Customers are just part of the process, not the journey

JourneyJourney won 8 awards including Game Of The Year at the DICE conference this week, an accolade which was well deserved for a number of reasons. You control a solitary figure and guide it through a personal story, along the way meeting the occasional lone figure who is controlled by another over the net. But there is no interaction save the ability to ‘sing’ a note and run/ jump. You don’t even get to see an avatar name, they are briefly just part of your journey to the end of the game.

Journey to the center of the process

Now what the he|| has this got to do with process and customers you might think. Well, let’s just dig a little deeper. The game manages to convey and elicit an emotional response from you towards the character you control and others you meet. You are woven in the story, essentially a linear process, and despite never hearing or seeing just who you’re interacting with sharing that process actually brings an empathic context.

And here’s the real issue behind customer service, customer experience management and all the other methods claiming to elicit delight from the consumer: none are empathic, none bring emotional context, and all just place the customer in the middle of a process but never a journey.

It’s a long, long road ahead

Read the email received from a player at the end of this article. When did anyone ever send something like that when they were forced through an IVR led process to toneless customer service agent at the other end ? Customers have names, faces, records, a voice, in fact everything that is missing from Journey and yet what they experience from organization’s process is almost completely the reverse. In fact there is more content and stimuli received during a process because of (so-called) human interaction but what happens in reality is that all emotional context is removed because it’s a process. It’s not a journey, and it shouldn’t feel like an arduous one at that.

The customer experience is the journey

When we design processes we focus too much on the end goal, get the customer through it as quickly as possible and give them what they want. But it cuts out so much context, it carves and discards the empathy, we assume that ‘delight’ and ‘satisfaction’ means speed and efficiency. We are wrong. The processes are wrong.

Customer Experience Management should be about the journey, not the process. Perhaps then you’ll deserve to win awards like Journey did.

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Categories: Customer Experience Management, Customer Service, Process Management

Author:Theo Priestley

"I had more creative ideas from Theo in 6 months than I have had in 6 years from most people." Theo Priestley is one of the most recognised independent technology industry influencers and evangelists, ranking in the Top 100 thought leaders across Virtual/ Augmented Reality, FinTech, Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, Internet of Things and future trends. Theo has written insights for Forbes, Wired, The European Magazine, Venturebeat to name a few, and has been interviewed for many online publications including the BBC on his thoughts on technology and the future. A regular paid keynote speaker and panelist at conferences and events, Theo is engaged for his forthright views and isn't afraid to challenge conventional thinking and the marketing hype surrounding the industry when presenting, never pulling punches to get the message across on how technology can be applied to improve business and the customer experience. He has also successfully organised and run TEDx and Ignite events. Highly active across social networks, he sits in the Top 1% for social media engagement on Kred and Klout and is constantly sharing articles and his analysis that he feels his audience would be interested in. Theo is also active in the startup community, mentoring within UK and US accelerators and sits on a number of advisory boards. Former VP and Chief Technology Evangelist at a Top 25 European enterprise software company with a career spanning both innovation strategy and delivery of software and business change in Financial Services, and as an independent technology industry analyst. Follow Theo on Twitter @tprstly or connect here directly for constant insights on tech and marketing trends. • Top 1% Influencer on Kred (915) • Top 1% Influencer on Klout (70+) • 12,000+ Followers on LinkedIn • 13,000+ Followers on Twitter • Recognised Top Influencer in AI, Virtual/ Augmented Reality, Fintech, IOT and Wearable Tech, Big Data and Analytics.

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