A friend of mine travelled with family for a vacation after a long time. He was happy about his break (obviously being cautious and prepared about the travel guidelines). On his return, I asked my friend about the trip. He said the trip was great, but the airline he chose to travel spoilt the experience. When I asked why so, he mentioned the below reasons;
- The web check-in application/portal of the airline was complicated and non-responsive. It took him more that 20 attempts to complete the process (web check-in is currently mandatory for the flyers)
- Tried talking to the chatbot, but the chatbot provided only standard answers (not specific solutions)
- Tried contacting the airline contact center, but there was no response even after holding the call for 18 mins
- It was made mandatory to choose seats in the flight for all the family members and pay high prices for each seat to complete the process
He vouched that he is not going to travel with the concerned airline ever in future. I further inquired, how was the flight amenities and whether the flight was on time or not? He said that those things were fine, but his overall experience is ruined.
Well, I could feel for my friend, but it also highlighted a very important thing. All the hassles and challenges he mentioned where outside the core offering (flight in this case) of the airline and yet associated with the overall business.
Companies today cannot just focus only on their core product and service, but the entire ‘experience ecosystem’ for the customers. Every ‘Touchpoint’ of a customer with your company is a make or break experience for the customer. Are you considering and managing all of them?
I suggest some very simple guidelines to craft experience ecosystem for your customers:
- Wherever possible co-create your product and service lifecycle with your customers (or target customers). If that is not possible every time; then be the customer (not just be in the shoe of customer).
- Think like a customer, always. If you start thinking like business/company, you will always be defensive of your actions and shortcomings.
- Open multiple gates for customer feedback, accept and work on them. Also, just don’t wait for customers to reach you for the feedbacks. An unsatisfied customer may just quietly leave you. So, find avenues to know what your customer says, feels and wants.
- Never be complacent. Keep improving and keep innovating.
- Finally, keep it very simple. Ensure that every Touchpoint and entire process is always very simple for your customers.
Thank you for reading. I will be eager to know your experience ecosystem practice and journey?