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“Customer Experience is not just about

passion. It is about profitable results.”

~Lior Arussy

Timeless Tuesday: Customer Experience as a Strategy

Posted: Oct 13, 2015 by Brianne Spinelli

Final Timeless Tuesday

Timeless Tuesday is an opportunity to highlight classic Strativity expertise. While the methods of delivering exceptional Customer Experiences are ever-evolving, the core ideals, messages, and concepts behind them will be relevant for years to come.

As published on mycustomer.com, June 2010

At a recent visit in Spain I was introduced to a local bank that describe to me his customer experience challenges. “We are very committed to customer experience,” the Spanish bankers declared. “We even commissioned our own scent to be sprayed in all the branches.” They reaffirmed the commitment. “So where is your next challenge?” I inquired. “The employees, “they responded, “they are not engaged.”
 
The meeting reminded me a recent array of new customer experience diagrams spreading by different gurus. The latest one, The Customer Experience Continuum, reminded me why some experts still do not get it: customer experience is not a programme to reduce customer complaints; it is a strategy to create differentiation.
 
The Customer Experience Continuum describes customer experience as a closed loop feedback mechanism that enables listening to customers (through social media, of course) and changing processes to address the identified problems. Such a tactical approach, which is common among many traditional CRM analysts who try to minimise the discipline of customer experience, will ultimately lead an organisation to parity. Organisations that follow this tactical interpretation of customer experience will continue a frustrating journey of addressing customer complaints, reaching parity with customer needs and yet never being able to gain differentiation and loyalty.
 

In a world where meeting customer expectations is required but no longer sufficient, complaint reduction customer experience programs produce nothing more than cost reduction. Companies reach the parity line and continue to struggle with longer sales cycles and intense price pressure. The reason: reaching parity is catching up with the competitors, but not creating sustainable differentiation.

 
The customer experience challenge facing organisations is to cross the parity line and produce Excellence that is worthy of premium price. To do so, companies ought to innovate and not just be in a reactive mode of responding to customers complaints. Customer experience is the management of the complete value proposition across all touch points, and as such requires a strategic framework that ask the tough questions: How do we differentiate? How do we create appealing value that supports our target prices?
 
Customer feedback can only serve as vague clues to answer these questions. It is no longer the science of listening and responding that can address these critical strategic questions. It is now in the art domain. Companies need to reimagine a better world for their customers and translate it into delivered customer experience.