Part 1: What Does It Take To Actually Make a Great Customer Experience Happen (In 6 Parts)
Our blog posts to date have started the discussion about why customer (and employee and supplier) experience is so important in securing customer loyalty, revenue, and respect in consumer oriented organizations and business oriented organizations. We have looked at a few cases in which customer experience elements have gone wrong from the customers’ perspective. We have talked a lot (and there is still more to say) about why understanding people is critical to getting the business right.
Now, we are going to step to the other side of the equation and talk about why, if it seems so obvious (and usually it does) that customer experience is important, it is so hard for organizations to get customer experience right and what companies should be doing to fix that.
Customer Experience Defined
The customer experience space, by name, is constantly changing. Many of us have been practicing it for years but it really only came into its own in 2010-2013. This has inspired organizations to build customer experience departments, consultancies and agencies to build customer experiences divisions, and software companies to create customer experience software packages.
Unfortunately, each organization defines customer experience (CX) differently. Some of these departments or softwares are dedicated to advertising, some to brand experience, some to call center improvements, some to product experience, some to customer success or marketing, and others to the overall customer experience. (See these previous blog posts for more on this: this one and this one).
At Ceatro Group we believe that getting customer experience right means getting the overarching experience your customer has with you right, for them.
We define customer experience as:
The combination of strategies, touchpoints, emotions, behaviors, tasks, and actions a person has and/or perceives with an organization.
– We include everything in the customer experience: services, products, channels, interfaces, employees, distributors, and everything that falls in between. We include what the organization offers (Customer Experience with capitals) and what the person experiences or perceives (the customer’s experience).
– We make the distinction between what a customer experiences and what she perceives because humans interpret experiences through their own lens of expectations and experience which can distort the objective experience.
– We also include things that an organization controls (their direct offerings) and things it can’t control (indirect experiences that are related to the customers engagement with the organization.)
– We use the word customer to make conversations easier. When we say ‘customer’ we mean human. We mean: any person or set of persons that is an important factor in your organization’s success.” This includes employees, suppliers, boards of directors, and so on.
Our next 5 blogs will discuss what it actually takes to make a great customer experience and why it so hard:
- Part 2: Organizational fortitude
- Part 3: Choosing the right experience (for your customers)
- Part 4: Executing it
- Part 5: Managing it
- Part 6: Making Changes
Originally published on September 22, 2013