Jun 22 , 2019
Customer Experience: X Marks The Spot

Do you prefer to not have a plan, go with flow, and hope for the best? Or do you find comfort in obsessing over details and planning to the nth degree? Either way, you might find yourself stuck on an idea or goal because you hate the details but don’t have enough of it to make things happen. Or you’re inundated with too much information causing you to stall.

These may sound like opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to planning. Whether it’s organising a function or event, building a marketing plan for a new product launch, making your next career move or anything else, there’s actually a common thread between the two; that is a desire for an experience. They’re just approached in different ways.

Throughout my career I’ve naturally found myself in roles with one of the core responsibilities being planning. Starting my career as a landscape architect I was taught that the key to planning a design was to start by thinking about what kind of experience you want someone to have when they look at your design or travel through the space you’ve created. Is it a sense of healing, calmness, excitement or urge for adventure? This helped me set up a plan and decide on the details such as what kind of materials to use, what plants are best suited, what colours and textures would enhance that experience.

What does the customer experience of clients and audiences look like?

Being in the world of marketing, the approach is no different. I’m constantly thinking about what our clients and audiences will experience along every touch point in the customer journey. If it’s about convenience, make the plan as seamless as possible with minimal roadblocks. If it’s about enjoyment and fun, make a plan that incorporates those fun moments. Silly ones as well where appropriate! 

This is about customer experience or employee experience (depending on what your focus is) being the main driver to your plan. 

We’re all aware that it is an age where expectations for on-screen content means that the customer experience needs to immediately engage your feelings. Otherwise we scroll, swipe or switch off. If something takes too many clicks to make that purchase we don’t bother buying it. In these quick examples, if the customer has disengaged then it means your plan has gaps.

Whether your plan is in the form of a wireframe, gantt chart, construction drawing, a piece of string, or dumpster on fire while you watch it burn; it’s purely just a plan to get you from point A to B. It’s absolutely important but not memorable. What makes it memorable is the experience along the way.

Stuck in planning mode and can’t find a way forward or want to share your story, reach out to me, Hyugo Hayashi on LinkedIn. Let’s start a conversation.

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