Customer Experience is not something you design, implement and then you have it, along with a plaque and a hearty handshake. Sure you do all those things (except maybe not the plaque) because that’s how you improve a customer experience. But what many of our clients have learned is that the idea that you are going to ever have “it” is a naïve one at best. The problem is by the time you finally you have the “it” you were striving for before, you need an entirely different it.
The DICE Model
Our DICE model, which we published in our first book, was developed specifically to address this issue. As a means to facilitate continuous improvement to the customer experience, we find that this useful acronym can help organizations continue to improve their Customer Experience after the initial wins.
DICE stands for: Driving Improved Customer Experience and has six steps to it, which include:
Evaluate Customer Experience Needs: In this step, you research all the information you have available to you to ascertain what is lacking in your current customer experience, whether it’s the original one or the newly designed and implemented strategy that gave you your first success.
Assess Internal Readiness: You now have a new goal for your experience based on the first step. Next, you follow it up with a robust assessment of what you have on hand to try to achieve this goal, from funding to staff to culture and leadership.
Develop Statement and Strategy: Back to the drawing board is an apt way to describe the next step. Defining a new customer experience statement and building a strategy for achieving it is the next step. The good news is that you have been through this process before, so you know what to do next.
Implement Elements and Properties: Using the strategy as your guide, step 4 starts the actual work of implementing the change. Here is where both measurement and feedback mechanisms incorporate as well, so you can adjust as needed.
Monitor Against Desired Results: I like to think of this phase as the watch and listen phase. You can use any number of methods to get your information, including employee feedback, customer surveys, churn reports, and customer comments to name a few.
- Gather Measures and Source Other Feedback: Now that you have listened to the internal measures for a while, you can now expand your watching and listening skills in a wider way, giving you insight from the market, industry studies, trends and news making events, as well as focus groups.
Starbucks Is Always Rolling the DICE
Starbucks recently announced that they are going to offer charging stations for smartphones and tablets at their stores nationwide. The chargers, which look like dark discs, will be installed in the table and countertops so patrons can lay their devices on to charge while they are in the store getting their caffeine fix. The technology is not compatible with all phones and tablets without an accessory, but future versions are likely fine to charge directly on the mats, called Powermats.
Starbucks does a great job with customer experience already, at least in the US. They offer a great product that you can fully customize, i.e., double shot skinny latte with two pumps. They offer free wireless in their stores. They are conveniently located, making more and more businesses consider their local Starbucks their satellite office. They are even trialing a wine bar atmosphere for the night hours when coffee isn’t in as high of a demand to give regular customers a reason to come back in the evenings.
So clearly improving the experience was something they had already worked on and achieved. But because Starbucks wants to continue to be customer centric, they are looking for the latest need they can fulfill. Hence, the charging stations. There is likely a good business reason they went with Powermats and this specific technology, too. If so, they are simply aligning their interests with the customer’s, which is a winning strategy for any customer centric company.
Adding this new perk is an example of rolling the DICE. They discovered a new need that was not being met, then they assessed their ability to handle it internally and have a strategy for adopting a solution, nationwide no less. While it’s too early to tell how the implementation will go and what the benefits and results will be to their bottom line, I predict that this new convenience will likely be a plus to customers.
It’s the Journey, Not the Destination
Many, many of our clients have won awards for the improvements they have made to their customer experience. But even the most decorated will tell you, “We’re not there yet…it’s a process.”
I couldn’t agree more with this sentiment. Not only do the wants and needs of your customers change, but the standards for what is considered a good customer experience changes as well. At one time, you were expected to provide as good an experience as a competitor in your industry. Now, customers expect you to provide as good an experience as exists, even if it’s for a computer store and you are a telecom provider.
Having a great customer experience is a journey not a destination. It is a constantly changing target that requires you to listen and adapt to the new requirements as an organization. It absolutely requires you to “keep it up.” It requires a holistic and systematic approach that will keep all of it. In essence, you must continue to roll the DICE.
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|Colin Shaw is founder & CEO of Beyond Philosophy, one of the world’s first organizations devoted to customer experience. Colin has been recognized by LinkedIn as one of the top 150 Business Influencers in the world. He is an international author of four best-selling books on Customer Experience. Colin’s company, Beyond Philosophy provide consulting, specialised research & training from our Global Headquarters in Tampa, Florida, USA.
Follow Colin Shaw on Twitter: @ColinShaw_CX