In a Hurry? Listen to this week’s topic review:
Several times a week, my news feed shows me articles about the latest discovery by the James Webb Space Telescope. I am fascinated by the discoveries and carefully look at all the images presented in the articles. Looking at those distant universes from the edges of the galaxy is fascinating.
A more recent article even talked about the discovery of molecules that are a key indicator of life on a planet one-hundred twenty light years away. The images presented are a compilation of data and individual “maps” of information received by the telescope, often interpolated and some color added to make the picture eye-catching. Essentially, it is a bunch of data pulled together and colorized using quite a bit of science and a little interpretation.
Another particularly interesting scientific field for me is time travel – I like the idea that I could look back at events of historical significance – without interrupting those events – and just observe and interpret what happened. Not necessarily having to jump into a time travel pod or an altered DeLorean and risk-altering events in the past, but just looking, ideally, from my computer screen. As I continue to ponder this idea along with images of space, I have come up with a conclusion: this type of time travel is real.
It is not precise, and it only exists where data allows up. Still, you can look backward through time because most of these images produced by the James Webb Space Telescope and put together by scientists are essentially looking backward in time.
In fact, when we look at the light cast by the Sun on our planet, we are observing something that happened eight minutes earlier. When we look up some of the stars in the night sky, we are seeing a light that left that celestial body anywhere from two to hundreds of years ago. When we look at some of the images put together from the edges of the universe, some of those are from thirteen billion years ago.
It can get the mind racing when you think about it. Closer to our planet, even photographs are essentially the “capture and organization” of light and colors that happened to be put onto film or some other medium. Observational time travel that we do not even think about, yet for some of these pictures, we’ll interpret the mood, the exact events, and the outcomes in our minds.
By now, you probably are wondering what this concept of looking backward in time has to do with customer experience. Well, when you think about the Voice-of-the-Customer feedback provided by customers about the customer journey on a tool like the QuestionPro CX customer experience software platform, that is our time machine.
So often, I hear executives talk about customer experience strategy and putting themselves in a place of understanding customer behavior to optimize the experience and ultimately bringing the best-case scenario of all the financial linkage analysis we customer experience practitioners conduct.
I would contend that an executive or a senior manager can put themselves in a position to time travel to every store and see a picture of what has happened if you have at least these three things:
- Proper measurement across all relevant customer experience touchpoints (not just one or two of them)
- True understanding of the company’s employee experience (this would include periodic detailed measurements along with an ongoing “pulse” measurement)
- Analysis of unsolicited customer commentary (like a social media analysis or an enhanced understanding of customer reviews that includes a customer feedback loop like in our CX Reputation): you can put yourself into every store and see a picture of what has happened.
Will it give anyone a perfect picture of events as if they were there? Certainly not, but when you incorporate additional information properly analyzed, you can get an even clearer picture of what happened yesterday, last week, in the past month, and even across years. Some of these measurements that can stitch together a better picture include:
- Root Cause & Churn Risk analytics – being able to have the customer state that one event that stood out like we do with our QuestionPro exclusive NPS+ question type. If you know what holds things together – or tears them apart – you’ll be able to better understand the movement of events.
- Event Interpretation – tools like sentiment analysis, when properly used, can help add details to the picture of what happened, almost like adding color to those telescope images. This is not about having perfectly bucketed themes; rather, it is about getting you eighty percent there so you can visualize and tie that together with your root cause analytics.
- A solid customer journey map – think of that as our “known universe”. It will not – and should not – look the same tomorrow as it does today. If you start with a sufficient customer journey template, you will be able to add touchpoints (galaxies), detail our current understanding of the sub-journey (solar systems) and even measure where gravity is changing things (planets).
While I’m proud of the work we do, I will not say that even the best CX Enterprise Software is as powerful and intellectually insightful as the James Webb Space Telescope. However, as executives, we do have the ability to look at time travel into any location in our universe, and with enough data, we can travel far back in time.
And when you are ready to make some changes that will alter the destiny of our little customer experience universe, I am happy to tell you how Outer Loop can help you take all of these signals and help make a better universe going forward – no flux capacitor required.
Is there something wrong with your customer experience?
When you complete an honest assessment, the outcome can be beneficial; particularly when it comes to your Customer Experience program.
- Take five minutes and complete an audit for your organization here.
You may discover a gap in measurement, an opportunity to improve a process, the place where an organizational shift needs to take place or an opportunity to win a greater share of your customers’ wallets.
We all want that bigger “return”. In this situation, the worst case scenario is that you’ll get some information that will help your organization since there is no cost or obligation in completing this audit.