One of my favorite games when I was younger was Hide and Seek. I loved the thrill of finding a great hiding place, but even more than that I loved being the one looking. Excitement came for me from asking the question, “If I were Grant, where would I be hiding?” Knowing Grant was one of my heavier friends, I could pretty much rule out under any of the beds or in tight spaces. Also, knowing his habitual fear of heights, the surrounding trees were out.
That pretty much left the closets in my house, making sure that Grant would be the one seeking in the next round.
Grant’s attributes and past interactions gave me a pretty clear map of his experience with Hide and Seek, which gave me a very clear picture of how he acts within the game situation, making my job exponentially easier.
Your customers are hiding in plain sight, experiencing your brand all the time. Mapping out those experiences will give you a MUCH clearer understanding of where they’ve been and how to guide their experiences in the future.
The Museum of Science+Industry in Chicago has a great exhibit titled YOU! The Experience. The exhibit focuses around activities and education designed to help people understand the connections between choices, personality, environment, nutrition, etc. in the creation/understanding of a whole human being.
Before walking into the exhibit, every person already has access to all the information (both physically and educationally) that they will see, but the way it’s mapped out creates a true learning experience for all participants and they walk out seeing and understanding their own bodies all the better for having gone through it.
In the same way, the information regarding your customers’ experiences with your company is currently hidden from you and your job when beginning to craft your Social CRM strategy is to seek out and uncover that information.
As with any good strategy, you always start by asking the right questions. When starting to map out your customers’ experiences, the four questions you need to focus on are:
- Where Do They Interact With Your Company?
- What Are The Customers’ Expectations of Those Interactions?
- What Are The Outcomes of Those Interactions?
- What Kind of Importance/Weight Do Customers Place on Those Outcomes?
You want to know one of the best ways to find out the answers to the above questions?
Ask your customers.
How do you find which customers to ask, you say? Well, try thinking a bit differently about your segments and ask customers at high-performing and low-performing stores. Also, keep in mind that you’ll want to pick stores that both “follow the rules” and “break the rules” in all your geographic segments. This will give you the widest possible view of your playing field and won’t allow any of your customer experiences to stay hidden for long.
You’ve all heard the rules for focus group questions, but basically keep your questions focused on the ones above and keep them emotionally neutral and non-leading in all ways.
After you get all your answers, put them all into your chosen experience map and lay back and enjoy the new-found information you’ve discovered. Here’s a good-looking one Starbucks did a few years ago.
Yes, it all comes back to the data. You can truly do a lot with the appropriate data. The reason this exercise is so important during your strategy planning time is that if you don’t know how your customers are interacting with and experiencing your company, as well as their expectations, you have no baseline to gauge where you need to go.
Or, sticking with the analogy, if you know your customers’ past experiences, attributes, patterns, and expectations, you’ll know where they’re likely to hide in the next round of the game; making them all the more easy to find next time.
Now, let’s start seeking!
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