“Our customers are loyal to us right up until the second somebody offers them a better service,” Jeff Bezos said in a Fast Company interview about Amazon last year.
Similarly, Google published a 2015 study on mobile strategy that found that “people are more loyal to their need in the moment than to any particular brand.”
Google calls these needs in the moment “micro-moments” which they point to as the new battle ground for brands. Many brands are starting to map elaborate customer journeys to better understand the myriad “micro-moments” that lead to customers considering one product or service over another.
When walking the customer journey in our customer’s shoes (vicariously through customer journey maps), marketers often discover unintentional pain points — areas of friction that make it harder for customers to do business with our brands. Brands sometimes treat actual customer experience as an afterthought, in favor of paid media acquisition tactics.
The last time our family had to buy a dishwasher, our previous dishwasher had stopped working in a funny way. I came home to find water all over the kitchen floor and the letters “F.U.” flashing on the display. I later learned that “F.U.” stands for “Failed Unit”.
It struck me as a metaphor than brands sometimes unintentionally say “F.U.” to customers through customer experience. “F.U.” became an apt description for the apathetic attitude that particular brand took as we tried to troubleshoot what had happened with our old dishwasher and start the process of buying a new one. We ultimately went with a different brand, despite all of the retargeting ads our original dishwasher brand served us.
I’m struck by this insight from Google SVP Sridhar Ramaswamy:
“We’re heading toward an age of assistance where, for marketers, friction will mean failure, and mass messages will increasingly mean ‘move on.’”
Here are a few related cartoons I’ve drawn over the years.
“Customer Journey Mapping” April 2016
“The Customer Journey” September 2016
“We Appreciate your Business” August 2012
3 CommentsJoin the Discussion
Woody Savage says
Your cartoons are “right on” especially follow the herd. I once told our new V.P. of our Business Unit who had send an email to my boss and copied me…asking who does Woody think he is questioning my judgment. I later the next day went into his office and explained that he should think of me as a customer advocate. I will ALWAYS tell him what should be done from the CUSTOMERS’ PERSPECTIVE … then it is HIS job to decide ultimately what he wanted to do. I said that I would always work in the best interests of the company and I would follow him most anywhere…even to the edge of the cliff…but that if he wanted to jump off the cliff that I would wave to him as he went over the side. I will sleep like a baby because I gave you the best advice in behalf of our customers … what you choose to do with it is YOUR decision. That same executive manager several years later gave me a Lifetime Achievement Award when I retired from the company.
I recently wrote a self-published book “Putting Your Customers’ Needs First – A Fifty-year Journey”. Here is a link to that book: https://cld.bz/Aqnifuu
Honestly, if Consumer Reports ever folds I don’t know what I’d do if I had to make a large-ticket purchase of any sort.
The 3-clicks rule seems to have gone by the wayside and it’s incredibly frustrating to find info even on the manufacturer’s site.
And those pop-ups “Do you need help?” “Chat now!” “Reps are standing by!” Just make it easy for me to see the chat option and stop badgering me every 30 seconds.
You kids get off my lawn!
Larry Burns says
Just a random thought. As the “machines of marketing” are inherently not human in action and impact many of the most “frustrating” items on your far too aptly depicted customer journey are simply artifacts of zero ‘common sense’ in the algorithms.
Somehow our marketing industry has to cease being a slave to the technology that enables us to do dumb things ever more efficiently. Sure re-targeting is a lovely concept but in action it is all too often annoying. To make matters worse nearly EVERY human has several stories about how they were ‘followed’ in some funny or, even more problematic, creepy way.
The digital channel ought to be thought of as a vehicle to create as friction-less a way as possible for a human to get something done – in a way that THEY seek.
It’s current state as a medium that enables wildly incorrect assumptions about behavior to pre-populate marketing messaging that trigger without human thought is contributing to attention decline and adds very little to value. Heresy I know … so blame it on my ever advancing age …