Italian customer intelligence’s journey through the touchpoints of different industries
“Any time a customer comes into contact with any aspect of a business, however remote, is an opportunity to form an impression”.
With these words, Jan Carlzon, President of SAS Group (Scandivian Airlines System) from 1981 to 1994, used to define what we call today touchpoints. He usually called them “moments of truth”.
Indeed, it is about every interaction, every moment in which the customer is engaging with a company across a real journey divided in different stages. Specifically, the journey starts when the buyer becomes aware of your company (surfing the internet with a search engine, thanks to a hint of a friend or crashing a sign on the street), it continues when the client evaluates the product or the service, it lasts till the customer shops and, eventually, he needs assistance (consider the picture). They are all moments of truth because in each of these stages the customer seeks a correspondence between his deep need and desire with what he experiences. Even more, as every other human being, also the Customer clarifies to himself which are his needs and desires in the very moment he tries and experiences something.
Consequently, every touchpoint raises two opportunities. On one hand, it allows the customer to reach an awareness in terms of correspondence with what he needs or desires. On the other hand, it enables every company to facilitate this moment of awareness. Thus, it is very important that every business acknowledges and recognizes every touchpoint that the customer goes through. The ultimate goals is to offer – in each of them – an experience that reveals to the customer the clarity of his needs/desire: a clarity that must totally amaze him!
Since every detail is essential for both the creation and constitution of the bigger picture and for the disclosure of the overall experience, if just one moment, just one of these interactions does not enable the customer to became aware of a correspondence, or even worst if it enables a “non – correspondence”, this involves that the client might find conflicting even the entirety of what he is experiencing.
During his journey, the Customer has the opportunity to live as many experiences as many chances he has to interact with several different touchpoints. Consequently, every touchpoint is fundamental to ensure that the client clarifies more and more to himself that correspondence with his own needs and desires choosing accordingly to continue his journey till the end.
When Jan Carlzon became President of SAS, the company was losing 17 million of dollars each year with the reputation of being one of the airlines with more delays in Europe (fourteenth over 17 airlines companies). Carlzon undertakes a real turnaround: “We used to fly aircraft, and we did it very successfully. Now we have to learn the difficult lesson how to flight people”.
Each touchpoint must be an opportunity for your company to “fly” your Customer towards his own needs and desires. It’s an opportunity that must be capitalized as the only asset able to offer a Customer Experience that excites your client. What is the result? Your Customer will come back, he will spend more money (as it was rigorously documented in many studies) and he will promote your company or brand among friends and colleagues.
In the following weeks, Italian Customer Intelligence will start a journey across the most important “moments of truth” of different industries: “What experience the customer seeks in each of them? What are the possible gaps in the offer? What are the opportunities to improve in order to “fly” the customer?”