8 Elements to Delivering Delightful Customer Experiences

More often than not, interactions between today's multichannel, multidevice consumers and businesses are cross-touchpoint journeys. How can a business orchestrate these journeys so that they are both delightful for the customer and profitable for the business? Based on our experience enabling smart, connected customer journeys for enterprises around the world, we have identified eight essential elements for success.

1. Prioritize. If your business is one of significant size, you're likely serving multiple market segments in which consumers undertake their own unique journeys for doing business with you. Focus on fixing the most common high-value journeys, starting with the most profitable market segments first.

2. Humanize. Market segment behaviors can be modeled by humanizing them with personas representing those segments. Personas are cost-effective shortcuts that reduce the need for expensive quantitative research to understand how consumers in those segments might behave, and what their goals and journeys might look like. You can even find personas within your own organization for easy access to market segment insights.

3. Design. At the highest level, the customer has a relationship with the business, made up of experiences from his journeys. These journeys span "research, buy, use, and love" stages, and have become overwhelmingly multichannel and multidevice. Examples of journeys might be a quick "in and out" search for a product on your Web site, the return of a product bought online to a brick-and-mortar storefront, making a phone call to troubleshoot a problem when Web self-service fails, a peer-to-peer service inquiry on the company's forum, or going from a social network interaction to a one-on-one, private chat with the business at the request of a service agent.

An example of a journey for an Internet-savvy, working mom persona buying and using insurance may consist of the following steps:

  • Check out online communities to find the best deals for insurance
  • Check out Web site FAQs to get answers to questions regarding coverage
  • Cobrowse with a sales agent to fill out an online form while simultaneously talking on the phone to purchase and enroll
  • If she has to use the insurance, video chat with a claims agent to show damage to her property (auto, home, etc.)
  • "Like" the insurance company on Facebook if she has a good claims experience

Businesses need to put the enabling technologies in place to be able to design and deliver such journeys across touchpoints.

4. Identify disconnects. As you analyze journeys, look for points of abandonment and the corresponding root causes. Why are

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