Product teams know that in order to deliver a great experience, they need to listen to customers and translate that feedback into the final product. So why is this a commonly missed step in product design?
Especially when it comes to embedding analytics, product managers need to think about tailoring these capabilities to customers from the very start. We talked to customer experience expert Annette Franz, founder and CEO of CX Journey, Inc. about developing a customer journey map, mistakes to avoid when collecting customer feedback, and the importance of aligning customer and product focus.
Are there common mistakes you see product teams make when collecting customer feedback?
Annette Franz: The three most common mistakes I see are all intertwined:
The first mistake is to not collect customer feedback or bring feedback into product design. Allowing the product to be designed by software engineers based on internal requirements without first understanding who the customer is, use cases, problems to solve, etc. happens more often than anyone cares to admit.
The second mistake I hear about is getting feedback after the design, i.e., finding a customer for the product rather than designing a product for the customer. I’ve had several conversations with folks working at startups who have developed a product and are now trying to find customers for their products.
And the third mistake is thinking that product focus is different from customer focus. I’ve shared many times about a question I heard on a webinar last year where the listener asked: “But if I focus on the customer, won’t that take away from my focus on the product?” I suppose this ties in a bit with #2. If the two don’t go hand in hand, if you don’t bring in the customer and her voice while your designing the product, then for whom are you designing.
What are some tips for creating a customer journey map?
- Map the journey from the customer’s viewpoint with the customer. The customer must be involved in the mapping process.
- There are many journey mapping frameworks, but they all include what the customer is doing, thinking, and feeling. If you’re not including these three things, then you’re not journey mapping.
- On that note, mapping just lifecycle stages or touchpoints is not journey mapping. Don’t get stuck in that trap and call in journey mapping. Mapping at that high level doesn’t help you understand the customer experience at all.
- Start mapping by identifying the persona for which you’re mapping, as well as a clearly defined scope for the map.
- Know that journey mapping is a tool and a process. The process entails more than just creating the map. You’ve also got to conduct root cause analyses and create the corresponding service blueprint, which identifies the people, tools, systems, policies, and processes internally that support the experience the customer is having. And then you’ve got to ideate and co-create the future state experience with the customer.
Why is CX design important when an application team is building a new dashboard/report for their product?
The customer experience is important to consider when designing or building any type of product, including a dashboard or report. You have to remember that the customer is the one buying and using the product. So, understand who the customer is and what problems she’s trying to solve or jobs she’s trying to do—and develop the product with that in mind.
When the customer and her experience aren’t considered when you’re building a product, resulting in the product not meeting her needs or doing what she thought it would do, that means she’s going to call customer service. Chris Zane said that “customer service is what happens when the experience breaks down.” This is so true. When you design for the customer, the business benefits in many ways, not the least of which is reduced call volume in the contact center.