I am reproducing a key section from a recent article from Gartner on how mobile devices opens up new challenges and opportunities for enterprises when addressing the needs of consumers. If you are wondering why I am writing about marketing and consumer needs in a L&D blog, the answer is “Thanksgiving”! Most of us in the line functions and support functions tend to forget the raison d’etre for doing what we are doing. A deep understanding of the end customer will ripple back to impact the way we do our jobs and remind us who actually pays our salaries. Hence this post.
A business moment is a transient opportunity that is exploited dynamically. Business moments occur when an opportunity or threat emerges that you perhaps weren’t expecting is identified as something that you want to capture or defend against, but is also something that your current products, services or processes aren’t able to address.
Every business process or customer relationship has business moments that can be identified and exploited in some way. Unstructured approaches include workshops, brainstorming or competitions. A more structured approach that can help to unearth exploitable mobile business moments is analyzing customer or employee journeys.
Here is how we can dissect an airline customer journey, showing the key steps in the customer relationship. After documenting a journey, ask questions at each stage to identify the types of moments discussed in the introduction.
- What needs might the customer or employee have in this context? Focus on transient moments of need. A passenger in a large airport might want to know the route to a gate. A passenger driving to the airport might need to park.
- Where is their dead time? Dead time, such as when a passenger is waiting for a flight, is sometimes an opportunity that can be converted into valuable time by playing a game or encouraging the passenger to visit a shop.
- What are the pain points in each context? Pain points are an opportunity to deliver customer value. Perhaps the airport could offer a rapid security queue as a chargeable option.
- What’s the customer’s emotional state? Situations when a customer is rushed, annoyed or stressed, like being late for a flight, may be harder to exploit.
- What devices and connectivity does the individual have in this context? An international traveler in a foreign airport may be reluctant to use apps that consume cellular data because of roaming costs. Individuals might use a tablet to book a flight while at home, but a smartphone to change the booking while travelling.
- Where are the decision points? When and where is the customer making decisions about a product or service? Can these be intercepted or modified? Could a company identify that a customer has stood at the window of a travel agent, so might be interested in a vacation that needs air travel?
- What new information could mobility allow companies to collect? Some airlines are using in-flight tablets and Wi-Fi for staff to take food and drink orders from premium flyers. This improves the in-flight service, but more importantly, allows the airline to create a more detailed profile of its most valuable customers.
- Where is the customer located? The customer’s location influences many aspects of business moments and can help understand where a customer is in his or her journey. Look for opportunities to use technologies that can sense the location of a mobile device.
- How could friends contribute to the moment? Could friends contribute to a customer’s decision or action? Could the customer tell friends about successful moments?
- What are the moments of risk? At what points in the journey are other organizations taking customer value? Could this be intercepted or prevented? What are customers complaining about?
While the context of the above example was to highlight how mobile devices together with an understanding of different customer personas and the ability to extract real-time data about the customer could potentially result in a better customer experience (aka more business), I see this approach as fundamental to understanding training needs as well. Just replace these “Digital Moments” with “Human Touch Points” and it immediately becomes clear why understanding and appreciating the customer results in better training.