Customer Experience: LessonsFrom The Space JumpDr. Oyewole O. Sarumi
Have a goal. Define it. Make sureeveryone knows the goal.Communicate it. Live it. Breathe it.You know what the goal is: deliver thebest end-to-end customer experience,better than your competition.
Focus. Intense focus. Everythingyou do is in the interest of achievingthat goal. Dont just say yourecustomer-focused. Show it. In the wayyou treat your employees, treat yourcustomers, design your products, leadyour business, hire people, etc.
Relentless, never-ending training. Ifyou want your employees to besuccessful, if you want them to knowwhat to do when they encounter specificsituations with customers, then teachthem how to handle those situations.Role play. Make sure employees knowyour products well. And as the businesschanges and evolves, so must thetraining.
Careful, detailed preparation. Thisgoes hand in hand with training, tosome degree. The more preparedyour employees are, the better theyllbe able to handle any situationsthrown their way. Have a plan, aroadmap. The more you plan, thebetter the experience will likely be.
Contingency planning. Have a planfor when things dont go as expected.
Take a test jump. Or two. Test yourproducts for quality and usability. Withyour customers. Before the productsgo to market.
Solid, accurate data. The importance ofgood data, the right data, at yourfingertips is critical to making decisionsthat are right for your customers. Havingthat data at the right time allows you tomake smart decisions in the moment.Making sure everyone, across channelsand functional teams, has the same datamakes for a much better experience.
Research is extremely helpful. Doyour homework. Know yourcustomers.
Timing. Ensuring that the right data isin the right hands at the right time isessential to delivering a greatcustomer experience. And to makingthat jump.
Abort when conditions arent right.You know if its the right time torelease a product. You know if youreusing the right approach to designingthe customer experience. If it doesntwork for your customers, abort andstart over. Find a better time, a betterway.
The right equipment. Of course,youll need the right tools to facilitategetting that data where it needs to goand to delivering that greatexperience. And employees will needthe right tools to do their jobs.
Patience. When all else fails,patience truly is a virtue. And animportant one. Working withcustomers can be as challenging aswaiting for the right wind conditions!Take a deep breath and do the rightthing.
Teamwork. Your employees mustwork as a team toward a commongoal. They must support each other intheir efforts to support the customer.Make sure they are all talking to eachother.
Supporting staff. Those unsungheroes, the ones that make thingshappen behind the scenes, are criticalto the success of any mission.
Know your space. Understand themarketplace, your competitors, theneeds of prospects and customers.Everything going on around you.
Risks and rewards. Take risks. Dowhat it takes to set yourself apart fromthe competition. And remember: thegreater the risk, the greater thereward.
Instill confidence. Leaders instillconfidence in their employees, which inturn, through the experiences theydeliver, cause customers to gainconfidence in the brand/organization.There is no trust without confidence, andtrust is the precursor to loyalty andengagement. Felix says, "I will landsafely" with such conviction that I haveno doubt he will.
Be passionate! You should watch someof the videos about this mission; you willsee just how passionate Felix is aboutthis jump and about being the best of thebest. Stoke the passion in youremployees. Hire the right employees, theones who are passionate about yourbrand. The air is where I am at home. -FelixBaumgartner
Push the limits. Dont be happy withthe status quo. If your business isstagnant, if your customers are nothappy, its time to take a differentapproach. Innovate.
Do the unexpected. Everyone lovesthe little unexpected extras. Makethem part of your customerexperience.
Learn from others whove gone before you.Take whats been done before and do it better.Felix is not the first person to make a jump likethis. If he is successful, though, he will be the firstperson to make the jump at this height/distance,and he will break four world records. Way back in1960, Joseph Kittinger made the jump from102,800 feet. (Felix will jump at 120,000 feet, or23 miles!) Kittinger is still the world record holder.For a few more days. He is part of Team Red BullStratos and has been advising Felix on this jump.
Communication. Joseph Kittinger isFelixs biggest supporter and will be theonly person talking to him by radioduring the jump. This communication islikely critical for a lot of reasons, not theleast of which is to keep him calm andfocused. I dont think any of us canquestion the importance ofcommunication with both customers andemployees.
Measure your vital signs. Keep trackof the health of the organization at alltimes. Find your metrics and trackthem closely. Dont focus on thescore; focus on the experience. Butpay attention to what your vitals aretelling you.
Sometimes You Have ToTake A Leap Of Faith. Sometimes you have to take a leap offaith. I prefer the tried and true method,but occasionally you just need to makethings happen without waiting forsomeone to give you permission orwithout the data to support what youwant to do. Sometimes you truly cananticipate the needs of your customers.And sometimes, if you just let youremployees do what needs to be done,great experiences can happen.
Its A Journey. Its a journey. The jump has beenseveral years in the making. The actualtrip will be much faster! And yes, thecustomer experience is a journey, aswell. Its years in the making, and itsconstantly evolving. So will space travel.Not only will this jump be a world recordbreaking attempt, it will also provideresearch that will be used for years tocome to develop space suits, spacetravel, etc.
Conclusion And finally, remember this. While theclimb to the top (or to the edge ofspace) might be a long journey,freefalling back down happens muchfaster! Enjoy the journey! Make it agood one. And dont get too close to the edge...while Felix might be up for the freefall,I know your organization is not!