The three strategic questions that can positively influence your customers’ perceptions


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Today, companies are finding it difficult to understand customers’ growing needs and more difficult to deliver remarkable experiences to the customers. With the growing competition, many companies are facing problems with building long-term customer relationships and transforming the customers into loyalists by delivering exceptional value. Surprisingly, most of the times, it is neither the fault of the product or the service the company offers nor the delivery system, but something else.

Is your company experiencing something similar? Your company can overcome this situation by answering to three valuable questions about ‘perception points’ of your customers by looking at the problem from the customers’ “inertial frame of reference”

Perception is the way people notice things, especially with their senses. So, if you consider a dining experience of a customer, it depends on multiple perception points such the parking facility, the reception, the choice of the music played, and most importantly, the way the food is served on the customer’s plate. In fact, every perception of the customers leads them to something called ‘an experience’. And, experience is not ‘the way’ customers perceive things, but it is ‘the form’ it takes by connecting all the perception points, and that makes it the most important (yet, ignored!) metric for all the companies across industries.

Customer perceptions are based on three questions that they get – WM (What matters), WEM (What else matters) and WMM (What matters the most). WM is about the technical quality of the service or the product (Was the food served hot?); WEM is about what they see, feel or taste (How does the authentic Italian Pasta taste? – Is it as good as how your colleague described it when he shared with you his dining experience at the restaurant? And finally, WMM is all about the ‘Service Mindset’ of the staff/ service provider (Did the staff personnel who has taken the order really bother to note the customer wants something less spicy?)

Before you develop a customer experience strategy for your company, or before you try to figure out why the existing strategy is not being effective, get into your customer’s inertial frame of reference. Understand how well your company is prepared to positively influence the customer perceptions. Make sure your employees and processes are in the right direction to help the customer find answers to the three crucial questions – WM, WEM and WMM. Probably, you will be surprised to get many clues about your customers’ perceptions, which lead to their experience with your product, service or brand.

Here is the cheat code which you might want to deploy in your CX (Customer Experience) strategy to make it really work – Do not let the customer experience something you do not want him or her to. For that, ‘influence’ his/ her perceptions by discovering your answers to the three important questions – WM, WEM and WMM.

Dharanidhar Malladi
The Experience Economist
Dharanidhar Malladi is an enthusiastic management consultant and a passionate researcher in the areas of creating delightful customer experiences and executing profitable customer strategies. Prior to establishing The Experience Economist, Dharanidhar has been associated with a couple of Management Consulting firms including one of the Big Four. Alongside his profession as a consultant, he started to research on Customer Experience, interviewed global business leaders and world-class consultants to understand their perspectives and best practices in delivering delightful customer experience.


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