Customer Experience Starts with Vision

No matter the size of the project, the first thing you need to know is where you want to be when it is over. Without a clear goal in mind, you have no way to measure success. Following another leader, or copying another company’s business practices does not make you unique. You need a clear vision of how you will affect the world around you, not just how you will make a profit. In this article, I will give you some steps to help get you there.

Set Your Vision

Much of this is understanding your “why”, as in why your company exists. If your only goal is making money, you may prosper, but success will feel hollow. To be brutally honest, without a “why”, you will be tempted to divert all your funds into profits. Reinvesting in your business and community are signs you understand why you exist. Companies such as Apple reap massive profits but also spend large amounts of money on research & development. They keep creating innovative products because they know their “why”.

Reflections of Intent

Your business strategy is a bright light that reflects off every other aspect of your company. Problems occur when that reflection is somehow skewed. Your customers will notice the disconnect and often assume you are being deceitful. For example, do not say the “customer is always right” and then refuse to concede that no mistakes were made by you your staff. If you have slogans or mantras in your business, do not let them be lip service and lies. You want the text on your website to match the experience they will get in person.

Map Your Vision

One of the clearest ways to show a vision is with a story. You can show a picture of your product, but it is lifeless without a good story. To go back to my Apple example, check out their Knowledge Navigator from 1987. In that video, they showed their vision for the iPad and Siri. Then 30 years later, that vision became a reality. Have bold product and service visions where things “just happen” because you are confident your company’s technology will catch up. When your vision is clear and well-communicated, everyone moving in the same direction will have massive impacts.

Action Item

Think right now about what your business wants to do besides make money. Write it down. Then create a business plan that reflects that one thing. If you stray too far from it, know your customers will notice. Now imagine what the future state of that vision can be. Break that vision into smaller steps and determine what you must do for the first one. As you begin to execute, share content that shows that journey. Soon, your customers will be as excited as you when you turn that vision into reality.

Note: This article was partly inspired by Simon Sinek’s book “Start with Why“.

Photo courtesy of Skitterphoto