James Fisher - Sep 25, 2018

The Expend Digest: Journeys

A round up of what’s been piquing curiosity, prompting questions and provoking debate among the Expend team this week.

In this digest: Follow us, as we journey through the journeys of those we wish to guide.

We’ve been thinking about journeys recently. No, not the band, and not the physical version (aka the commute). Although, we did have fun comparing just how low we go in conducting that most modern ritual. I mean, look at the Jubilee line! 2.+JubileeWe’ve been thinking about customer journeys. They can be long, and varied, and winding. It’s no wonder they need a map! Our recent focus has been on the part where people first join our burgeoning expenses revolution.

This is known as ‘onboarding’. A name that, for some reason, makes us feel a bit dirty. It doesn’t just apply to customers either, the principles can be applied to anyone you're attempting to guide to a particular conclusion. Suppliers, affiliates, partners, and even employees. Yet, if you haven’t thought about it, you could be putting yourself at a serious disadvantage - McKinsey found 90% of CEOs list customer experience as a top three priority. And numerous studies show effective onboarding significantly improve the competitive advantage of an organisation, as well as reducing churn (the loss of the ‘onboardee’).

The journey to an excellent customer journey can itself be a maze. With so many seemingly binary forks in the road (pricing models we're looking at you), and a plethora of best practices to contend with. One thing is clear to us though - you should know what you want the user to achieve, and every part of the process should move them to that goal. With the overarching aim of minimising their "time to wow".

Even if you have thought deeply about it and done a decent job, we believe there are always ways to improve. And why not? It is, after all, the only thing every single one of your customers will experience.

At Expend, we look to the shining lights of Intercom for guidance (they really are excellent at this stuff). And for great insight in to how others are doing it, we head to useronboard.com, which is also home to the most powerfully simple Super Mario business explanation ever.

But, you know when you get to the end of a journey and realise you’re now at the beginning of yet another journey? It’s the same with onboarding - the journey has always 'just begun'. But don’t worry - Forbes has tips for continuous improvement of the customer experience. However, they don’t mention something that many a business luminary has argued. Happy employees make for happy customers!

To that end, we suggest starting with providing plenty of what a HBR study proclaims is the #1 office perk. Although perhaps not so much the day after the office team building night out.

Or, worse still, you could finish your journey, only to find yourself back at the start of the very same journey you were just on! And the next step is to restart the "customer journey optimisation journey" once again. As if you’re trapped in some form of UX flow designed by M.C. Escher. 

Oh. That’s just us is it? Ok well, in that case….


Written by James Fisher