This article is 1st in a series describing 10 unique characteristics of customer experience relative to more well-known concepts such as customer satisfaction and retention.
You’ve seen the ads depicting crazy business policies that dampen customer experience and make customers cynical. I’m a big fan of free enterprise, but have to admit that self-serving practices have eroded trust and the joy of being a customer.
As each one of us is a customer ourselves, we should understand customer experience management like the back of our hand. Yet, somehow customer experience seems a bit mysterious, and certainly has myriad definitions. Ultimately, customers make paychecks possible, so businesses exist to serve a customer need that results in a profitable revenue stream. Customer experience management is a dedication to serving customer needs from their perspective.
While I can’t vouch for the advertiser of the above video actually practicing what they’re preaching, I’ll bet you as a customer would agree that customer experience management must have these 9 qualities in order to consistently win your heart and a share of your wallet:
- Perspective: customer experience is defined entirely by the customer, not the solution provider.
- Preventive: customer experience gravitates toward the easiest and nicest methods to get and use solutions that address customers’ needs.
- Duration: customer experience encompasses the point from which customers become aware they have a need until they say that need is extinct.
- Dynamic: customer experience evolves with the customers’ context – the purpose and circumstances of their need, and overall experience reference points.
- Choice: customer experience is built on trust and mutual respect for variety; share of budget is more important than loyalty.
- Multi-faceted: customer experience is measured by functional and emotional (social and personal) judgments related to the customers’ expectations.
- Operational: customer experience is shaped by all the contributors to an organization’s processes, policies and culture, in addition to the physical product or service associated with the customer’s need.
- Integrative: customer experience is impacted by the degree of alignment among departments, technologies, channels, etc.
- Anticipatory: customer experience is ongoing, where the present and future are equally or more important than the past.
- Transparent: customer experience sees through the solution provider’s motives and intentions, and favors genuine sincerity for the customer’s well-being.
From your personal expertise as a customer, would you agree to these descriptors of how to properly serve your interests? The customer’s interests are the business’ interests for the most successful companies. Compare your company’s customer bill of rights – and your customer experience management programs – with this list to double-check its customer-centricity.
What a better world it would be if companies put customers first, following the golden rule to treat others as you’d like to be treated. By doing the right thing from the customer’s perspective, you’ll win their business … for sustainable revenue.