Most senior executives are out of the loop on the experience they’re offering to members.
The summer of 2004 HBR published a brilliant article by Shapiro, Rangan and Sviokla revolutionizing how we evaluate a customer experience. Don’t just ask them how it went, staple yourself to an order.
While they were talking about selling products, the kernel idea translates beautifully to any customer oriented (read member centered) industry. To understand your customers’ experience, walk alongside them on the entire journey.
“Every time an order is handled, the customer is handled. Every time an order sits unattended, the customer sits unattended. Yet, to most senior executives, the details of the order management process are invisible.”
From the first message about your conference to the “see you next year” email, tracking every registration click, how attendees are welcomed to the event, their pathway through the event to its conclusion: Staple yourself to your learners to truly understand the beginning to end experience for your key audience segments.
The same goes for your online learning programs. Follow your learners’ experience from the moment you publish a course and notify your members it’s available, to how they respond to your webpages (do they click through the email, view the registration but bounce vs. register?), following each click through registration, content download, and acknowledgement of completion. What is the full-package experience? Do they call for tech support? Do they utilize the tools you offer them (can they find them?). What clicks surprise you? How do different audience segments experience your online learning environment?
You can ask them, but you’ll never really know until you staple yourself to your learner.
Remember: Your members’ experience with a learning program is an experience with your brand. They don’t care that different teams develop different programs.
How can you get started?
- Select the target audience segments you want to study
- Map the path from first to last touch
- From the findings, discuss which hand-offs, processes or experiences require re-imagination
- Note desired outcome(s)
- Craft next steps
Get ready for some rich, ethnographic data that will reveal precious insights into how you can develop better relationships with your members through your learning events.
- Within the organization, what gaps do you notice in how you handle your learner-customers that point toward opportunities to improve?
- Given what you now know about how your learning program looks from the customer’s perspective, is this the experience you intend? What shifts need to be implemented?
No more tossing spaghetti at the wall. Staple yourselves to your learner to reveal Ah-ha’s you can use to strategically elevate your programs.