Mapping Your Customers’ Experiences to a Cycle of Service
A Customer experiences many Moments of Truth during the process of doing business with you. Strung together, these MOTs create a Cycle of Service along which you and your customers interact.
The Cycle of Service is a map of your company’s processes, broken down into increments, steps, decisions, duties, and activities, all designed to take the customer from the front door, through the company, and back out the front door again. While the Cycle of Service says nothing about your hope that the Customer will want to repeat the process with you again, this hope should be built into your thought processes.
The power behind the Cycle of Service is the way it helps you see things that are unique from the Customer’s point of view. The more you can see, understand, and experience the same things as your customer, the better equipped you’ll be to fix what needs fixing or adjust what’s working well.When you look at these moments of truth individually and collectively from the customer’s point of view, what connections can you make with your own experiences? In most instances, a trip to the movies usually meets our expectations. From time to time, something great will happen and these expectations will be exceeded; and rarely, we will experience a total service disaster. But by and large, we get our needs met satisfactorily.
When an organization exceeds our needs or expectations, we’re pleased and often shocked. Since most of our service experiences tend to run at an acceptable level, it’s a nice surprise when a company or an employee goes above and beyond the call of duty to make us feel special.
When an organization fails to meet our needs or expectations, we’re displeased and again, often shocked. Why? Because we’ve been conditioned over the years to expect good or at least acceptable service from the places we patronize. And it’s an unpleasant surprise for us when a company or its employees goes out of the way to be rude, discourteous, or apathetic. Our mental customer report cards are sacred to most of us. We keep careful tabs on who treats us well and who does not. This reflects not only on our decisions about repeat business but also on the positive or negative things we say (or don’t say) about them.
Does Your Company Exceed Expectations?
Use the movie theater example above to create a separate Cycle of Service for your company. What are the experiences of your typical customers? Do you exceed their expectations and needs?