Everyone in our business ecosystem is a customer: actual customers, buyers, employees, suppliers and other stakeholders. The challenge is to connect and align all parts of the organization to provide added-value customer experience(s). As Gerry McGovern pointed out, “The customer isn’t king anymore; the customer is dictator.” Customers not only buy products and services but they also “buy” experiences and emotions. Their buying decision process is highly individual, highly emotional and connected. To create business value we must first create customer value. “If I’d only known that being nice to customers was going to be so good for my business, I would have done it years ago.” So said Michael O’Leary, Ryanair’s CEO as profits jumped 66% in October 2015 after the implementation of some customer-centric initiatives.
Customer experience is customers’ perceptions – both conscious and subconscious – of a brand, coming from all their interactions with the brand. Customer experience management is about knowing our customers so deeply that we can create and deliver personalized experiences. This, will incentivise customers to not only remain loyal to a brand, but also to advocate it to others– by far the most valuable form of advertising. The term itself implies that we can actually “manage” customer experience. Can we really do this?
The first known customer complaint is a carved clay tablet, originated in 1750 B.C. Nanni, an ancient Babylonian consumer, engraved his complaint in a clay tablet, demanding for a full refund from a merchant named Ea-nasir.
Customers come in all colors & sizes and create their own experiences. Customer experience is emotional, personal, context based and diverse. So, it is not so much about managing customers’ experiences, it’s a lot more about consistently creating and enabling great experiences. CEM is a process that never ends… it includes the design and mapping of customer interactions that will allow a company to meet customers’ expectations and ideally exceed them. It’s the all-time classic: Right message, right place and right time – every time! Customer experience has a broad organizational perspective involving everyone. In the end, consistency and relationships will make all the difference. Technology simply enables us to do it faster and better!
Have you ever wondered what your organization looks like from the outside?
Learn more about our CEM survey & workshop.