“Originality is simply a pair of fresh eyes.” -- Thomas W. Higginson
We all know the importance of a fresh pair of eyes. They can catch mistakes and spark inspiration when you're too close to your work. While the term usually refers to visuals, it can also apply to a more universal sentiment: the power of perspective.
Perspective impacts what we produce when it comes to customer experience. While we work to deliver top-notch experiences, most are designed with a certain time, audience and goal in mind. But if we approach this with a single unexamined perspective it will quickly become outdated. Just as the thrill of a new car fades over time, when a company does little to innovate or inspire, its customer experience can become stale and flat.
A fresh pair of eyes provides companies with perspective and the ability evaluate whether they're in touch with their customers. By taking a step back once in a while, we can dust off the cobwebs on our customer experience and continue to foster that customer relationship.
Recognize Personal Bias - 'How I Do Things'
Habits, preferences and opinions form naturally over time, especially when it comes to work. While biases are natural, they can be detrimental if they stand in the way of positive change, prevent us from seeing the bigger picture or cause us to lose sight of what truly matters -- the customer.
We all approach things in different ways. Identify the habits and processes that have solidified over time, and examine them. For sales people: is emailing your clients their preferred method of contact, or is it what you prefer? Product managers, are you potentially dismissing complaints about a current product feature because you question their judgement?
These biases -- while often subconscious -- impact how we interact with our customers and with each other. A slight shift in perspective can remove unwarranted biases and align our actions towards a more productive customer experience.
Don’t Fear Feedback - 'How You Do Things'
We often fear the opinions and thoughts of others because of the possibility of rejection. Yet feedback is one of the easiest ways to adopt a fresh pair of eyes. Feedback can validate or dismantle our direction, and it keeps us on our toes.
A lack of feedback is toxic to any work environment and deadly to customer experience. As you look to improve your customer experience, make sure no major decisions or opinions go unchallenged. Involve others -- employees, customers, prospects, partners in the process -- for a new point of view. By embracing the concept of feedback, you establish that opinions besides your own matter.
Challenge the Process - 'How We Do Things'
Fewer things kill the power of perspective quicker than the words, “that’s how we’ve always done it.” While it’s reasonable for a certain standardization of processes to be in place, excessive steps prevent us from staying in touch with an evolving customer landscape. Too often we don’t discover that something is broken until it’s too late to fix.
Process should always have purpose. We should regularly take a step back, audit our current situations and question why things are done the way they are. This validates well-formed processes and can identify opportunities to make positive changes to others, shifting a company’s perspective and how it delivers value to its customers.
For example: Maybe you’ve always asked your customers to contact customer support about billing issues, instead of contacting your billing department directly. Is that the most efficient process, or is it simply most convenient for you? Continue to ask these types of questions that challenge the status quo -- they'll force the fresh perspective that pushes us forward.