Are you asking your best customers for their best ideas? (part 2)
by Clicktools Guest Blogger, Jeannie Walters
Now that we’ve covered the first ideas around hosting a Customer Co-Creation Session in part 1, let’s cover what to do once you get your customers together to share their best ideas.
Start with some fun, a personal story, an idea ice breaker, or the like. (And I’ve found plenty of snacks and coffee help, too!)
Then jump in to the actual customer journey. Remember, you are speaking directly to customers who have been through their own journey. Speak to them by asking questions, and don’t assume you know how they will answer.
Let’s turn those ideas into action!
1. Outline the customer journey from the customer’s perspective.
Ask for group feedback on each phase. You can do this by labeling a white board or paper with phases you’ve already identified, like “Awareness” to start.
Ask the question “how did you originally become aware of our company/product/service?” Then listen up! Record not just what they say but HOW they say it. If someone says “my boss told me to use you guys” that’s different than “I had heard from colleagues that you were our guys!” That type of nuance matters to understanding the experience today.
2. Break into small groups to handle sticky questions and get different perspectives.
Throughout recording the journey, you’ll likely hear about odd or troubling situations.
Maybe one customer raves about their account manager while another diplomatically says hers is a jerk. Don’t assume it’s a people problem only. These are the moments to really dig into!
Ask small groups to tackle a better “process” for these tricky situations. What would make the experience the best? Then come back together and compare notes from each group. What ideas resonate the most
3. Reward those who contribute!
Throughout the time together, make sure you are acknowledging and thanking those who are offering feedback. It can be fun to make it somewhat of a game, or a chance to surprise and delight some of your best customers.
I like to use small rewards that tie into the location, the goal or the company throughout the session. If someone offers a great idea, hand them a special prize. Place gift cards under table tents. Hand out crisp $100 bills.
Whatever you can do to create a moment of surprise helps move the ideas along. Just don’t offer it as a temptation. Make these rewards truly memorable by surprise!
4. Use the factual and emotional data you get to create an action list.
As you near the end the day, you will probably have a few lists of great ideas and some less-than-ideal suggestions, too.
Don’t try to organize everything as you go. Take a moment to sit down with your team and decide what takes priority based on your goals, what you know about your customers and products, and the emotions shared from their feedback.
Create an action list that means something by tying accountability to it!
5. Close the loop with customers.
Finally, as you make the changes to your customer experience based on the feedback you gathered, share those results with the customers who helped you. Create a tickler reminder to reach out frequently to those customers and share personally what outcomes are a direct result of their participation. They will feel not only heard, but proud of the positive changes they have created.
Customer feedback drives game-changing innovation.
And co-creation sessions can be powerful ways to gather invaluable insights in creative and actionable ways.
What can you do to create the best experiences with your customers together?