Where Does Your Customer’s Journey Begin?

Where Does Your Customer’s Journey Begin?

I was waiting in a long queue to be served by an organisation who shall remain nameless.

It was a busy lunchtime queue as customers of all shapes and sizes made good use of their break from work to use the service. The retail counter was well staffed with happy, smiley people. Each representative, clearly tasked with improving their customer engagement, took time out during the sales process to chat about the weather, comment on the customer’s clothes and pass the time of day.

At the point of purchase this may well have increased the level of engagement and customer satisfaction but in an ever lengthening queue of those not yet in position at the counter it became increasingly frustrating.

So what was happening here for the customer journey?

Management had clearly given the staff a task of increasing the personal engagement in every transaction. Each approach to the counter was greeted with a smile and what on the surface appeared to be great service. However, what the management and staff had collectively failed to realise, is that by doubling the time spent in the queue, each customer’s satisfaction had dropped to a level below normal, and the added value they were seeing at the counter only brought them back, if at all, to the original level.

With a slower throughput of customers and probably some people seeing the length of the queue and then going elsewhere, the cost of time and resource is likely to have increased beyond the positive benefit of increased customer engagement.

So the moral of the story is that whilst there may have been great intentions to increase customer satisfaction, the reality is that without considering the full extent of the customer journey (which begins way before your customer is in front of you) you may ultimately be disappointed with the outcome.

Where do your customers’ journeys begin?