This past week I had the privilege of collaborating with the friendly folks at Wave.
Wave is changing the way millions of small businesses make, spend and track money by delivering innovated financial services and award-winning free software to small- and micro- businesses around the world.
The company is growing very quickly due to its phenomenal success (they just announced their latest round of strategic funding) and as part of its ongoing evolution, and living true to their core values, was looking to spend an afternoon purposefully focused on customers.
Consequently, I was brought in to lead the company through a series of exercises focused on the customer’s experience and their point of view.
The overarching objective of the day was to further reinforce a customer first, services mindset using the customer lens versus a solely product focused one.
The idea being to create a common company vernacular around the customer’s journey and experiences which employees could then correlate specifically to their individual responsibilities in order to drive customer success.
It was an amazing experience to witness this group of 120+ strong participants engaged, and excited to truly understand the customer’s point of view.
The energy was palpable, the results incredible!
Overall, the ten subgroups that each defined the customer’s journey and critical moments of truth were exceptionally consistent in their results confirming that Wave does have a good pulse on its customer’s needs.
A few of the common observations from the groups were that:
Moments of truth pinpoint important inflection points for customer adoption, higher risk of problems, and churn potential.
The more critical the moment of truth, the more important it is to assist the customer through that milestone to ensure successful adoption.
The initial setup and onboarding is where many critical moments of truth occur and therefore it is important that the customer is well established with the product from the onset and that Customer Success jumps in proactively when customers start to veer off track.
Customers do not necessarily follow a linear path in the journey but may come to various milestones, in various ways, at various times. As such, it is important to anticipate and deliver on these needs (regardless of when they happen) to drive the value that makes the technology a critical business application.
Remarkably, it was the common language arising from the discussions about the customer’s experience and how they may be feeling at various stages of the journey that proved to be the catalyst for coming up with customer centric solutions.
Once individuals from varying parts of the organization had a common understanding of what the customer was experiencing, they could discuss customer centric solutions amongst one another versus coming at them from an individual role or product perspective.
That is when the ideas really started to flow.
A corporate, customer centric, mindset is about understanding the larger context of the customer’s business and the outcomes they are looking for, not about the product and how they use the features (or your processes and how they should interact with your organization).
It is vitally important to understand why customers bought your product, what they are trying to achieve and how to align your business accordingly to drive customer ROI.
Customer journey maps and identifying the customer’s critical moments of truth help companies develop a common language and understanding of the customer’s experience amongst employees.
Customer emotions, understanding what customers feel at various points in their journey, is an effective catalyst to drive customer centered solutions.