Ten points for who said ‘a 20-year business cycle in which the most successful enterprises will reinvent themselves to systematically understand and serve increasingly powerful customers.’ (answers on a postcard please)
It has to be a Research company who may just want to add to the current customer experience hype with a review of what worked in the past. However we are living in a new age of customer liberation. Nothing like this has been witnessed before (well perhaps the Gutenberg press has a parallel impact – see here) and so drawing comparisons with a couple of decades ago really misses the point? Or am I completely wrong and we should just focus on Lean, Six Sigma and industrialization to help us understand customers better? My take from a recent Process Excellence conference (PEX) on how we all need to shift our perspective Outside-In.
There are various definitions of Customer Experience including
“ ‘Customer Experience Management’ represents the discipline, methodology and/or process used to comprehensively manage a customer’s cross-channel exposure, interaction and transaction with a company, product, brand or service.” (Bernd Schmitt 2003)
Customer Experience is how customers perceive their interactions with your company. (Forrester 2010)
Customer Experience is the customer’s perceptions and related feelings caused by the one-off and cumulative effect of interactions with a supplier’s employees, systems, channels or products. (Gartner 2013)
Customer Experience is the embodiment of a brand, and of each and every interaction between an organisation and a customer. (Cap Gemini 2013)
Customer experience (CX) is the sum of all experiences a customer has with a supplier of goods and/or services, over the duration of their relationship with that supplier. (Wiki 2014)
We take exception with all these definitions.
They do go some of the way to describing an aspect of customer experience, however fall way short in terms of the everyday reality of our digital age. We need a broad view that encompasses all aspects of a customer experience, not just necessarily the encounters and feelings directly experienced by a customer.
We need to get scientific about the customer experience. In this way our newly engineered processes and the complete customer experience can operate at 70-80% lower cost, 50-60% improved customer service and 3-4 times revenue improvements. In our definition of Customer Experience this is referred to as winning the Triple Crown. The concurrent and sustained ability to reduce costs, improve service and grow revenues simultaneously.
Let’s paint a picture – a duck on the mill pond. What the customer sees and feels is the duck on the surface, however a great deal of effort to move the duck takes place out of view, below the surface if you like. That is a fundamental part of the customer experience. So our definition encompasses this idea – “Customer Experience is the collective energy and effort that produces the engineered encounter to provide value and substance to a customer” (Towers/Dodkins 2014). It is an understanding of the complete duck if you like.
Through this definition we can indeed get scientific about the customer experience. For instance to deliver the desired experience we must clearly articulate the cause and effect of work. A simple observation is that all work is ultimately the result of a customer interaction, somewhere, sometime. Another is that of the Successful Customer Outcome (SCO).
We can shape the experience and expectations of customers and formulate measures that go way beyond the legacy production line mindsets. In fact we can better create and modify technologies that support the delivery of the SCO.
Through this engineered understanding we can also contrast the effort currently undertaken and assess its contribution to the SCO. If it doesn’t contribute then potentially stop doing it. In this way our newly engineered processes and the complete customer experience can operate at 70-80% lower cost, 50-60% improved customer service and 3-4 times revenue improvements. In our definition of Customer Experience this is referred to as winning the Triple Crown. The concurrent and sustained ability to reduce costs, improve service and grow revenues simultaneously.
If you can get passed the normal consultancy hyperbole and Americanisms this book promises to provide some interesting information in furthering the cause of Outside In.
Naturally take with a pinch of salt the offers for speeches and presentations from Research Analysts (great stuff but I would rather have the people who have really done this stuff rather than just researched it!) you can review the 80 case studies.
Take away nuggets like “Aim to make it effortless for your customers” Phil Beinart, AT&T and “82% of customers stop doing business with an organisation as a result of negative experience”. The latter leaves me to believe those customers who don’t leave are either very lazy or penalised punitively for trying.
Blurb for Forrester: Based on 14 years of research by the customer experience leaders at Forrester Research, OUTSIDE IN offers a complete road map to attaining the experience advantage. You’ll see how the roots of customer experience success or failure lie deep within your company, not just with customer-facing employees. And you’ll learn about the six disciplines that customer experience leaders must master: Strategy, Customer Understanding, Design, Measurement, Governance, and Culture. With dozens of diverse case studies from around the world, OUTSIDE IN is the one resource you need to turn a focus on customer experience into growth and profit.