In a quote from “The Silence of the Lambs,” whilst Clarice was trying to figure out the seemingly unsolvable crime, she uttered, “so desperately random, it’s not random at all.”

Are you trying to solve that seemingly unsolvable CX problem? Is everything about your customer behavior seemingly random? Perhaps…it’s not all that random at all.

Let’s use a practical comparison. Imagine a busy sidewalk in a major city. People walking in every direction. People bumping into one another, impossible to avoid. Watch it long enough and you would think, this is total chaos and completely random.

Look a little deeper and focus on one person walking north. Watch how they move in a certain direction when presented with an obstacle. This individual has predictable tendencies. The same holds true for everyone on that sidewalk. Combined what looks like chaos, is a large group of smaller predictable outcomes.

The question is, how does this apply to the world of CX?

The answer is deeply rooted in the current efforts of many organizations to build a best-in-class customer experience. The reality is you can’t build a singular solution, you must find the patterns in the randomness of your customer behavior.

I heard a great example at a show last week involving coffee. Some people like it black, others with cream and sugar, so if you design for the average, nobody is happy. Enter the modern CX experts and the thrilling approach of deep design in Customer Engagement. Your customers are millions of people who like their coffee their own way and it’s your job how to figure out the best way to deliver it to each and every one of them.

At Autocar Trucks, our customer experiences are complex and deep, so this approach is near and dear to the hearts of our team and customers. Whilst we don’t have all the answers yet, and one could argue that you never do in this ever-evolving market, we look to apply some basic principles of managing the chaos of customer behavior into a streamlined CX approach.

Here is my take on the three things you need to do when faced with a seemingly chaotic customer behavior pattern:

1. Ditch the averages and distributions as your go-to. Instead, go right to the individual interactions and find out what makes each work for that customer. Often you will find that multiple customers will react for the same reason/stimulus you give them, it’s just their reaction that is unique. Do this, and you will uncover the causal patterns and can realign. On that sidewalk, there are people moving in many directions, often for the very same reasons.

2. If you have better ways of doing business with your customer (i.e. digital, self-serve, etc.) give them incentive to use them versus expecting they will find their way there. Sometimes the pattern they are in is because nobody gave them a better reason not to continue that pattern. Imagine laying money out on the right side of the sidewalk to pick up…imagine how many of those random walkers would change their patterns for you?

3. Always remember that chaos, even chaos with mini patterns built in, will fight to find their way back to the chaotic appearance. Move your strategy to address that new chaos. Imagine the money runs out on the sidewalk, what next?

So, the next time you think that your CX problem is too complex, too chaotic, too unique…use these three basic principles to guide your next step in your CX Design journey.

Craig will be giving a presentation, You Are the Voice of Your Customer: Maximize Your Influence on Enterprise Strategy and Profitability, at the 19th Annual Customer Contact East: A Frost & Sullivan Executive MindXchange. Learn more and register here.

Craig Antonucci is the Chief Experience Officer for Autocar, the oldest truck brand in the United States. Craig is responsible for the future of the Autocar customer experience. He leverages cutting edge techniques, technology, and data in the design, build, and execution of Autocar’s world class customer experience to ensure every touchpoint is creating a Raving Fan. With his work rooted in Paradoxes, Paradigms and Frameworks, Craig brings a unique perspective to the CX professional journey, gained from consulting with some of the best and brightest in the space for over 20 years.