Part 1 of a series
This is the age of the customer! The evidence is very clear – customers along with their wallets can go where they want to. They will go where they perceive and receive the greatest value, not only from the perspective of price, but also from their belief that the people and organizations they interact with really care about them and their needs. Companies believe that focusing on customers offers competitive advantages.
To achieve competitive advantages from a customer experience management program or system, companies must consider and address six key strategic imperatives. Together, these imperatives, support and promote a holistic and systemic view of any customer experience management initiative, and if implemented well, will deliver competitive advantages.
Even a cursory glance across what we now refer to as the “experience economy” reveals a new landscape, one in which the customer is empowered. This landscape has spurred a whole new dynamic in the business world. Virtual shopping is becoming increasingly dominant. Amazon is an example of an e-commerce business that has grown from $14.84 billion in 2007 to $88.99 billion in 2014, and is well on its way to crossing the $100 billion mark.
Showrooming (customers who visit to see products in brick and mortar stores but buy online) is showing up the brick and mortar space. Omni-channel journeys are now the new normal. All of these changes do not portend well for those who ignore critical strategic intersections. Every interaction is an opportunity for a more deliberate, intentional experience. Even a look at language, visuals, sounds, and smells are part of the strategic mosaic to convey intent.
The landscape of customer experience is complex and must include consideration of employee experiences, channel partner experiences, web and brick and mortar journey experiences, call center interactions and overall design elements. Note that we are not speaking about tactical customer journey touch points, but rather about strategic touch points that reflect a company’s strategic positioning and intent. Let us review six strategic imperatives.
- Is the experience of shopping (virtual or physical) positive?
- Are customers’ expectations met?
- Are the offerings congruent with ethical principles?
- Is the overall environment for shopping/buying positive?
- Is there an exchange?
- Are employees engaged?
We’ll explore these six imperatives over the coming weeks in our series. Be sure to check back for each installment, and please let us know your comments and experiences in this space.
This post was created by Mohamed Latib, Ph.D., of CX University–a training organization tailored to provide the on-the-go professional development in the CX discipline–and formerly of Opinionmeter, a company dedicated to helping organizations conduct effective, impactful customer experience programs for over 20 years. To learn more about CX University, please click here. To learn more about Opinionmeter’s unique mix of technology and best practice guidance, please visit Opinionmeter.com.