22 May 2007

Feedback to CustomerThink 01

Below is a comment I made for a blog written by Graham Hill at www.customerthink.com. His blog can be viewed at www.customerthink.com/blog/experience_mumbo_jumbo.

Graham, I like your thinking.

Although touchpoint is usually "too short", it is always the little things that count. One simple touchpoint experience can have significant impact on an individual's total perception of an episode.

If finding a trolley is not an enjoyable experience, then the customer can have two choices. He or she can either continue finding the trolley, or just leave the premise and visit another shopping mall nearby. That "finding a trolley" process is then the little thing, and that little thing can already provide either positive or negative experience to customer.

Touchpoint is mutual, because it is an interaction. Persons involved can control where and when the touchpoint takes place. But experience is personal and unique. It is beyond everyone's control.

Berndt Schmitt's "Customer Experience Management" is a good book. He talks a lot about how to deliver experience, but it's more important to know what and where to deliver experience. I suggested earlier the idea of managing "People, Information and Deliverables" to deliver experience. That's the what.

Last but not least, in the HBR article "Putting the Service Profit Chain to Work," Heskett suggests that "profitability depends not only on placing hard values on soft measures but also on linking those individual measures together into a comprehensive service picture." Focusing on Customer Experience alone no longer ensures succuess. Winning requires an optimal balance between internal organization (yin) and external market (yang).

I've been studying touchpoint experience for almost 10 years. The more I read, the more I realize how little I know about touchpoint experience. I hope I am not in your list of confusing mumbo jumbo.

Daryl Choy, the founder of WisdomBoom and Touchpoint eXperience Management, helps firms make a difference at every touchpoint. Choy can be reached at http://wisdomboom.blogspot.com.

15 May 2007

eXperience Redefined Beta

Experience is defined as a personal and unique feeling that an individual senses at every touchpoint. There are three types of touchpoint, namely, People (P), Information (I), and Deliverables (D). Why PID? Because people hire/produce deliverables based on information available.

Process is not a touchpoint, nor is time. Touchpoint is defined as every point of interaction, internal and external, seen and unseen. What is a process then? How people hire/produce deliverables is a process. Time is not a touchpoint either, but timely response definitely delights impatient people, thereby resulting in positive experience. Both process and time affect experience, but they are not touchpoints.

Managing touchpoint eXperience is managing the origin of winning. Why touchpoint eXperience? Touchpoint is the little thing, or detail. It is always the little things that move people. Touchpoint is therefore the critical success factor, but not relationship. Without touchpoint, there is no relationship. Even if there is touchpoint, when the experience is negative, the touchpoint chain, or relationship, will also be negative.

Every touchpoint makes a difference, depending on experience. Positive experience is about expectation breakthrough, neutral expectation breakeven, negative expectation breakdown.

There are 10+1 factors affecting PID experience. For People, it is WATER. For Information, it is 4S. For Deliverables, it is 4R.

WATER is an acronym for Wow, Alignment, Trust, Empathy and Relevance.

4S is Sync, Structure, Simple and Specific.

4R is Relevance, Risk, Return and Recurrence.

Why 10+1, when there are actually 13 practices? For each touchpoint, there is a common practice, or Relevance. Without relevance, people are not motivated. Without motivation, it is difficult to get right things right. Relevance is a key reason for starting anything.

The original article is available on www.customerthink.com/blog/experience_redefined.

14 May 2007

How to Build Next Touchpoint 02

Below is a real life example of how to build next touchpoint using email. Use it as a starting place for building touchpoint chain.

Since I haven't heard from you since last email, I'd follow up to make sure my previous email was brought to your attention.

I value the opportunity to meet and discuss how I can be of assistance to you.

Appreciate your response, and look forward to hearing from you soon.

10 May 2007

History Beta

"The man who has no sense of history, is like a man who has no ears or eyes." Adolf Hitler

People are contradictory. When everything is in a downturn, they either get panic and stay negative, or they recall the happy past to cheer themselves up. They seldom face up to the challenge and look ahead into the future, hoping for a better tomorrow. They try their very best to get rid of the present. When everything is booming, they become very forgetful. They only enjoy the present, but forget about both the past and future.

Past, present, future... it is only a matter of time. Every moment will give positive touchpoint experience when people live each day as if it were their last, and learn each day as if they'd live forever.

Perspective is everything. Attitude is everything.

Upside down is negative touchpoint experience; downside up, positive.

09 May 2007

How to Build First Touchpoint 01

Below is a real life example of how to build first touchpoint using email. Use it as a starting place for building touchpoint chain.

Hope this message finds you well.

This is Daryl, and please allow me to introduce you WisdomBoom Limited. We have been, for more than 5 years, providing professional consultation and training services to major business partners for effectively enhancing their business performance.

As part of the consultant team, I would like to take this opportunity to work with you in becoming part of your company success solution. I'll be in touch with you via telephone shortly, and I look forward to further strengthening our partnership.

Wish you a wonderful day.

08 May 2007

How to Build Next Touchpoint 01

Below is a real life example of how to build next touchpoint using email. Use it as a starting place for building touchpoint chain.

I hope this note finds you in the best of health and spirits. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support, and also for giving me the priviledge of being of service to you. It was a real pleasure to meet you, and please feel free to call if I can be of any assistance in the future.

I hope the star of happiness always shines upon your days.

06 May 2007

Touchpoint Redefined Beta

Touchpoint is every point of interaction, internal and external, seen and unseen. Although touchpoint is countless, it can grouped under three categories: People (P), Information (I) and Deliverables (D). Why three, but neither less nor more? There is a natural relationship among people, information, and deliverables: people produce/hire deliverables based on information available.

In Overpromise and Overdeliver, Rick Barrera mentions three types of touchpoint: Human, System and Product. Barrera's touchpoint system is external-focus, and may not be able to apply to internal business settings. If touchpoint is every point of interaction, then there are both internal and external touchpoints.

In an internal organization, people refer to leaders, managers, and staff. Staff deliver results based on instructions given by superiors. Without such information, whatever staff produce will be irrelevant to both internal and external needs. When needs are not met, it will usually result in lose-lose outcome. Information also affects execution quality. People are always the most important asset. People without the right attitude will never get anything done. Even if the deliverables are produced, they are going to deliver negative experience.

In an external market, people refer to customers, suppliers and competitors. Customers hire deliverables based on information available to them, either via marcom or word-of-mouth. Of course, without needs, everything means nothing. The advertisement may not serve any purpose at all when there are no needs, but it has to be at least there to facilitate the hiring process. Needs can be created after all. Seller also has to be able to discover the needs. That is the most important piece of information.

The more the touchpoint, the deeper the relationship.

The original article is available on www.customerthink.com/blog/touchpoint_is.

02 May 2007

Neighbor Beta

"Love thy neighbour as yourself, but choose your neighbourhood." Louise Beal

If relationship is an investment, then invest wisely. Otherwise, it will result in negative touchpoint experience, and eventually end up in touchpoint chain termination. The more the touchpoint, the deeper the relationship. When the chain is terminated, nothing much can be done.

First positive touchpoint experience should not be used as final judgment to determine whether the relationship is going to be short- or long-term. It is a wrong decision to commit everything based on the first few touchpoints. People usually are inconsistent overtime because of the need to adapt to change. They do not have the ability to wear the mask forever. When they are accepted, they tend to loosen up. Nothing can hide. The truth will be revealed.

Pause... before impossible is nothing. Act... when everything seems possible.

Positive touchpoint experience is really about doing right things right at the right time.

01 May 2007

Back to Touchpoint... Beta

Relationship dictates. There is nothing new about this simple fact. But every now and then firm forgets about it. If relationship is fair, then every situation will automatically result in win-win outcome. There is simply no need to craft win-win solutions. Firm and market will both win fairly. By fair, it is not 80-20, but 50-50. Is it possible though? In the win-win formula, firm always likes to win first before giving an opportunity for market to experience satisfaction. 50-50? It is only possible when market is not loyal to firm.

If market is already loyal to firm unconsciously, who will care about customer loyalty? Firm will take loyalty for granted. Customer loyalty becomes important because firm never really cares about loyalty. If firm cares, then every touchpoint provided to market since day one will be positive thereby resulting in loyalty. Winning firm never has the need to create loyalty, because the notion of loyalty is already on the mind of every staff within the organization.

For firm who does not know what loyalty is all about, competition serves as a reminder. Competition exists not because competitors want to provide better services to market, but because competitors want to reap profits from competition. If profits are not yet affected adversely due to competition, firm won't care about loyalty. When empathy is absent in the relationship, win-win is impossible. Only when all market players start to realize the impact of competition, firm will consider taking action to protect profitability. Market usually benefits when there is competition.

If positive relationship drives loyalty, and loyalty is the critical success factor in sustaining business growth, then firm should allocate resources to manage relationship. What can be measured can be managed. Relationship is invisible. If relationship cannot be measured, how is it going to be managed?

Relationship is the summation of a chain of touchpoints. What is touchpoint? Touchpoint is every point of interaction, internal and external, seen and unseen. Point can be counted. Instead of managing relationship, it is more effective to manage touchpoint.

The first touchpoint is usually the most important, and is better known as "first impression." However, first impressions are usually wrong. People are good at covering up for the first few touchpoints. The truth will eventually be revealed. Managing touchpoint is about managing experience per touchpoint. Relationship will turn from positive to negative when there is discrepancy between first impression and the truth. Time proves. Consistency is the key word.

The original article is available on http://www.customerthink.com/blog/back_to_touchpoint.