When designing your own customer experience path, while it’s important to learn from the mistakes of others, it’s paramount to forge your own. Why? Because your customers are your customers, not someone else’s. Your customers have specific needs and goals, unique to their relationship with you. So simply copying what another business does isn’t going to do the trick, because it fails the consistency test: Every touch point a customer has with you should be consistently positive and consistently reinforce your brand. Your touch points are unique, and your customers are unique, so they require a unique experience from you. Otherwise, why should they be your customer? Someone else will surely provide this if you do not.

Consider your company’s overall culture toward customers, because if only your front-facing customer service reps are the ones trained to empathize and solve problems. that isn’t going to be enough in this economy. Enlightened businesses today are customer-centric across all divisions and departments, and they collaborate on the customer experience and what it should look like. Marketing teams with user experience (UX) designers, product development, engineering, and sales to plan each experience point. Because of this collaboration, the breakdown of typical corporate silo structures allows these companies to think more holistically about their customers, where all are in service to the customer, not in unfruitful competition with each other.

Planning your customer experience is time-consuming and difficult yet ultimately worth the effort. Will you make it?