"Companies Need To Focus On Holistic CX Rather Than Tactical CX"

​How To Take CX To A New Level

Many companies strive to achieve high customer satisfaction scores but end up falling short of their goals. One reason is that business teams focus on single parts of the customer journey instead of taking a Continue reading “​How To Take CX To A New Level”

customer experience

CX Lessons From My Experience At The Apple Store

As discussed in “Make It Easy To Get Help,” it’s essential that companies focus on creating great experiences not just at the beginning of their buying journey but post-purchase too. Customers often need support in setting up and using a new product Continue reading “CX Lessons From My Experience At The Apple Store”

Make It Easy For Customers To Get Help by Stacy Sherman

Make It Easy For Customers To Get Help

Considering it is less expensive for companies to keep a current customer than to acquire a new one, it is essential for businesses to deliver exceptional support at the moment people need it. While providing help is not a novel concept, many brands fail to do it Continue reading “Make It Easy For Customers To Get Help”

Autonomous Customers, Traveler Privacy and More Questions for CX Professionals in a Changing World

“As we move toward a more automated culture, most travelers will adapt to a Jetsonian, automated lifestyle.  Every industry we know will be disrupted.  For those of us in aviation, this signals the shift from aviation as a service industry to a transactional one that is potentially devoid of the personal touches that made the romance of flight an event.”

As I am boarding my flight to Denver today to speak at the AAAE Conference on “Autonomous Airports,” I can’t help but question, what does autonomous airport really mean.  The customer experience value of an airport itself is not autonomous.  Rather, the emerging autonomous airport experience aims to give birth to, enable and empower autonomous customers.

That brings about even more questions for CX professionals, particular customer experience professionals in the aviation world.

What is an autonomous customer?

The autonomous customer uses his/her time better and has more of it. Today we have a “holding room” at airport gates. Holding room… even the term itself sounds limiting.

What is a customer supposed to do in a holding room?  Be on hold?

Autonomous airports are open spaces with no physical or process boundaries between the individual customer touch points (check-in, bag drop, etc.).  As a result, there also is no barrier between crewmember and customer. Eliminating barriers in autonomous airports shifts the power from the airport procedures and processes to the traveler. This makes travel more enjoyable.

Because of this customer experience-driven design, the autonomous customer can go through the experience at his/her own pace.  The autonomous customer is not “held” anywhere. The airport becomes a menu of tools and services that the autonomous customer is empowered to choose to use or not. Who would not want to do that?

What about Grandma’s journey?

Autonomous airports enable both customers and crewmembers. A roving crew has access to much more information and tools on the go that enable them to take care of the needs of all customers of all ages, particularly those who do not want to or are unable to do so themselves.

Maybe the first time, Grandma will be intimidated (although not all grandmas are alike!) by the autonomous airport environment, but she will quickly get used to and appreciate the self-driving device that can whisk her and her bags from one gate to another in a few minutes.

What about my privacy? Does autonomy mean my airline knows everything about me?

Autonomy is also about accountability.  On both sides. Customers want information and adequate services at the right times.  It is impossible for any brand to deliver that without access to certain customer information or preferences.

Customers also want seamless journeys across the airport. To design that airlines and airports need access to certain customer history. For example, if you want the airline to wait for the customer one extra minute at the gate, the airline needs to know that the customer is physically at the airport. Even more so, the airline should know whether the customer has passed security already.

In the case of JetBlue’s autonomous airport CX design, Bag Buddy, one of my ideas, was designed to pick up customer bags at their homes and transport them directly to their destinations. That seamless movement of objects and people lays on the foundations of data sharing. More specifically, it rests on good data that is appropriate and useful in delivering the experience customers want.

Questions remain, and as CX experts continue to design autonomous airports and meet the needs of the autonomous customer, new questions will arise.  For now, let me demystify the autonomous airport for you. At the heart of the autonomous airport, from the CX perspective, is the information that will allow the airport as a physical asset to expand its boundaries and reach people’s homes. Data allows physical boundaries to merge and creates one big experience of transporting people and their belongings across space. That is a future we all want, Jetsons fans or not.

 

 

*All opinions expressed on the DoingCXRight Blog and site pages are the authors’ alone and do not reflect the opinions of or imply the endorsement of employers or other organizations.

CX design brand goals JetBlue Liliana Petrova CX

CX Design – How Do You Want Customers To Feel?

Last week, we talked about CX Design in terms of space and function. Today, we continue our CX design journey to talk about the design of emotions and feelings. The new look of the JetBlue T5 lobby created customer experience interactions in more open spaces for the benefit of both customers and crewmembers.
The next element of the design, connecting to the feelings of customers, drives that make-or-break goal, ROI. While designing for a customer’s feelings is critically important, it is often overlooked.  Meeting the functional needs of customers is only the base of the experience pyramid. Most brands stop there. They believe that meeting those basic functional customer needs is enough to deliver great customer experience. It is not. In his book Outside In, Harley Manning revisits the three levels of the CX Pyramid: “meet needs,” “easy,” “enjoyable.”
To design great customer experience like we did with the T5 project, we jump right to the top of the pyramid, working on making our customers say “I feel [blank] about this experience.” How you fill in that blank depends on your brand and culture values.

 

How do you want customers to feel?

It is important to think through the emotions you are designing, since those emotions will trigger repeat business. As Maya Angelou said “…people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
That memory of a feeling is both a risk and an opportunity to create a long lasting relationship with your customers. When we were designing the lobbies, the customer experience team wanted our customers to feel efficient, taken care of, empowered and smart enough to do things themselves without help. We knew the goal: create simple, personal and helpful customer experience. All we had to do was think about what that meant in terms of emotion.

Manage Change 

How big is the change you are introducing? Are you adding enough new customer experience elements to compensate for the discomfort of those you are removing?
 

Start with change management. When we removed the podiums from the lobby, we essentially took away our crewmembers’ comfort zone – their anchor, their place to hold personal items. This change was disruptive to their daily lives. It was important that, as we took away tools, we also gave crewmembers new tools to make them feel heard and understood. So we designed a hospitality training, a CX soft training with standards and tips on how to interact with customers and keep the brand promises we made.

With the hospitality training, JetBlue crewmembers had the cultural/brand guidelines of service delivery that perfectly complemented the new space we built. One of the 5 Whys informed us that the only thing a “Bag Drop” position should do is check IDs and scan boarding passes and bag tags. Podiums and computers were replaced with Blackberries to do just that, and the transaction times at Bag Drop dropped in half.  Customers spent 30 seconds dropping their bags and continuing on their (CX) journey. The lines disappeared. The negative comments about long lines in our VOC surveys also disappeared. We had a drop of 65% of any mention of “long queues”.
 

Does your corporate culture support the internal disruption you are creating?

Since we completely disrupted our crewmembers’ work space, we needed to think about the soft side of this innovation. At the time, we were the first airline in North America to remove podiums at Bag Drop. This is where JetBlue’s culture is a true differentiator. The CX design did not stop with the Ccustomer. It included the crewmember.
We treated our employees as customers.
We spent equal time deliberating how to design (and pay for) the new Bag Drop positions to minimize the functional changes in the lives our crewmembers. For example, where would they leave their phones, purses, wallets, when they worked? We built drawers in the blue arcs above the intake bag belts to meet that need. The thinner design better matched the overall open space approach of the lobbies. Despite that, we built them thicker, making the trade-off between brand look and function to manage the customer experience of our crewmembers and their acceptance of change.
The design of exceptional (and memorable) customer experience requires empathy. To connect to your customer, you need to go beyond meeting the customer’s functional needs. Making an experience like this easy for customers is very hard for CX professionals. There is no doubt about that. But ease only connects with the rational side of your customers. To generate more ROI through CX, you need to also create a positive emotion that will trigger the irrational decisions to (hopefully) pay for your product or service at a premium next time.
They will come back to you, even at a higher price, not only because they had a seamless customer experience, but because they want to relive the feeling you gave them. You will be one of the few brands that is not just offering a product or a service.  You are offering amazing customer experience – you are a well oiled machine for feelings.
 
Image courtesy of JetBlue
*All opinions expressed on the DoingCXRight Blog and site pages are the authors’ alone and do not reflect the opinions of or imply the endorsement of employers or other organizations.

CX Design Makes Form and Function Beautiful – and Cosmopolitan Magazine Notices

At its core, design is about value creation. In the world of Customer Experience, value-driven design requires CX professionals to use empathy to imagine a future customer experience that is easy, fast, and seamless.
The specific CX design can be building a new lobby, changing an existing customer-facing process that takes too long, or simplifying an internal procedure that prevents employees from solving customers’ problems quickly. Due to its importance, CX design is also one of the six disciplines that the CCXP Exam covers. Every CX professional must feel accountable and responsible for CX design. It is our job to design customer-centric experiences and to prove the ROI of that design.
All of this can feel overwhelming. How can one person solve all of these structural problems in a creative way? Where do you even begin?
 

What do you want the customer to do?

Begin with the process. Look at the current process, envision the future process, and identify the gaps. In the case of the JetBlue lobby, before we even began building T5, we met with industrial engineers to go over the mechanics of the space. Our objective: “We want movement. No queues.” Airports and airlines share that goal. But it is too generic a statement to foster an immediate design solution.
 
Answer the following questions at this first phase of the CX design process: “Why is there no movement today? Why are people waiting on line?” 
Next, use the 5 whys technique to really understand what to address in your design (in the case of the lobby, we looked at what we needed to do to create movement). In order to create the customer-centric design to meet the “create movement” goal, we needed to address a number of existing issues. There were long lines at the “Bag Drop” position. And, often, the Express Bag Drop line was even longer than the Full Service line that offered more services. All of this left customers and crewmembers feeling frustrated.
 
Photo: JetBlue

Design Solves Problems by Meeting Needs

The original plan to address the bad customer experience was to introduce self-tagging kiosks in the lobby. The thought was, if customers could print their own bag tags, the lines would disappear. At first look, this sounded logical. 
But then, we all remembered the great book “The Goal” . The Goal teaches to look for the bottleneck of any operation and to chase it all the way down/out of the system. Instead of building the business case only for kiosks, I kept thinking about the end-to-end journey of the customer. Not surprisingly, when we asked our 5 Whys, we quickly found the root cause that we needed to solve with the future CX design.
Kiosks were not enough. We had to go farther.
We never truly had Bag Drop positions. Functionally, there was nothing different between the Bag Drop position and the Full Service position. Customers would go to the fast lane and clog it with questions or needs that required crewmembers to act as a full service desk, holding the line for up to 15 minutes per customer.
As a CX Designer, we solved that by stripping the full service functionality from the Bag Drop position. We removed the computers to signal to customers that those positions have limited abilities to assist. As it turned out, this was not enough. Customers still expected to get the “Full Service” experience at Bag Drop.  

Use Design to Change Behavior

We responded by removing the physical barrier between the customer and the crewmemeber –  the podiums.  The result was a completely different environment for crewmembers to operate in. We not only disabled them from ever functioning again as full service desks, we also SHOWED the customers that these are different positions. In so doing, we made customers behave differently through design.
Featured in Cosmopolitan Magazine, the new design empowered them to deliver a personal, helpful and simple experience by removing the physical barrier between the crewmembers and the customers. In the end, this created an open environment that ignites conversations.
 
Creative thinking, process mindset and empathy are the key ingredients to building CX journeys that differentiate your business and make your customers come back for more. People do exactly what you design them to do. The good news is, as the customer experience designer, you are in charge. There is no such thing as overthinking design. Keep imagining all the things that can go wrong and then amend your design accordingly. Enjoy the art of CX design!
 
Featured Image Courtesy of Cosmopolitan Magazine
Get more tips on CX Design and CX career questions through our DoingCXRight Mentor Program.
*All opinions expressed on the DoingCXRight Blog and site pages are the authors’ alone and do not reflect the opinions of or imply the endorsement of employers or other organizations.

The End Of The Customer Journey Matters Just As Much As The Beginning

Many companies spend a lot of time and budget on acquiring new customers. They focus on driving satisfaction in the early stages of the journey (Learn & Buy) and ignore customer experiences and sentiments once payment is received. This is often the case for Continue reading “The End Of The Customer Journey Matters Just As Much As The Beginning”

Customer Satisfaction Is Based On Entire Experiences

Satisfaction Is Based On An Entire Experience, Not A Single Interaction

There is a lot to learn about doing CX right from our own everyday experiences as consumers. If we pay close attention, the lessons are right in front of our eyes. The following story serves as a great reminder of just how important the customer journey
Continue reading “Satisfaction Is Based On An Entire Experience, Not A Single Interaction”

the customer experience effect jetblue liliana petrova

What Did We Learn About CX In 2017?

In Post 2 of Liliana Petrova’s series on CX lessons learned and best practices for the new year on JetBlue, she explores the importance of “keeping the human touch” when implementing CX innovation tools.

Head over to Into the Blue, the JetBlue blog, to learn how to keep the human touch, and create better human connections.

 

*All opinions expressed on the DoingCXRight Blog and site pages are the authors’ alone and do not reflect the opinions of or imply the endorsement of employers or other organizations.

 

When Not To Invest In Self-Service Technology?

Every progressive brand today aspires to have more self-service. Very few implement self-service successfully. Self-service is a new tool to optimize a company’s workforce by removing transactions from the system. All industries are looking at self-service as a strategy of the future.

Hospitals, airlines, and hotels are installing kiosks to self check-in while grocery stores and taxi companies are implementing self-service check out with digital payment products. The list goes on and on. What differentiates a successful use of self-service as a building block of innovation from a failed implementation that adds more effort for the customer that leaves him/her angry and frustrated?

Successful self-service is self-sufficient. It enables customers to meet all their needs by themselves. If users can do only some of the steps of the whole process alone then self-service adds costs to the business, adds complexity and effort to the experience. For example, if a customer can print his/her food voucher when there is a delay, but cannot rebook him/herself (i.e. still needs to call customer service) then all the brand has accomplished is to add steps for the customer to get the same value he/she could have done before with ONLY a phone call.

Another thing to be aware of with self-service is what type of labor is optimized and what labor is part of the self-service solution. The business case of self-service might not work if the solution requires incremental (and expensive) IT resources while removing existing (and cheaper) unskilled resources. As Matthew Dixon says in  :  “[t]he challenge is not in getting today’s customer to try self-service. The challenge lies in getting today’s customer to avoid channel switching from self-service to a live phone call… the self-service battle isn’t about getting customers to go, it’s about getting them to stay.” It is important to launch the solution that solves all the needs of the customer before launching a technology solution to avoid getting the wrong results.

Design for 80% of the customer base, not the high touch 5% – 10%.  The 5% base solution is more expensive and most probably will break the business case.  Be ready for all the people who will question the design that will NOT cover 100% of the customers. Questions about the exceptions will keep coming up: “What is the customer does not have a credit card? What if the customer does not speak English? What if …?” The answer to all of them is: “They will go to the full service option at that touch point. They will not self-serve.” Be strong and keep the focus on the goals of self-service – to alleviate, not eliminate, the calls to the contact center; to allow the employees to offer a better service to those people who do not have a credit card and/or do not speak English. It is counterintuitive, but by not solving for them through self-service, we are building a better service for the exceptions as well.

Be brave! Some people will not like the self-service design. You will hear a lot of push back about de-humanizing the experience for the customers. Anjali Lai from Forrester studied the emotions of brand interactions (see below) and was able to show that there is no significant difference in the perception of the customers when they self-serve (from interacting with a live person).

What is more human? To have a human tell a customer that he/she is not able to solve the problem, because the process is not designed well or that they will be put on a brief call to speak to another person, or having self-service solutions that empower customers to create their own experiences in a personalized and independent way (without telling their names and confirmation numbers 2 or more times).

Self-service is an integral part of the future, but unless self-service is designed and executed in a strategic and empathetic manner it can drive more costs and complaints than savings and satisfaction. The basic value creation mandate is critical in this business strategy: unless self-service creates real value for the customer he/she will not embrace it.

So ask yourself, if you were the customer, would you gain anything from doing a task yourself vs. getting help from the company? As the company, do you gain anything by self-serving? Is it faster, easier or simpler? If you cannot answer yes to any of those questions, do not invest in self-service technology.

 

*All opinions expressed on the DoingCXRight Blog and site pages are the authors’ alone and do not reflect the opinions of or imply the endorsement of employers or other organizations.