The strategy group of one of our large manufacturing sector clients – was looking to enhance, its product & organisational strategy & customer experience – and approached us for doing B2B & B2C customer’s feedback led transformation study.

After an initial quick review of their ‘as is’ we recommended Customer Journey Mapping (CJM) as the ideal methodology, to diagnose & identify transformational opportunity areas and we decided to start the work at one of its largest product divisions.

The internal perception study – revealed that of the entire senior team believed that they are operating in an over competitive “commoditised” market – where the only material factor for success & growth was “price” and “product quality” – like many traditional manufacturing companies.

Our actual customer discussions & market study during the customer journey mapping(CJM) exercise, was very interesting & as we talked o their B2B channels & institutional customers, administering our proprietary CJM methodology based context setting & structured questionnaire, the feedback we got  revealed a very different scenario.

The customer journey mapping(CJM) study revealed that for their customers “delivery timelines” and “responsive proactive engagement ” was far more important that price, as the product was primary used by customers, as an input for manufacturing goods that were in-turn exported to Europe & US – for which timeliness and reliable prediction of material delivery, ready availability & of course quality as well were key. Timely and hassle free completion of the ordering process & predictable convenient “deliveries” and receiving regular & timely updates on the material getting ready, despatched, delivered were extremely important to the customers (i.e timely manufacturing, delivery without any follow ups, etc.). Not realizing all of this – all that the organisation used to focus on was product quality & price- and internally the organisation earnestly believed all that mattered in the market for their “commodity product” was price, given that their quality was fairly good !

In our customer journey mapping (CJM) study of the organisation, their customers often remarked that “for ready & timely & hassle free deliveries, they often switched to competition and were willing to pay a "price premium" as well !

The realisation of the importance of timely deliveries & customer responsiveness, and a few other similar opportunity areas, has the potential of significantly transforming the company’s product & organisational strategy, impacting product brand perception & customer satisfaction positively – all of which leading to improved price/ton, revenues & profits.

Often in transformational consultancy work like this, we not only do the diagnostics by customer journey mapping(CJM), we also help organisations develop cross functional  operational improvements as well by leveraging our transformational models from our international partners TICSI, UK & ACSI, US  “i.e. specifics of the how” to implement change across the organisational & product strategy, operating structure, people practices, processes, technology, measures & KPIs, to achieve the desired transformation & implement/institutionalise the desired change  in the organisation.

Customer experience management is often seen to be just operations improvement – while it is both strategic & operational. Improving customer experience (CX) is key to success of any organisation today – especially working in detail to make it frictionless across all touch points including digital & all stages of the product lifecycle - for which understanding customer needs in comprehensive detail & capturing customer feedback & measuring customer experience at all stages of the product & customer life-cycle is key.

Responding to all the change around us & delivering a superior customer experience consistently, requires a clear understanding of customer needs (the expressed & unsaid) & the right product & delivery strategy including tremendous operating rigor integrating org structure, operations, people, processes and technology with  product improvement, fulfilment & service channels, continuous improvement mapping & rigor – all summed into a well-oiled smooth operation orchestrated around the customer - with a no siloes approach/metrics, which not just delivers a good customer experience consistently, but simultaneously  welcomes, solicits customer feedback/complaints, and leverages the captured data & insights from the customer journey mapping(CJM) exercise to continuously drive product, process improvements & innovation.  Ideally a CJM exercise must be carried out for all organisations, at least once a year, if not once in two years, to effectively respond to the fast changes that we are seeing around us today.

Thoughts? do share/let us know your perspective.