Every Customer Interaction, Mapped Out: How You Can Benefit

Posted: 06/21/2011

Michael Hoffman, author of the book Customer Worthy, Why and how Everyone in Your Organization Must Think Like a Customer, recently spoke with CMIQ after his presentation at the 3rd Annual Customer Experience Summit.

Every Customer Interaction, Mapped Out: How You Can Benefit

It seems so simple when he lays it out – 16 stages, many channels of engagement, one matrix.

"That’s every customer interaction," Michael Hoffman said.

Hoffman, author of the book Customer Worthy, Why and how Everyone in Your Organization Must Think Like a Customer, recently spoke at the 3rd Annual Customer Experience Summit. He shared the matrix mentioned above – the CxC matrix – which maps out every type of customer interaction. He believes by using the matrix – which is applicable across companies and industries – an organization can better position itself to match corporate strategy with customer demands. Higher profit and financial metrics that can be tied to customer interaction, he argues, will result.

"We’re structured very traditionally as companies," Hoffman said when he spoke to CMIQ after his presentation. "That traditional foundation worked in the old world, but it doesn’t work now. Customers pick and choose what they want. Customers transcend all these boundaries and departments."

The 16 stages mentioned above compose the process every customer goes through when acquiring a good or service – from realization of need, to information gathering, to actual purchase. These days, these steps can occur with myriad companies, though. A customer might purchase one company’s product, but information about it elsewhere, have it delivered by another company and have it serviced by yet another.

"No one had ever mapped this out," Hoffman said.

To meet customer needs in this 16-step process, companies need to be at the frontline, during the information gathering stage.

"I want to be the company that is the source customers go to for information," he said, mentioning how sites like Google and Amazon have overtaken actual company sites for information gathering. "Everything else is secondary."

The information sources can leverage this relationship with the customer by charging companies to sell their products.

"As a company, though, I’ve lost complete control," Hoffman said.

Watch the full interview above to hear Hoffman lay out his matrix and describe the process companies must take to better engage customers in every interaction.

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