A Tool for Delivering Great Customer Experiences While Meeting Physical Distancing Requirements
Covid-19 and physical distancing requirements have altered your organization’s relationship with customers, employees, and other key stakeholders. This significant shock to our way of living and doing business has changed the perceptions, needs, expectations, and emotions of people that you and your organization interact with.
Touch-point Mapping introduces you to a practical and easy-to-use tool (the touch-point map) for responding to these changes while ensuring your team delivers great service and a positive customer experience. Touch-point mapping can be used with customers as well as employees, suppliers, partners, and other stakeholders important to the success of your for-profit or nonprofit enterprise.
This is an example of a Touch-point Map developed by a large public library in the eastern U.S. during the last “great recession.” Note the structure of this Touch-point Map and the responses developed by a team of library professionals aiming to help struggling businesses in their city and region.
Follow these three steps to design and document a Customer Touch-point Map:
- Step 1: Segment the journey of your customers into touch-points (also called “moments of truth”).
A touch-point is defined as “that point where a customer touches or comes into contact with any aspect of your organization, facility, services, programs, or people (directly or remotely).” The segmentation of your customer’s journey can be broad or narrow. Keep the number of segments to a manageable number (recommend 3-10).
- Step 2: Identify the current perceptions, needs, expectations, and emotions of your customer.
This is where you and your team identify the potential questions, concerns, issues, or emotions customers may have about your organization, facility, or team during this time of physical distancing. Yes, meeting requirements from public health officials and experts is critical for protecting everyone’s safety. But you can also use these requirements (and the imaginary “bubbles” over your customer’s heads) to transform negative into positive emotions and experiences.
Try accomplishing this task by stepping into the shoes of your customers (and employees). Use questions in the “Out of Body” Experience diagram to identify potential questions, concerns, or issues relevant to your organization.
Also keep in mind the motivations that may be driving your customers during this time of Covid-19 and physical distancing. Abraham Maslow created a theory of human needs almost eighty years ago that is just as relevant today. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs states that humans have a series of needs, some of which must be met before they can turn their attention toward others. Certain universal needs are very important, while more “acquired” emotions are of secondary importance. Where do you think the majority of your customers are these days in the hierarchy of needs? Do you think this is a factor that could be influencing their perceptions, expectations, and emotions?
- Step 3: Redesign the way your team and organization delivers service or interacts with customers at each major touch-point.
This is where you get an opportunity to think “outside-in” and consider the barriers, roadblocks, or burdens your customers are enduring in this new age of social and physical distancing. Your primary goal is to eliminate or reduce the negative impact of these “sacrifices.” As well, you also have the opportunity to transform the experience customers (and employees) have with your organization. As chef Emeril Lagasse is famous for saying, you can “kick it up a couple of notches”. Are there ways you could create a customer experience that is more engaging, satisfying, surprising, and can I say it … fun?!
Of course, you will need to factor in physical distancing requirements applicable to your community as you consider cost-efficient ways to improve the experience of customers.
To start the Customer Touch-point Mapping process, download a blank template of the Touch-point Map.
If you have any questions about the Customer Touch-point Mapping process, don’t hesitate to contact Mark Livingston. Mark will be glad to answer questions or work you and your team through the process. Alternatively, you can post a question on the 10X Impact Community Forum (you will need to register for this opt-in forum).
Go on to the next page for links to two sections of the WIIN Learning Platform which provide more information about improving customer relationships and the customer experience. In addition, there are images of three “families” you and your team will be interacting with during the touch-point mapping and customer experience improvement journey!