214% increase in sales in the space of one year.
This sounds great on the surface, but each shift in focus can put a strain on your business, and your partnerships, if you are not geared up to be so agile. Many, particularly larger, organisations get wrapped up in red-tape when it comes to any change in direction, no matter how necessary. Your business constraint becomes intertia – because you simply can’t change directions quickly enough to create further improvements in the customer journey.
To address this need for agility, we’ve created a range of agile methods (for businesses to deploy through consulting) and also created a mutli-disciplinary agency to meet the ever-shifting needs of an evolving organisation. This includes a broad range of digital products and services across the entire customer journey (as highlighted below). This is the reason a hybrid agency + consultancy model is so important – and hence why it was the logical evolution for our own business model.