Delighting the Universal Customer – Why Customer Experience Applies to Everyone

Posted On September 26, 2014
By Dalya Arussy

Our biggest mistake is thinking that whatever sector we work in doesn’t serve “customers.” We are always dealing with customers.

In his book Customer Experience Strategy, Lior Arussy breaks down the universal customer into a couple of categories:

  • The Consumer
  • The Business Buyer (B2B)
  • The Internal Customer
  • The Citizen
  • The Patient

In doing this, Lior stresses that every industry sector has its customers and there is no way to avoid providing them with customer experience.

It’s true that the Business Buyer may emphasize emotional engagement less than the Consumer. And maybe the Patient is looking for a partner in their unique journey whereas the Citizen is looking for a fast resolution of their needs. But the same person can possess all these characteristics and will thereby expect similar experiences.

Which is why competition is so tight these days. We are no longer competing within our industry. We are competing with everyone.

Forbes published a recent interview with Sephora’s Bridget Dolan, VP of Interactive Media, discussing how Sephora is excelling at personalizing the experience. More importantly, the interview revealed how Sephora is elevating the status quo and challenging those in the beauty industry and beyond.

Some of Bridget’s insights are actually very relevant to those serving non-Consumer customers. Here are some of her ideas:

Technology for the customers’ sake.
It seems that many have gotten caught up in installing new technologies within organizations because it’s the cool thing to do. But oftentimes technology either ends up not adding much to the experience or disrupting it altogether. When Sephora was looking to install new technology they asked, “What does our customer need?”

Sending RELEVANT emails.
As she mentions, we stop looking at emails altogether that come from the same source if they continuously send irrelevant advertisements. This applies to anti-wrinkle cream, mortgage deals from your bank, and hospital follow-ups alike. Sephora’s solution? Ask the same questions in emails that you would in-store.

Create a convincing loyalty program.
Bridget explains that they make their program worthwhile for the customers by transferring information from one touch point to the next. It’s not just about discounts or free giveaways. It’s about making every interaction with the organization effortless because with every login or card swipe, they know who the customer is as an individual.

No matter what industry you’re in, your competition could very well be Sephora. Or any other organization excelling at delivering the customer experience for that matter. It’s time to look around at your competition and decide how you will elevate the status quo. We all have customers, so how are you going to delight your customer?

Read more on the Strativity blog: 

Are Your Customer Experience Enablers Sabotaging Your Customer-Centricity Efforts?

Flipping the Pyramid: How to Become Customer-Centric

Georgia on My Mind: What Georgia’s Small Businesses Can Teach Big Corporations

Personalizing the Experience: Lessons From a Coffee Shop

6 World Cup Lessons Applicable to Every Customer Relationship

What Taylor Swift Doesn’t Know She Knows About Customer Experience

The No. 1 Enemy of Customer Experience Transformation

The Journey to Excellence or Excellence as a Journey?

The Top 3 Company Culture Fixes That Don’t Work

A Tale of 2 Companies: Contrasting Customer Experiences