Customer Experience Design Essentials | Rebecca Brizi | Skillshare

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Customer Experience Design Essentials

teacher avatar Rebecca Brizi, Strategy and Business Growth

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

14 Lessons (1h 14m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Class Project

    • 3. Pre Game

    • 4. Support vs Service

    • 5. Customer Support

    • 6. Customer Service

    • 7. CX Assessment

    • 8. Customer Delivery

    • 9. Customer delivery examples

    • 10. Implement

    • 11. Some basics

    • 12. Customer appreciation

    • 13. Measure

    • 14. Conclusion

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About This Class

This class is about how to create a high quality customer experience: one that drives satisfaction and repeat business. Students will learn a simple way to build a high value and feedback-driven customer experience to both manage and communicate with customers.

This class is for:

  • Customer success managers
  • Customer experience or support employees
  • Small business managers

This class creates a simple system to build a bespoke strategy for customer experience. While the rules are universal, they allow each business to build the system that works best for them. Learning to understand the fundamentals of customer success allows students to recreate their ideal systems in different businesses, scenarios, or parts of their company.

All that is needed is your computer and a notepad.

Meet Your Teacher

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Rebecca Brizi

Strategy and Business Growth


Hello and welcome to my profile page.

I'm Rebecca G Brizi, a business consultant, avid reader, and dedicated drinker of coffee. Mainly: I'm a strong believer in how systems and plans make you better at your job. Because when you don't have to worry about "what comes next", you can use all the energy for growing your business.

My courses are all premised on this theory. This is material I use to consult with my clients and to run my own business. You will find courses for freelancers and courses for small businesses, and courses that apply to both.

A bit about my background: I spent eleven years working in a software company, joining at the initial startup phase and moving the company through a product change, to establishing a new market and subsidiar... See full profile

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1. Introduction : Hi, I'm Rebecca Britsey; a management consultant and your guide through this course. Prior to starting my own consultancy, I spent 12 years with a British software company and we were known for our great client relationships. That was the foundation that started me thinking about the full experience a customer has, interacting with a service provider from the very first contact right through their whole life cycle. In this course, we will look at the key elements required to build a great customer experience, one that is based on value and on feedback. Your clients determine the success of your business. They have to like what you sell, buy what you sell, use what you sell, and then come back for more. Your clients don't think of all of the stages as different businesses or brands that they're connecting with. They go from marketing to sales, to support back to sales, and for them, it's a single experience with a single business. Use your clients' preferences to build a seamless experience that they will go through at every interaction point with your business. This course is for everybody who, first of all, has a service-based business. If what you sell is a service that is delivered over time, then this course is for you. Also for those who have repeat customers, if your customers renew with you or come back regularly for more work, this course is for you. If you sell as a subscription model, if customers pay annually or monthly and continuously renew their subscription with you, then this course is for you. What is the structure of the course and what can you expect over the next videos? We will start with a pre-game section. Here we'll focus on understanding what it means to offer a holistic customer experience, how that relates to your guiding principles and of course, the right definition of your audience, so you can deliver them a customer experience that they want. Next, we will look at the support side of customer experience, which is the reactive side and we will understand how to use the four categories in support to build your customer experience. Then we will look at customer service, which is the proactive side of customer experience, considering the most common goals we see here and how to use those goals to build your customer experience plan. Finally, we will bring it all together, confirming how this plan will work and how you can measure success, so you can make sure that you're continuously improving. Customer experience is an essential part of business success that integrates directly with marketing, sales, and everything else that touches upon your customers. I've always enjoyed working in this field and have seen firsthand the difference that a good system can make. I want to make sure that customer experience is no longer considered back-office or reactive, but actually becomes a core function of a business. Are you ready to start building your customer service experience plan? Let's dive in. 2. Class Project: Every great course needs a great project. The project is your takeaway showing that you have learned the material from the course, but also giving you something that you can implement right away so you can take action on what you have learnt. The project for this class will be to build your own customer experience strategy summary. As you progress through this class, perform the activities described in each video. Those activities will give you all the information you need to complete your project. Using the outline provided, summarize your strategy so you can highlight the salient points in, your customer experience core principles, the principles that will guide all your decision-making for customer experience. The key areas to address in the support side of customer experience, and your key communication plans for the service side of customer experience. With this full summary, you will have the basis you need to both share and implement an effective customer experience strategy for your business. The project is a summary of the overall work required, but it does touch on each of the main points. It's an effective way to see the customer experience strategy as a snapshot. You'll be hearing me explain the concepts and then walk through the exercises that you can perform to build your own customer experience strategy. As we go through this course, I want you to think of your top five clients. What makes a client a top client? Consider the strength of the relationship you have with them, the value they bring to your business overall, the insight you can get from each customer in terms of how they act and what their preferences are. These are the types of customers that you want to have more of. This course is your step-by-step guide to take something quite huge and actually make it simple. 3. Pre Game: The necessary pregame to your customer experience strategy. Every new endeavor requires the correct equipment. You will need your cleats before you start the soccer match, you'll need a Bunsen burner before you begin the science experiments, and you will need the proper business tools before you start your customer experience plan. To build your customer experience strategy, you must first know two things: Who is your ideal customer? You want to use a customer description that includes their personal preferences and their expectations around behaviors and outcomes. Know what quality means to your customers so you can make sure you're delivering to that. You must also know your own businesses core values. This will determine the way that you communicate with and interact with your clients, how you serve them in order to grow your relationship with them. All of this must stay true to those values while continuously reinforcing them. This is another foundational element that makes your customer experience strategy unique to your business. These two elements have to come together. Understand that your customers don't differentiate between marketing, sales, support, and service. For them, each touch point with your business is part of a single, comprehensive, impression and experience. With a customer description, and a value statement, you can make sure that this experience truly is consistent for them. Go grab your customer profile, and grab your value statements, and let's get started. 4. Support vs Service: Before moving on, it's also important to distinguish between customer support and customer service. We're treating these as two different things. What is the real difference? Customer support is whatever the client needs to fully use your product or service. This is what you do to support your customer success. Customer support is mainly reactive. Customers come to you with a question or when they encounter an obstacle, and you give them what they need to move forward. These are incoming queries and requests. Customer service is about what you provide to serve them while through their experience. This is where you are building the relationship beyond just their use of your products. What more can you do to make life easy for them? How do you maintain a relationship that increases your value in their eyes? Customer service is mainly proactive. These are actions and communications that you perform to keep your client happy and to keep your client's engaged. You can think about this as the instructions on how to eat the candy versus the candy wrapper. Through your customer support requests, you will learn more and more about their needs and preferences. You can use that to continuously add to and adapt your service ideas, allowing you to anticipate and eventually eliminate those requests altogether. Let the incoming information you're getting in customer support make you even better at the customer service. 5. Customer Support: The first area to address is the area of customer support. Customer support has more of a right or wrong answer. This is all about how your clients use your product or maximize your service. It's a good place to start because it gets us in the mindset of our customers, how best to serve them, and what they're really trying to get done by engaging us. Support queries can be filed in one of four categories. We're going to look at the four categories first and then address each one in turn, to determine the types of queries that could come up for each category. When you analyze all four in-depth, that should give you a good coverage of all the types of queries that could arise in a customer support conversation or request. First, let's list those four categories. They are; your product, support queries about your product, support queries about the people in your company, support queries about communication methods or lack thereof, and support queries about process, what's supposed to happen next, and how and why? How to determine which support queries go into each of these four categories, let's look at each one in turn. Queries about your product are in essence queries about how to use your product or service. These are your basic how to questions in all the different forms that those could come to you. Think about people asking you, how do I manage to do this thing or complete this action? Those questions could also be formed as, I can't find this function that I need to do the next step or your product won't do x, won't let me complete this. I thought I could do this, but I can't. These are all questions about actually using the product. If you sell a service, there is a version of this for your service as well. I've done this exercise with professional service firms, law firms, CPA firms, even design agencies and other creatives. There is a version of how do I in each of those industries as well. This is all about what people have to know to make the best use of your product, your deliverable, and any training that might be involved. The next category is people. Queries about people are very simply anything about who the client has to work with or interact with at business, anything that stems from a company employee. Of course, this could be a complaint against an employee, but it also could be a simpler question about who does what. Be prepared to handle the complaint side as well. I spoke to so and so, but they were not able to help me or even I didn't like their attitude. Those things happen, those are queries about people, but not all queries about people are necessarily complaints. It could just be an understanding of who should I be speaking with in order to get an answer to this, or who's involved in the next step. Another one that is sometimes difficult to anticipate, but I've seen come up fairly regularly is the, where did he or she go? A client saying, I used to deal with so and so and now I never speak to that person anymore. This usually happens when a client is going through your funnel of, when I was in the marketing stage I was dealing with this person. In the sale stage, this other person. Now I'm a client and I'm dealing with a third person. But I actually really liked person number two and I got better answers from that person, or we just got along more, or I felt more comfortable with that person. You'll remember in the introduction, I did mention that for a customer, the experience with your business is one seamless one whether they're in the awareness stage, the nurturing stage, the purchasing stage, and so on. The customer isn't thinking of their journey with you in terms of those stages, even if you are. When it comes to people, remember to put yourself in the customer's shoes and think about who is this person interacting with at every stage? If there has to be a transition, am I making that as simple and smooth transition? Those are your people queries. The third category is communication. This is about getting the information needed. Specifically, do my clients have access or understand the things that they need to know in order to proceed or to use my product or service. These are all your questions about, I don't know where to start. That should be obvious in the form of communication that they've had so far, it should have been clear to them what happens next. That's a problem of communication rather than a product. If a client is asking you the same question numerous times, that's a communication problem. You've answered the question, but clearly the answer is not clear, or not getting through, or not allowing the customer to take the next step and very simply, any question about, well, I just don't understand. It means that they have had access to some sort of information, but that information did not suffice. Communication issues are different from product issues in that it's not about using the product, it's about information that is available, but is somehow not accessible either because it's difficult to find or because it's difficult to understand. What you have to bear in mind is that, a communication issue could be about information that is obvious and prominent, and something you've said before or is right there on your homepage, where it's easily accessible to the client, but for some reason, that client does not understand it, or can't find it, or can't use it. That's a communication problem. You're either using the wrong language or have the wrong expectations about how to communicate with your customer base and the fourth category is process. This is when a client does not understand what is supposed to happen next or what is expected of them. If you always find yourself waiting on the client for the next step, perhaps you'd haven't gotten across the importance of them performing that next step to move the project forwards. If the client doesn't seem to understand what should happen next, what their role is, if the client keeps asking you about, aren't you supposed to send me this or I've been waiting for you to do this, they haven't understood the process. If the client simply is unaware that something was expected of them, or that they were supposed to do or sent something, these are all problems of process. When clients are asking questions about what happened before? What is supposed to happen next? I didn't know that this was supposed to happen next, and so on and so forth, these are process queries. One important thing you've probably noticed about all these categories, is how similar they can appear. We talked about things in communication that you might have thought would go into product, we've talked about things in people that possibly could have been in communication, we talked about things in process that could have been anywhere. It is important to instead to find these by distinct categories in order to understand what the root of the problem actually is. As we gave the example in communication, if a client is asking a question about using the product that has already been answered, then the problem isn't the product, the problem is communicating that fact about the product. It's not that the product unclear, it's that the communication is unclear. You need to make an improvement to your communication. Could that inform an improvement to your product as well? Certainly, don't shy away from that. But to address the issue, first and foremost, understand what category it's in. When the customer comes to you with a support query, they don't want to wait three months for you to improve the product, they just want an answer and if it is a communication problem, you can fix the communication problem and serve the customer immediately. That's the information, what do you do with it? For each of these four categories, I want you to compile notes that will allow you to preempt the queries and standardize your responses. Your homework is to take a worksheet like this, and perform it four times, one for each category. Look at product queries and say for your business, what does this mean? What are some potential queries or problems or issues with the products specifically that could arise? Start by compiling a comprehensive list in that first table you're seeing on your screen. There is no right or wrong answer, the first thing you want to do is brainstorm and put everything on paper. Next, turn all of those into questions. Some may have already come to you in the form of a question, but we want to be able to list each of these in the form of a question rather than a problem statement. The reason is that your clients will probably come to you with a question of some sorts. A roadblock, a hurdle, an I can't move on because. When you turn your statements into questions, you're starting to understand your customer's point of view, but it's also the first step in finding the answer. It's easier to answer a question than to answer a statement. So once you've turned each of those elements into questions, then write out what would the answer be. In doing so, you will start to notice that there are certain things on that initial full list that could probably go into other categories. That's fine, move them around at will. Do this exercise with your colleagues. This is not an exercise to be done in isolation, you need multiple voices. If you're directing a team on doing this, you could have everybody do a first pass at that first question, what does this mean on their own and then make the brainstorming where you all come together, create that long comprehensive list, move things around, and then do the second two columns, what is the question and what is the answer? A great way to do this is with posted notes, real or virtual so that you can easily move those answers from one category to the next. You can keep things dynamic and the point is that every movement is a mini debate. Should this be in the product category or in the communication category? Why? As I say, once you build up those questions that will also help to highlight if you've got things in the right category. What are you doing with this homework? You're getting two main things done. First of all, you are building your training manual. Every single answer in here is something that should be addressed in a way that is easily accessible to your client. This goes into your FAQs, your support documentation, your knowledge base, whatever it is that you use to train and support your customers. But number two, it allows you to improve your product. How can you minimize the number of support questions and queries that come into your people? How can you anticipate these or eliminate the need for even asking this question? Improve your products, train your people effectively, have distinct communication, and create a simple process for clients. 6. Customer Service: Now let's look at the proactive side of your Customer Experience. The Customer Service. Customer Service is about what your business is doing to reach out to customers and ensure that they are having an excellent experience. This is not about the queries that they have to send to you. This is about the efforts that you make proactively. Because these are proactive efforts, they have to be somehow about furthering the goals of your organization. You're going to spend time on this and resources on this because it benefits your company. What does that mean? What is the role that this proactive service is playing? To answer that and to create a customer experience that brings you value, you must first determine your customer experience goals. That way you can track performance and you'll know when you need to adjust or improve an area of your customer service, as well as when you're being successful in these efforts. The most common goals of Customer Service are these four: Loyalty, referrals, customer satisfaction, and development for the development of your own product or service. Let's look at each one in turn and what it could mean for your business specifically. Loyalty is about the length of your relationship with this customer. How long will they be your customer? How are they demonstration that you are their preferred service provider? This looks at things like repeat business. Are people coming back to you and buying more? If you sell on a renewal basis, what is your renewal rate? Are there services that you are selling to your clients? Any cross sells? Do your clients now trust you with different parts of their life for business and of course, up-sells, they've used something that you sell. Are they going to come back for that, but add more to what they're buying from you? These are positive results of customer loyalty. Some of the key reasons we want customer loyalty, certainly from the point of view of growth and business success. In this particular goal is by no means detached from the following goal, which is referrals; how your clients are getting new clients. Every business should have some goal to this effect. Your clients are your strongest Salesforce. If they're happy with what you did for them, there is no greater path to your next client than a satisfied customer sharing their experience. What are the ways in which you can harness that relationship to further referrals? You can get customer testimonials. Are they not just saying nice things about you, but willingly taking the time to write that paragraph or send you that information, or fill in a feedback form. Are they writing reviews? If you have a review page or if you're on review websites, are your customers taking the time to write you those reviews? Do they care enough to make that effort? Of course, the golden egg of this area, the direct referrals. Are they telling their friends, their neighbors, their contacts to call you and work with you and buy from you? Whether or not this happens will be determined by the levels of customer satisfaction that you can create. Does working with you spark joy? How are you going to identify that and measure it? This is all based on what you can demonstrate, the results that you can point to and how after working with you, your clients have improved their circumstances. They are in a better place than they worked before they worked with you. What are the results that you can point to and you can measure that will directly feed into customer satisfaction. This is the side that you control. Finally, all of this will serve you well in your development. Customer service and customer support both have this element of development, of continuous improvement of what you sell and what you do. This should be a conscious stated goal, gathering the information that you need to know that you're going to continue to serve your customers well. Your customers are, after all, the best source for both your product development and your strategy development. What can you improve in the actual product and deliverable? How can you make the process easier, simpler? What is the type of news that your clients want to see coming out of your business. What are you proactively doing not just to work on this continuous improvement, but to put it in front of the client and in the other direction, how are you capturing that customer insight into their needs, into their wants, and into the challenges that they're facing and that you have to solve. That's the learning. Let's look at the action. You're going to do homework again here. In customer service, you want to consider two key factors: what's in it for the customer and what's in it for you. To turn this lecture into a customer experience plan, I want you to look at these four goals and for each goal, determine what does it mean to work towards this goal? What are the actions that we could take proactively that would further us on the journey to this goal, that would increase our customer loyalty, that would increase the number of referral actions we can point to, that will give us insight into customer satisfaction, and that will provide the information we need for continuous improvement? Write down those actions in the first column and then these two key factors. What's in it for the client? What's in it for them? You can't be proactively contacting and working with your clients in ways that is merely a use and waste of their time. There has to be a benefit for them. The middle column is what's in it for them. The last column is, of course, what's in it for me, meaning, of course you, you're doing this to further a goal. Don't forget to be working towards that goal and calculating how far you're guessing. Do this for all four of the goals that I stated. In doing this exercise, you will quickly notice if there are other goals that you should be focusing on or in fact, you want to slightly change the premise of some of the goals that I've listed. As I say, these four are the most common. Make them your own, make them work for your organization, the customer service, this proactive side is your opportunity to add all the bells and whistles. People are buying your product or your service. You have to provide that first and foremost, everything you do above and beyond that is about that level of experience. It's about making you fun to work with, easy to work with, and making everything memorable in a positive way. And of course, continuous improvement, improving your product. This is a constant. Every interaction point with your customers is an opportunity to do better next time, which is an opportunity to further your organizational goals overall. Fill in the worksheets for the four goals, what the action is, what's in it for the client, and what's in it for you. 7. CX Assessment: Do you start with the blank page or do you start with the information that you're already producing as a business? It is worth examining your current situation. You're already communicating with clients and whether you have a structured system or not, you're providing some customer experience. It's worth taking the time to analyze what exactly you're doing now and then build upon that. Use that base information and data to build a plan, and improve your current systems. Spend a month analyzing all the interactions that you have with clients and make a list of every single touch point. Whenever you are communicating with a client, it needs to go into a table. Your table will have three columns. Your first column is going to denote whether the interaction was incoming or outgoing. In other words, was this the client coming to you with a question, a query? Or was this you, the business proactively contacting your client? The second column is the nature of the query. Was this to solve a problem? Was it to get more information about something? Was it for completely new information? Was it a customer appreciation contact? Was it for training or teaching purposes? Try to use the same language throughout whenever it is a training contact to then use the word training whenever it might be a question about your service or product, then say product query. Use repeated terminology for the same type of query, but make a note of all the types of query. The third column, the third thing you want to note for each touch point is how was this resolved, what resolution was provided? If this was a problem-solving query, then of course, the resolution is quite obvious. What did you do to fix it? But let's say it's a customer appreciation query, is there really a resolution? The resolution is the outcome, what was the result of this touch point. Spend one month just collecting the data. If you have frequent touch points with your clients, two weeks might suffice, but one month is enough time that you should be able to collect at least a couple of examples of all the different types of interactions that you have with your clients. For that month, collect data only, don't start any analysis quite yet. At the end of the month, take your list of queries, your list of touch points, and tag each one as either support or service. Was it a client need that you are responding to or was this your business proactively advertising, connecting with relationship, nurturing with your customer base? Examine these a little bit and if you do have a team of employees, then get a few people together and make this a group exercise. You're not done until every single query has been tagged as either support or service. Once this is complete, take that full table of data and separate it out into two lists. These two lists are to have all of your support queries in one group altogether, and all of your service touch points in a separate group altogether. You want to be able to see everything that was support and how it was resolved, and separate to that, you want to be able to see everything that was service and what outcomes you got. List all of the queries from the previous exercise in one or the other column as you've tagged them, and then examine each group in turn. For everything that was a support query, what you want to ask yourself is, what can I do to minimize these? Take a look at your operations and everything that could qualify as a support query based on what you've learned in this course so far and ask yourself, what can we do to minimize all of these? Next, look at your service touch points and ask yourself, how can we improve all of these? Have you always gotten the resolution or the outcome that you were hoping to get? Most importantly, when you didn't, why not? What can you do to improve those results? But even were you did, what more could you do? Can you aim higher? Can you improve your expectations of results? Can you provide more consistency for a client? You constantly, over time want to be looking at how to minimize support queries and how to improve service queries. After this course, you will set up your customer experience plan. It might be the first plan you've ever had or it might be replacing a previous plan. Either way, it is worth performing this exercise every 18 months or so. This is how you run an assessment, this can be your starting point after this course, and it should also be the type of assessment you come back to on a regular basis. 8. Customer Delivery: The whole point of customer experience is for it to be a way to enhance the effect of your product, whatever it is that you sell, whether that is a product or service. I will use the word product for simplicity's sake throughout this lecture. Your customer experience must also take into account the actual customer deliverable and the customer delivery, the way in which your product is created, communicated, and shared with your client. Let's take a customer-first approach to customer delivery. In order to do this, I want us to look at three things, three steps, if you will. First of all, the actual delivery process, what you need to do to build out that step-by-step process, then we'll look at the points of interaction, how your customers communicate with you and vice versa, and finally, communicating all of this to your customer, what it is you need to do to inform your customer about this and why you need to inform your customer about this. Starting with the actual delivery process, what are the steps involved in serving your client? What is the actual procedure? I want you to list everything you do to provide your service to deliver your product. Just list some step-by-step. What is the first thing? You've just acquired a new client, you've signed the contract. What is the first action that has to happen once that account has become a client. Once that action has taken place, that allows for another action to take place. From there, where do we go? Once that next action has taken place, another must take place, and so on and so forth to the point of final deliverable. Once you've got all of that figured out, it doesn't have to be anything fancy at this stage. I just want you to be able to list out all these steps, and then take them and flip them around. Now I want you to describe that exact same process but from the customer's point of view. What does the customer have to do? What will the customer receive? What are the points that involve the customer in one way or another? That is your customer-first approach to product delivery, which is the part that actually matters to your client. This is what they want to know. This is the information you can share with them to remove mystery. Add to this the points of interaction. How is your customer going to communicate with you? How are you going to communicate with your customer? How do they ask you questions, for example? How do you respond to those questions? You want to decide here, what is the appropriate communication point? Customers might need to ask you questions, occasionally. There might be complaints. How do they log those? How do they send those to you? Any concern they have about the experience of working with you, all the different reasons why a customer might have to get in touch with you. You want to make sure you're accounting for all of those. Then you want to set up a system that you can explain to your customer. Are they supposed to email you? If so, who specifically and what information should they set? Is there a particular subject line they should use for questions or a different one for complaints? Maybe you'll use a ticketing system. If so, where is the ticketing system? Is it easy to access? How should they be using it? Or perhaps, you'll use a live chat. Do they go to your homepage or to a different place? Can they talk to anybody in the chat? Are there any particular codes or keywords that they should be using, and of course, how do they get a resolution? How long should they expect to wait before they receive an answer? What is the method in which you will communicate back with them? Is it through the same channel? Is there anything in particular that they should be aware of, and what kind of resolution can they expect? Now I know you can't tell beforehand what the resolution is because you don't yet know what the question or problem is. But you do want to at least be able to say, "These are the types of things we can resolve right away. Sometimes, we might have to put something on a road map and come back to you later." These types of things involve multiple people, whatever you can say upfront to remove the mystery for your client. Finally, once you've decided all of this. Once you have written down and defined what the customer journey is and how they communicate with you, you need to then tell the client and make this clear. The reason I do point this out as a specific third step is because I want you to treat it as the most important of these steps. How are you telling your customer? First of all, you have to remember to tell them, "Communicate with me via the portal or via email." You can't expect them to just know that if they haven't been told explicitly. But also, how do they remember that? Make sure this is in writing somewhere that they can reference. One thing I like to do is create an actual visual of the process, like a map, like a road map or a GPS map that says, "These are the steps and the milestones. This is what will be expected of you at each of these steps, and here's how to communicate with your service provider." Something that is very simple and very clear about managing your customer expectations. This is all part of the customer experience. 9. Customer delivery examples : In the preceding video, we talked about creating the process like a roadmap of your service delivery. To help you in this task, let's look at three different examples of service delivery for different types of businesses, and the steps that would be in their customer delivery process. Note that I am of course simplifying what each of these cases would be, but it will be enough to explain and give you the idea so that you can do this on your own. So first example, let's look at the service delivery for a home security company. What's the process to that delivery? Well, the first step is probably to review the needs of the customer. Go into the property, understanding the wiring options, and generally the homeowners lifestyle, what kind of security they want. Then that business probably has to order the hardware, the cameras, fixtures, anything else that goes along with that business. After which they will conduct the installation, go back to the property, do any required construction, wiring, etc. Finally, they will teach the client how to use the security system. This is a simplified version of the service delivery process for a home security business. Once this has been built out, note where the client is involved, these three steps will require the client. This business has to let them know that they will have to be present, or they will have to prepare something or do something so that the client has no surprises throughout the whole process, throughout the whole experience. For the parts that don't involve the clients, in this case ordering hardware, the business will still want to let them know that that is what is happening so that the client understands that work is taking place behind the scenes, even if they don't see it. So the roadmap that this business will want to present to their clients, will really highlight these three points and say, you need to be in this place, or we need to have access to the property, or we're going to require these things from you. Our second example is a web development agency. What is the process that a web development agency would go through to deliver, say, a standard website? They will start once again with reviewing the client needs. What is the website for? What are the goals? Who are the business' clients? What services they sell and so on? They will then design a proposal, put together a draft of the website, the design, any development required, and a general picture of the final outcome. They will require customer sign off probably before getting started on any actual development. Then the development takes place. They will create the website, they'll test it, and once everything is looking great, they will get that final sign-off, maybe one round of revisions before the launch. In this case, these are the areas that will require customer involvement. Reviewing the needs will require meeting. Signing off means the client has to review whatever they are sent, whether that happens via e-mail or in an actual face-to-face meeting. Then the final sign-off, same thing, it's the client that has to take action. Once again, the roadmap that is shared with the client should include all these steps, highlighting when the client is actually involved, but still pointing out everything that is happening behind the scenes. This all speaks to a great experience because the client understands that work is taking place continuously. As a third example, let's look at an estate planning attorney, writing a will. A first step might actually be to get the client to fill in forms so that the attorney can get some standard information that's required for every will. The attorney can then have a conversation with the client to discuss any specific needs that need to go into this legal document. Once that is done, the attorney can go back to their desk and draft the will, write it up, proofread it, whatever needs to be done to complete this legal document, at which point then they probably have a client walk through, going through all the documents, explaining what everything means, how to store and use this document that is not an every day active tool, and of course, getting clients signatures so that everything is valid. Once again, note the areas that require the client to be involved. The client obviously has to be the one filling in the forms, and the other two points are probably meetings that they're having with the attorney in order to respond to all these questions. At the same time, the clients want to know that between one step and another, the attorney is doing work on creating these actual documents. I shared these three examples to get you thinking about what the customer service delivery process might look like for your business, for your product, or for your service. You want to create a list of this sort very simple bullet list and then turn it into something presentable that you can share with the client, finding a way to visually in the document highlight where the client is involved and anything that's required of them, anything they have to prepare, do in advance or expect throughout this process. The more you inform the client, the more you remove mystery and surprises from the experience, the better the experience will be for that client. 10. Implement: You now have the two key elements of your customer experience. What your customers will be asking you, the support side, and how your customers help you achieve your goals. The service side, you'll use your homework from the customer support lecture to create your manuals, FAQs, and train your support employees. You'll use your homework from the customer service lecture to refine your goals and decide how and when and with what information you will be communicating with your clients. As you implement all of this, there's several logistical considerations to keep in mind in order for this to work. Nothing happens in isolation. Here are the key questions whose answers will guide how you make the decisions of implementing your customer experience plan. First of all, and of great importance is how you will communicate with your customers. What methods will you use? How often do you want to be in their inboxes? Do you want to be on their social media platforms? Where do you want them to be thinking of you? Remember that you have many options. Don't just choose what everybody else is doing. Put some thought into, this is when I want my customers to remember that I exist or think about my service, or know what's going on with me. Choose the timing and platforms that answer those questions the best. Also consider how they will communicate with you. How are they submitting to support communication? Are you making it easy for them to call you? Or submit tickets? Or use an online chat forum? Are these things easy to find? Do they get responses quickly enough? Do customers feel that they have the correct access to you and that it's easy to get in touch with you when they need to? As all this communication is going back and forth, of course, you have to be capturing that knowledge, all about the product improvement and service improvement. Where are you capturing that? How are you tracking the types of support queries that are coming in? How are you tracking what people are interested in? With your outgoing information and news, what are people clicking on? What are people responding to? This isn't just about the numbers, but what the numbers tell you. How are you capturing this knowledge, this insights into your client's behaviors and preferences. You want this to be simple to do and you want it to be coherent. What I mean by coherent is everybody is using the same methodology. They're using the same language, they're using the same systems so that you can have multiple people having contact with customers, but you are capturing knowledge in the same way. You can review and examine that as a whole. With the knowledge captured, that is going to give you your idea for product and service improvements. How do you roll those out? Know what your step-by-step processes for communicating updates, changes, new offerings, new ways of doing things both internally and of course, externally with your customers. To make all of this happen means collaboration across multiple teams: customer support, customer service, marketing, customer success, sales, product development, PR. How and when are people collaborating? Don't forget any parts of that process or that puzzle and make sure that you've got effective handoffs from one area to the next, and that when you are using customer experience feedback to create a product improvement, all of that information is flowing through your whole organization in the correct way. Finally, but probably most importantly, how are you going to measure your progress? The only way to know that you are doing the correct things that you're going towards your goals and to adapt, fix, and improve is to be measuring what's happening. You have to know what to track, and you have to know why you're tracking it. The why question is how you hold yourself accountable to your own ideas. How does tracking this information allow me to improve my business or bring me closer to my goals, or notice when I'm not getting closer to my goals? These are procedural considerations. Use your business process systems, whatever you have in place now to make sure that you're checking the box against all of these logistical considerations when you are rolling out your customer experience plan and of course, through the execution of that customer experience plan, that is an ongoing thing. 11. Some basics: When we're thinking of the tactics and the implementation of your customer experience, don't forget the basics. As you build the experience that is correct for your business, that is best for your clients, don't forget those universal truths that should be a part of any customer experience in any business. Let's take a look at those now. The first one is to be friendly. That might seem very obvious but the truth is that friendly might mean something different to different people. Define what being friendly means specifically. Train your people on how to be friendly towards your customers. Do they smile every time they speak to somebody? Do they greet people in a particular way? "It's nice to see you," or "How can I help you?" or "It's lovely to hear from you, thank you for calling." What are those phrases or those sentiments that you want to make sure that your reps are getting across to your clients? Also, teach them what it means to come across as being happy to talk to somebody, happy to hear from a client. Remember that every customer interaction you get is a confirmation that you have that customer and they're trying to do something, so you should be happy to hear from them, regardless of what the query is. How are you showing to your customers that you are happy to hear from them and that you're happy that they are there? Another one is to solve problems. You are in the business of solving problems. Every interaction with a customer, whether reactive or proactive, is about solving problems. The key is that solving problems is more important than simply apologizing for the existence of the problem. Customer satisfaction tends to increase when customers can point to problems being solved, things being taken care of over hearing a lot of apologies. A challenge I like to give to my clients is, can you create a customer support system in which your reps never actually use the word sorry, but still come across as, well, sorry? Not indifferent to the customer's problem but focused on fixing it, focused on responsibility more than on blame. Don't worry so much about apologizing but focus on the solution. Another important factor is to be consistent. We talked about this in the standard versus bespoke video and it really is an essential that should be worked through your entire customer experience plan. People want to know what to expect. If every time they interact with your business they're getting a completely different experience, they will lose patience and move on to someplace where service is consistent, where it is reliable. Think about your favorite store or your favorite restaurant. If every time you went, you had a completely different experience, one time you're greeted friendly, another time with complete indifference, one time the food is delicious and served warm, the next time it's served cold and takes a long time, one time you have cutlery, the next time it's plastic forks and knives, you would eventually stop going to the restaurant because you just don't know what to expect. How do you know that it's going to fit your mood or your preferences in that moment? Be consistent. Let people know what to expect. As much as possible, give your clients a dedicated person or team, make the experience personal but very reliable, and finally in all of this, be human. We are human, our customers are human. Problems will occur, imperfections will occur, solutions will be celebrated. We'll be happy when things go right. Allow those human emotions to come through. Let people talk to your customers as humans. Let people crack a joke where it's appropriate. Let people share a celebration where it's appropriate. Let people commiserate together where it's appropriate. Don't forget the human elements. Let your reps and your employees show their human side to the customers. This allows your customers to be themselves and be human in the presence of your business. This is only a good thing. There's no single way to address these four basics. Just make sure that you are addressing them in a way that is consistent with your brand and with the experience you want to provide. 12. Customer appreciation: We can't talk about customer experience without talking about customer appreciation. In this video, we'll look at two sides of that. First of all, selecting when and with whom you should be showing customer appreciation. Then we'll go through some examples of how, the types of gifts that you can send to demonstrate customer appreciation. The first thing you want to do is select the milestone. In other words, select the moment at which you're going to perform this outreach to show customer appreciation. This course is about having a plan, systems in place to make a customer experience seamless and easy to manage. This decision, part of the plan is when do we perform some action of customer appreciation? When do we proactively reach out with a gift or some form of recognition to our clients? Decide what the milestone is, so it's easy to act on that for all of your clients. Is it going to be during holidays? If so, what are those holidays? Are you recognizing religious holidays? If so, be aware of the holidays that the client celebrates. Are you looking at secular holidays? Maybe they're national holidays, maybe you like to celebrate, Speak Like a Pirate Day. Somehow that ties into your business. Choose if it is going to be at holiday milestones. Another option is personal celebrations, celebrating your client's birthdays, anniversaries, other types of accomplishments. Do you have access to that information and can you celebrate those regularly? You could also choose the milestones that mark the relationship you have with your clients. When you first did business together, when you reached a certain value with the client, or when you completed a project or a stage of a project, what is it that you want to commemorate in your relationship with the client? Finally, it could be at buying times. If you sell on a subscription or renewal model, perhaps every time a client renews is when you want to send them some appreciation. Perhaps it's when they refer you to another client. Perhaps it's every time that they buy something new from you. Don't choose all of these, pick one type of milestone and celebrate that with all of your clients. But wait, when I say all, do I mean every single one? That depends on your business model, the volume of clients that you have, and how you determine to show that appreciation. If you're in a low volume, high-value business and you are juggling a smaller number of clients, then you certainly can do this for all of them. But the truth is that more often than not, you're going to be selective of which clients receive the customer appreciation, or at least what type of customer appreciation they receive. How do you determine what a high-value client is? A client who will get a little bit more effort and a little bit more recognition. There are two main considerations that you can have. One, of course, is the clients that are spending the most money with you, that is worth appreciation. There are situations, however, where the client who's spending the most money isn't necessarily the most valuable. If they demand a lot of your time, if they're difficult to work with, then maybe they're not actually as valuable as they seem on paper. I'm not saying that that's always the case, but it's worth looking into. What do you think of as valuable client? Another thing that makes a client valuable is the client who brings you other clients. If a client is giving you testimonials, referrals, additional business, bringing people into your sphere of influence, that's a high-value client. That client is worth more than just the money that they're paying you. That's another thing you might choose to recognize. What else? What denotes a high-value client to you? It might depend on your type of business and business model. Once you have selected the milestone at which you're going to show customer appreciation and the type of clients to whom you are going to show appreciation, you have to select how you're going to show that customer appreciation. There might be more than one way. You might decide that all clients get a card at their renewal time or all clients get a card on their birthdays. But there are other milestones in which high-value clients get more recognition. The following is simply a list of some ideas of how to show customer appreciation, what those gifts could be. One option is a gift basket. That's always a crowd-pleaser. It could be food, savory, or sweet. But you'll find all sorts of gift baskets now, gift baskets built around particular hobbies, particular interests, even around movie franchises and more. Send a gift basket to somebody's office to brighten up what might be a heavy day, or if you think your client will not want to share with colleagues, send it to their home, be mindful of that. Another idea is a customer appreciation video. Film a 20-30 second video sharing everything you've enjoyed about working with that client and why they're such a great client. Side note, do get a professional videographer to do this. They'll be able to create a great experience with graphics and proper editing. Do something that your client will be proud to share. They'll put it on their LinkedIn profile, they'll put it on their social media, maybe even on their website. That gives you a bit of publicity as well as them. You could also take them out for a meal, have lunch with your client. Is this somebody that you also enjoy spending time with? Lunch on you is just a nice, friendly way to say thank you, and I like being around you, let's share a meal. That's not always an option. You might be sheltering in place because you're watching this during a global pandemic, or maybe you're not in the same location as your clients, in which case, send them a catered lunch. This is another great way to surprise a client. Keep it simple. If you don't know for a fact that they don't have a meeting that day, that they don't have a lunch already planned, then make it something that is in a box that if they're not going to eat on the moment, they could wrap up and take home and eat leisure or share with somebody something that is not going to go to waste if you happen to catch them in a moment when they can't actually eat that lunch. But sending a small catered bid of food to somebody is a really fun surprise. It's a really great way to stand out in their eyes. Another fun idea, certainly for high-value clients, one that works well in a business to consumer environment, but could also work in a B2B environment, is to have a picture painted for that client. I know an artist, for example, who does a lot of paintings of pets or family air and the painter's clients are service providers who want to show appreciation to their clients. People like realtors, some attorneys who are doing high-value deals, and then giving a small painting as a token of their appreciation. That can also be unexpected, creative, and very personal. It can show that you know your client well because you've selected a subject that matters to them. Another option is a flower arrangement. There are a lot of different options within the flower arrangement theme. It could be a typical bouquet, extra points if you know whether your client actually knows anything about flower arranging. They'll probably appreciate it much more if they do. They can cut those stems, put it in a vase, display it beautifully in their home or their office. For clients who don't know about flower arranging, make sure that if you do send them a bouquet, it's already in a vase and they don't have to do any extra work. But there's so much more you could do with the flower, and look for a special type of flower. Orchids are always a good option. They really stand out. I really like the idea of terrariums because they require no maintenance. They last a long time, and they're different from what most people are displaying on their desks or in their homes. Go speak to a florist. Try to find somebody creative, somebody local, if you can, so that you can talk to them about what their options are and how you can give something really quite different. Remember that it need not be a flower at all. Maybe you give somebody a plant of some sort or even a little indoor spice garden. Once we start thinking about the plant option, there really is so much there that you could do. It's another way that once you make the right selection, you can show that you really know your customer well. Don't forget candy, chocolate, candy, sweets, most people like sweet food. Some people don't, so make sure you're not sending chocolate and candy to somebody who doesn't eat sugar at all. But we're talking about customer appreciation. I suggest you personalize that candy. There's so many services that do this now, you can Google them and find them. You can get boxes of chocolates that have your client's name on them. You can get boxes with the colors of your client's brand. You can create candy that is specific to a client. You can also build it around interests. I once bought somebody candy that was shaped as tennis balls because the person I was buying for is a huge tennis player. It was a big bag of lemon drops and each one looks like a tennis ball. Personalize in any way you can. Show your client that you know them. Tickets to an event are also a good option. This is another area that I'd say, make sure that you're keeping that flexibility. If they are for a specific day, how do you know that your client is available to go that day? It's not enough to know that your client likes this type of music or enjoys this type of sport, you have to make sure that this is something your client is able to do and will I also enjoy doing. If they are tickets to go to something with you, make sure that that's the type of thing that a client would like to do with you. What else? Hopefully, this list has given you some ideas, but also made you think of some other ideas. There's always the completely personal gift, the thing that would only be considered valuable to that one client. Something that you know that they like or it's something that you think would put a smile on their face. That is a more difficult thing to do. If you're trying to create systems and consistency and you have to do something completely personalized, starting from scratch for each client, then make sure that you're keeping that at a low volume. You don't want to be doing that for dozens of clients. You really can only sustain that for a small handful of clients. Everything I've listed here can also vary hugely in terms of investments. Once again, go back to thinking about, what are the milestones with celebrating, what is a high-value client, and who deserves what type of recognition from your business? But never forget to tell your clients that you're really happy that they are there. 13. Measure: I said measurements are one of the most important considerations and I've talked about measurement several times throughout this course so far. The only way to know that you are doing the right things, that you are keeping your customers happy, that you are selecting the correct improvements is to measure what's happening. The problem with measurements is we go straight to quantitative data and collect the numbers that are easy for us to see and easy for us to collect. But they're not always the most salient numbers. It's not always the information that actually tells us the story, or we're not using it in a way to tell us a story. It's never about a given number at a moment in time, but it's always about the trends, the movements, the changes, what the numbers tell us about the actions behind the numbers that are driving those numbers. To check in with yourself, hold yourself accountable and know that you're doing the right things. You want to create some standard measurements to ensure you're staying on track. This is not just for your internal measurement, however, you also have to be measuring your customer experience success with your customers. Let's focus on that side of things for a moment. How do you measure the success of your customer experience plan? Here are the three most popular and common systems used to measure customer success. There's the customer satisfaction score. This is pretty straightforward. Most, if not all of you have seen this or use this at some point or another. The net promoter score, is a very popular method, a bit more targeted, you've probably heard of it, and as the consumer of a service, you've probably come across this. There's the customer effort score, more recently developed, a bit more in depth in certain areas. These are all different ways to tell the story of how you are making your customers happy. Each of these methods can teach you something about insight into your customers. Your customer satisfaction score, is a rating system. You're going to ask a question and give your audience a 1-5 rating option. How satisfied are you with the service is the most standard version of this question with a 1-5 selection. Make sure that you're letting people know what that 1-5 is. 1 is extremely unsatisfied, 5 is extremely satisfied, 2, 3, and 4 are you're varying degrees within that. Write that down so you at least know you're asking the exact same question of everybody. You want to make sure that when people are answering, they're thinking as much as possible of the same thing. When I'm working on this with the client, I do like to challenge them to be more specific with their question, how satisfied are you, will give you information. What I like to say is, what do you mean by satisfied? Let's define this word satisfied. What do you want your clients to be thinking of when they think of satisfaction with regards to your company? If they were to describe extremely satisfied, what would that look like? Give me five bullet points in that list that you would be happy for your clients to say. By doing that exercise, we can always extract something a little bit more specific and maybe we even turn it into three questions instead of one. Can you ask three questions? Do you have to ask one? That does depend on the relationship you have with your customers and the situation in which you're asking this. But even a more targeted but specific question can bring you more insight. It might just be about one aspect of the business, but at least you're getting some direct feedback about that aspect of the business. Brainstorm about this question, find the right one, find the one that is going to give you the insight you need from your customers. What do you do with these numbers once you have them? You can total the numbers and say 10 out of every 12 respondents, give us a scoring of 4 or higher. You can also do a percentage which tells the same story, but makes it easier for measurements, benchmarking and tracking. In this case, you would say if 10 out of 12 respondents gave us 4 stars or higher, let's put 10 over 12, multiply the result by a 100, we get 83 percent. 83 percent of respondents gave us a rationing of very or extremely satisfied. Note that you can find industry benchmarks, look for customer satisfaction ratings in different industries in your industry, and you can see where you plot within that benchmark. The Net Promoter Score, as I say, is a very popular one and it's grown in popularity in the last few years. The Net Promoter Score is also a rating system and it's asking about referral likelihood. How likely are your clients to promote you? Hence the name with this measurement, we don't play around with the question. It is always the same question, which is, how likely are you to recommend those to a friend or colleague? The Net Promoter Score is this specific question, and it also has to give a 1-10 rating. Generally, with ratings I'll say less is more, do a 1-3 or 1-5, not so with the net promoter score because this is a specific methodology. How likely are you to recommend us to a friend or colleague on a scale of 1-10? You are then collecting the same type of answer across all of your audience, and there's one more step here. It's not just a question of saying more than 50 percent of respondents would recommend us, or 10 out of 12 of respondents would recommend us. The Net Promoter Score actually uses a specific classification of those answers, which is the following; everybody who has given you a score of 9 or 10 is considered a promoter. These are your gold stars. This is what you want more of. These are your perfect client's. Everybody who has given you a score of 7-8 is considered neutral. These are people who may recommend you if it comes up, if it's easy for them and if they do, they might do so saying, check these guys out. Everybody who gives you an answer of 1-6 is considered a detractor. These are people who will not recommend you. Your 9-10 are your customer evangelists. These people are enthusiastic about your service. These people like working with you. When these people refer you or recommend you, they're going to talk about how great it was or how much fun it was, or how easy it was to work with you. As you can see, this isn't about saying 50 percent or more of my customers would promote me to or recommend me to a colleague. This is really about focusing on the difference between somebody who would actively promote you and everybody else. Finally, the Customer Effort Score. I like the Customer Effort Score because it puts the emphasis back on to the customer, and that's who we're here to serve after all. The customer effort score was developed on the promise that reducing customer effort is more important than momentary delights. The systems we've looked at so far can tend to focus on a single moment in interaction with the customer. One single moment could have gone well, but that might be a rare bright spot over many moments, or it could be a question that a customer has had many good moments, but too many moments, they wanted to get things done faster, more easily. The Customer Effort Score is not so much a rating system as it is a survey system, focused on the effort required by the customer to solve their problem. This can be numerical, or it cannot be. You can actually have different options as answers in here. You're going to ask a question that has some variation of how easy was it to solve my issue. The customers answering, so of course the My refers to the customer's issue, and once again, you can play with this wording to make it work for you. You can use your 1-5 ration if you want, and as with the customer satisfaction score, calculate a percentage of easy versus not. But I always think that's missing an opportunity. Here's where you can collect very targeted and direct feedback for improvements. Instead of just giving a score, give a list of options. Let's say five different options that say, it was easier than I thought, it took longer than I thought, people were easy to work with, people were hard to work with, it was hard to get a hold of people, there's no limit to the types of answers that you could put in here. You want to select the ones that are most important for you. What is it that you want to track in terms of the performance of your customer support? Pick five, maximum six, and you're already collecting targeted feedback. Use some great software to do this, and you can create a customer journey. Ask three questions. If somebody clicks on, this took longer than I thought, then maybe they get another question that says, how long did you expect it to take and gives them some options. Maybe your first questions are even a rating system. I'm very satisfied, I'm not satisfied, and so on, and if somebody clicks on, I'm not satisfied, then they get the next question that asks about their lack of satisfaction. Was it the time? Was it the effort? Was it the communication? You see how you can build up to three questions to get targeted feedback, specific feedback on what it is that you can do to improve. I've given you a broad variety of questions that you could put in here. I want to highlight once again that the questions you use should be based on the goals that you're looking to achieve, what you've determined that you need to measure to track you towards your goals. Be specific. If you're going to ask for effort on the part of the clients to answer the survey because you are ask them at least one extra click, then make sure that it's for information I was going to make a big difference to your business. Pick one of these systems at least to implement. The important thing is the coherence with what your goals are and what you need to measure. Bring it all together in this way. But once you've got your measurements in place, and once you've got your systems of measurements, how you're going to collect the data, that's the last step you need to get started with your new customer experience plan. You know your service categories, you know what you're going to do in terms of proactive supports, you know what, and how you are going to measure. Your customer experience strategy, is ready to be rolled out. 14. Conclusion: You now have a full overview of what you need in order to create and implement a customer experience plan that is perfect for your business. Congratulations on working through this material and building up to your project. Let's take a quick review of what you've learned. We started with your business goals, your client profile, and the targets you have for this business. We focused then on customer support. We worked through the four categories of customer support, identifying the areas where you might get questions, and the types of queries that you might get. Next, we shifted to customer service. Looking at how to connect your proactive customer work with your business goals. We put together that plan for your feedback loop. The way in which you are communicating with their customers and getting information back from them. Finally, we remembered to put it all together for take off. You have what you need to implement the strategy, tools for you to measure the strategy, and of course, continuously grow your business through a great customer experience. How has the work you've done so far changed your views and approach to your business? What new ideas do you have about your business? What changes will you be bringing in to your business based on the work you've done? What about any adaptation to your goals? Do you add new goals? Do you adapt some of the goals you already had? Does this give you a new point of view on what the correct goals are for your business, what it is that you can control? And of course, what new insight do you have into your customers themselves and their preferences? Do you have a better picture of your customers? Do you feel more in control of the relationship? Do you understand them a little bit better than you did before taking this course? Remember that any change you're going to bring to your current methods will have to be implemented by your customer experience team. Make sure that you are involving everybody in this process. The people that have to do the work should understand why they're doing the work. How we got here, and have a say in what the work should be. Use brainstorming sessions with your team and introduce any client data you have to move people and process in the direction they need to go. We've covered everything from understanding what will make your customer happy, to what will make your customers successful, to how that success contributes to your over business goals, and of course, everything in between. Choose the experience that you want people to have when they engage you and work with you. You can be deliberate about what that experience is. You can control what that experience is. You have everything you need, you're ready to start.