Total Customer Experience

Creating a Differentiating Total Customer Experience

Meeting customer expecations in a changeable environment through a systematic approach

Organizations must execute today in a constantly changing environment where customer expectation, competition, and market conditions can change overnight. Research shows that 92 percent of executives view the challenges they face as more complex than just five years ago. [1]

Product superiority does not sustain advantage as long as it once did.

Too often, customers are willing to sacrifice "perfect fit" for "good enough" since there are multiple options available that will meet their minimum requirements [2]

That is why understanding of the total customer experience is increasingly important. Research has shown that 85% of companies state that customer experience will play a critical or very important role in their competitiveness. The analysis of the best performing organizations supports the premise that maximizing the value of customer experience is more likely if a systematic approach is in place. Incorporating such an approach could have its rewards.

Forrester Research has uncovered the fact that only 20 percent of companies even try to know the state of their customer experience success by measuring it holistically across all channels.

Under that light, here are some questions to consider: [3]

  • How much feedback from customers was incorporated into the planning process for setting goals?
  • How clear are the linkages between process outputs and business goals?
  • Are production and/or process flows tuned to customer demand?
  • Are processes designed around standards?
  • What is the variance between actual results and customer service targets?

To create competitive advantage in this environment companies must focus on the capabilities and competencies most influential in deepening customer insights, choreographing interactions and continuously improving performance. It is not just about customer service or satisfaction -- it is about designing an experience for each customer based upon knowledge gained, delivery of value through each channel, and measurement of outcomes. Research also documents few companies (18 percent) rate their performance as good or excellent at creating and managing individual "treatment tracks" across products and channels in order to manage and improve overall customer experience. [4]

Customized interations are not commonplace for many companies, but from the point of view of many observers the future has already happened -- it's just a matter of whether a company or its major competitior gets there first.

  1. Center for Creative Leadership
  2. Jeanne Hellman
  3. Forrester Research
  4. Peppers & Rogers Group
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