Guiding Lights for the Customer Journey


Guiding lights

Night lights come in many forms and styles. The one in the room where Chip’s granddaughters sleep when they come for a visit looks like a pink princess crown. We have a friend who is an avid bird watcher—every night light in his house is a different bird. We once saw a night light in a bar that put a Christmas bubble light behind a picture of a guy drinking a mug of beer. The bubble light made the night light animated!

Night lights serve many purposes.  Some light the way along a path in the dark to keep someone from getting lost or off in the bushes. Some night lights are a symbol of hospitality (“We’ll leave a light on for you”). Others communicate an important message—like “we are open” or “this area is safe.” Night lights are powerful symbols of security, attentiveness and caring.

Today’s wired and dangerous customers expect to journey through their experience with your organization without friction, hassle or delay. There are many examples of organization’s that have made the customer journey free of impediments and easy to follow (Amazon, Starbucks, Zappos, etc.). This has become the customer’s expectation rather than the exception to their journey.

Customers depend on night lights. When a customer asks any “where’s is the __” question, it could be a plea for a night light. Or, it could be a subtle signal that a night light is not working properly. It takes examining service through the customer’s eyes. It means addressing the question behind the question.  For example, the most frequently asked question at a Disney theme park is, “What time does the 3 o’clock show start?” Seems obvious, right? But, the real question being asked is: “What time should I make my way over to Main Street so my kids get a front row view of Mickey’s parade?”

What can you do to know the night lights your customers’ need? How can you do a “night light audit” to make certain the night lights you have are effectively serving your customers?

Be sure to read the Chip’s recent post: Is Your Customer Service Stouthearted?