Customer-touching Activities

Customer-touching Activities

One of the learnings from creating the ROUNDMAP™ is that, although most firms consider marketing, sales and service as their main customer-facing operations, these activities alone do not account for each and every touchpoint (created/experienced) that exists between the firm and the customer.

Customer experience management “is the practice of designing and reacting to customer interactions to meet or exceed expectations and, thus, increase satisfaction, loyalty, advocacy, and revenues all while reducing service costs”.

While ‘customer-facing’ refers to the activities that result in the delivery of a product or service to a customer, many activities that create a user experience, referred to as touchpoints, are in fact business-facing, i.e., oriented toward making the business operate efficiently.

For instance: maintenance in a hotel, the signs and markings at an airport, or the dishwashers at a restaurant. None of these activities are typically customer-facing, yet, all of these activities facilitate interactions that create user experiences: a broken light, feeling lost, or being served a dirty plate can seriously undermine all previous, well-intended customer-facing activities.

As such, I’m convinced that one of the main misconceptions in experience management is caused by overlooking these supportive activities that influence how a customer perceives each and every interaction with a brand/firm. In fact, by making a distinction between business-facing and customer-facing operations (processes/activities) alone, we are unable to determine which touchpoints, i.e., which moments of truth, actually contribute most to delivering satisfying experiences.

However, by dismissing ‘customer-facing’ we felt we needed to come up with a word that adequately describes all touchpoint-related activities: we call it customer-touching.

As such, the customer-facing operations include:

  • Marketing communications
  • Customer onboarding
  • Customer service/support
  • Customer success

While customer-touching operations include (for an airport):

  • All customer-facing activities
  • Invoicing and credit management
  • Passport control
  • Maintenance
  • Beverage supply
  • Parking handling
  • Luggage handling
  • Signs & markings
  • And so on.

In term of experience management, we still have to determine which of these activities contribute most to customer satisfaction and customer loyalty. This allows allocating the limited resources most effectively.

Author

  • Edwin Korver

    Edwin Korver is a polymath celebrated for his mastery of systems thinking and integral philosophy, particularly in intricate business transformations. His company, CROSS-SILO, embodies his unwavering belief in the interdependence of stakeholders and the pivotal role of value creation in fostering growth, complemented by the power of storytelling to convey that value. Edwin pioneered the RoundMap®, an all-encompassing business framework. He envisions a future where business harmonizes profit with compassion, common sense, and EQuitability, a vision he explores further in his forthcoming book, "Leading from the Whole."

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