What better way to start a new blog about Customer Experience (CX) than to define what CX is.
Let’s look at a few of the definitions a quick scan of the internet uncovers:
“Customer experience 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. This can include awareness, discovery, attraction, interaction, purchase, use, cultivation and advocacy. It can also be used to mean an individual experience over one transaction.”
“Customer experience is the perception a patron has after engaging with a company, brand, product or service.”
“Customer experience is defined as your customers’ perceptions – both conscious and subconscious – of their relationship with your brand resulting from all their interactions with your brand during the customer life cycle.”
The one I like the most comes from the Business Dictionary:
The entirety of the interactions a customer has with a company and its products. The overall experience reflects how the customer feels about the company and its offerings.
It spells out that it is EVERY interaction a customer has with a company. That could be with its webpage, Facebook page, Twitter account, physical locations, field staff, customer service hotline, its product, after sales program, or loyalty program to name a few.
It also defines it as how a customer FEELS about a brand. Feelings are the sum of both conscious and unconscious perceptions. What can impact this? Just everything.
Think of a company you’ve dealt with in the last 30 days. How do you feel about them? Why do you feel that way? No doubt your experience of the interaction has a lot to do with it but I’m guessing other factors are also impacting that perception.
Things like how your friends or family feel about this company, media reports you’ve read or seen, the associations of the brand, the company’s pricing policies, and how they’ve delivered on the brand promise.
What does this all mean for a Customer Experience Manager (CXM)? It means they need to be addressing everything that can impact the customer’s perception of their company. Internal factors such as feedback management (both customer and employee), complaints handling processes, remuneration policies, and User Experience Management (UXM) are all relatively easy to influence.
What’s harder to change is factors that sit outside of the organisation. What are your competitors doing? What are people saying about your company on social media? What does an online search on your company’s name bring up? What kind of press is the company getting?
It’s a big job and an extremely important one. But despite recent research from Watermark Consulting that indicates that customer experience leaders outperform customer experience laggards on a stock performance basis, companies seeking to differentiate themselves based on excellent customer experiences are few and far between.
The only asset a company has that can’t be copied by a competitor is the relationship it has with its customers.
What kind of experiences are you giving yours?
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