Customer Journey

Is Failure to Deliver Value, a Customer Journey Roadblock?

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Are you struggling to improve customer retention through better customer experiences? Frustrated that improvements to the customer journey requires huge effort and cost, and doesn’t seem to be working out? We take a look at the importance of team work across business and information technology for delivering excellent Customer Journeys. What are the likely organisational problems, impacts and solution?

The wheel rolled down the pit lane…

During a bungled pit stop at the Nurburgring in the 2013 German Grand Prix, Paul Allen, a British cameraman, was hit by Mark Webber’s right rear wheel. Webber came into the pits for a routine tyre change and was released before the wheel was secured. The wheel rolled down the pit lane, bounced off a wheel gun before hitting Allen.

The backdrop to Red Bulls bungled pit stop is that the Red Bull team typically achieve a sub 2 second pit-stop. In that context, this was a rare and rather spectacular deviation from the otherwise highest level of excellence. At that level of pushing the limits, there will be times when the wheels fall off. Wouldn’t we all aspire to that level of excellence in our businesses? What business results could you achieve by that level of team work? What difference would that make to your Customer Journeys?

Why is the Customer a big deal?

 Customer Journeys are the touch points that a customer experiences from the first impression through sales, delivery and post-sale support. Customers that have positive experiences as they work through their journey, are more likely to be loyal and refer others. Good Customer Journeys increase Customer Retention, Customer Lifetime Value, and reduce cost of customer acquisition through referrals. Therefore, a good Customer Journey enables the business to invest in increasing customer value and growth. The competition are also appealing to your customers, so standing still isn’t an option.

Why do problems occur in high-growth companies?

Failure to deliver improvements to your Customer Journey often happens as organisations get larger, faster and more complex. Well intended people fail to understand the business goals, the value proposition and constraints that frame decision making. Independent initiatives create activity and cost with little impact, with overlaps and deliverables that miss the mark. Improvements to Customer Journeys require huge effort and cost, often with significant waste and disconnects.

And the business response is…?

The typical business response is to introduce projects, using stages that enable different specialists to focus on stage deliverables. Projects drive staff to deadlines, increasing the pressure to deliver on time, and creating a culture of self-preservation. Staff will deliver against the deadline, jumping through whatever quality gates get the task completed. Unfortunately, this doesn’t foster team work, communication breaks down, the value-add reduces, and problems build up and usually don’t get spotted until close to, or in production.

Surely that’s not a big problem, is it?

At best these kinds of problems are patched up, improvements to the Customer Journey lacks sparkle, and don’t add much value. In some cases, the Customer Journey gets worse, with unreliable, unintuitive and quirky behaviour that becomes a customer turn-off. Competition offering better Customer Journeys (such as FinTech and InsurTech) may result in customer being lured away. Reduced customer retention and customer lifetime value reduce income.  As income reduces from lost customers, there is a higher acquisition cost to maintain income. Acquisition becomes more expensive to buy customers instead of attracting them through a better Customer Journey, which impacts margins. Higher costs, reduced income and eroding margins impacts share price.

The simple solution?

 The solution, quite simply, is about everyone understanding the value being delivered by the activity and working together as a team to solve the Customer Journey problem. In practice this requires a concerted effort to understand what would add value to a Customer Journey and identifying the specific activities that deliver the best return on investment. Better communication and decision making is then based on the economics of the value being delivered. In short, everyone should be on the same page, and that page is all about maximising the value to the customer.

Can we help?

If you recognise this in your organisation, and you have a compelling reason to change, then get in touch at info@kr5consulting.com.

And what about Paul Allen?

Paul Allen, the cameraman hit by the wheel, suffered a broken collarbone and ribs but was otherwise alright. Mark Webber, who had looked on course to challenge for the race win, recovered to seventh.


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