What are Micro-Moments?
In any customer journey, there are countless small efforts. These include efforts from the company serving the customer and effort from the customer themselves.
After all, the customer journey is really the journey of a relationship. The customer might be buying a product, but they’re also engaging with the brand in a thousand small ways.
Think of the simple act of buying something through a digital channel:
- The customer has to seek out the brand somehow. We haven’t yet gotten to the point when we can say “find those shoes I was admiring” to our smart speakers and they’ll know what the heck we mean. The customer has to start by putting in the effort of seeking where to buy.
- The customer has to ensure it’s the right product, the right size or dimensions, color, etc. The brand better be putting in some effort around providing easy ways to explore these questions and communicate if it’s in stock, ready to ship, etc.
- The customer then has to trust the entire process enough to provide payment. If the customer wants to us a specific option for payment and that isn’t offered, that could be enough for the customer to abandon the process. If the brand offers payment options and the customer simply refuses to pay, well that won’t work well either. Both sides in this equation have to do what they say they will and trust the process enough to keep going.
And while it’s tempting to want to create big moments for every big thing along the way, the customer journey itself is full of small, almost forgettable moments.
Those forgettable moments are sometimes designed to be forgotten. But some are just waiting for a little attention. Those moments can serve an amazing purpose in your customer experience goals.
I call these Micro-Moments.
These are the moments that are easily overlooked, but have the potential to build trust with your customers. They also have the power to erode trust along the way.
Do you know your customer experience Micro-Moments?
Most leaders don’t.
But Micro-Moments are what lead to the most amazing customer journeys. It’s worth taking a look at your customer’s journey and finding what is working, what’s not, and what is most likely overlooked.
Micro-Moments are Easy to Overlook
Because they’re small, Micro-Moments are easy to overlook or neglect. They can also be easy to dismiss for the same reason.
But these moments have a big impact — so keep an open mind about how these moments, when transformed into positive steps along the journey, create a more trusted relationship with your customers.
When working with clients on their own Micro-Moments, we’ll create lists of potential places of neglect along their customers’ journey. These are moments that are “fine” or sometimes what I call “meh moments.”
They are the places where it doesn’t feel worth it to invest in making things better because “it’s fine the way it is” or “we don’t get complaints” or “it’s how everyone in our industry does it.”
Those are all excuses. They aren’t acceptable reasons to neglect the moment and the customer.
Once these are identified, they are noticed. These moments need to go from neglected to noticed in your customer’s journey.
3 Commonly Neglected Micro-Moments in Your Customer’s Journey
1. The Whatever Welcome
In many customer journeys, the emphasis is on attracting the customer to join. There are huge investments in marketing, wooing customers to become a customer.
Then, when they make the purchase and respond to that call, a lot of the attention dies away. They don’t feel welcomed, they feel sold to.
This happens in business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) usually because the priorities in the organization shift to how to operationally deliver instead of how to acknowledge, thank and guide the customer.
In B2B, this often shows up in what I call the “CX Journey by Org Chart.” This is when a customer who has built a relationship with a salesperson or team is told unceremoniously that they will no longer have access to these trusted advisors. They now get a whole new person or team and it’s up to them to remember to call the right person along the journey.
I’m not saying this isn’t necessary or the right thing to do for the customer, but the moment of welcoming a customer as a customer means thinking about that transition in a way that is about the customer and not just about the org chart.
2. The Punitive Invoice or Payment
In an ideal world, the payment is hopefully so easy that the customer doesn’t notice it beyond being aware of what they paid when.
But too often this moment is full of punitive language and obstacles the customer is forced to jump through. In B2C, this can be what happens when the customer has to set up an account in ways that don’t reflect their time. It can show up when the payment options the customer prefers aren’t available to them and they don’t see that until the payment page on a site.
In B2B, the courtship of the sales process, sometimes lasting weeks or months, quickly turns to become transactional. Invoices are presented with language that screams “we will punish you” instead of “thank you for being a customer.”
This moment, while the one most organizations and customers want to think about the least, is such a ripe opportunity to show gratitude and make things just a bit easier for the customer.
3. The Drifting Customer Moments
What are the moments of neglect that prompt a customer to be open to shopping around?
Business leaders often don’t know what these moments are. They say things like “that customer left us because we increased our prices.” But that customer had been threatening to leave for a long time, but possibly not in so many words.
Customers often share feedback that is ignored, make service calls that don’t respect where they are on the journey, or are not offered the same deals and service as new customers. No wonder they start looking around!
The grass is often greener…at least for a little while. Identifying these moments is a way to provide more than expected at each point of the journey, not just the obvious ones.
Why are Micro-Moments so Important?
For all the reasons customer experience is important to your organization.
Investing in Micro-Moments means showing up for customers in positive, surprising ways. That means keeping customers happier, which means they will spend more money with your brand. Not only that, but these moments can drive positive word of mouth marketing and increased referrals.
For such a small thing, Micro-Moments can pay off in big ways.