Forrester calls these days as the "Age of the Customer" and the buzzword "customer experience" reappeared like a new business concept. It’s, of course, not. Immeo's Strategy Executive and Partner Simon Aisen shares his customer experience insights and tips on how to excel at it.
On the question of why is the term “customer experience” on everyone’s lips these days, Immeo’s Simon Aisen says it has to do with the big shift from company/product-centric orientation to customer-centric and then, “There’s a new meaning to the customer-centric organization, which is the constant focus on understanding each element in the customer’s interaction with the company, including all aspects of the decision-making process: from before, to during, and even after the actual encounter.”
“Only a truly customer-centric company can deliver a total customer experience,” states the Business Development and Strategy Executive, “The true customer-centric organization understands the full journey and the individual choices and uses this information to deliver a personalized service and experience.”
Aided by new digital solutions, companies can collect and structure data, which will be their foundation for constantly improving customer value, “The more we interact, the better, more personal, and relevant the service becomes. This is the new reality, and the more you get to know your customer, the more they’ll be able to change or reinvent services and lead the disruption in the industry.”
He added that, “The customer-centric company must excel in all areas of the customer journey through all online and offline touchpoints,” and again reiterates that its foundation is in shared profiling of the customer based on data, “Sometimes this data guides an intelligent person to perform the right service and in other situations the data will enable systems with artificial intelligence to learn and deliver a personal digital service. The company’s ability to deliver a coherent and valuable customer experience starts with the understanding of the customer and this is challenging both the culture, system design and capabilities in many companies.”
Today, customer loyalty has become a moving target that companies can’t take for granted, “Forrester forecasts that 65% of all customers have a high willingness and ability to shift spending. This means that excellent service is more of a hygiene factor, but not a winning formula. Social media and access to information have changed this. So, services must build upon a personalized approach, which can’t be arbitrary or depend on talking to the right person.”
Even if the customers are in charge, Aisen observed an interesting paradox, “Companies’ marketing and sales operation these days can be quite offensive for the sake of personalizaton and relevance. Look at how Amazon and Airbnb communicate to us. A few years ago, that would have been regarded as offensive and indiscreet. But now, people are putting up with them because they offer convenience and deliver accordingly.”
Brands can’t fall short of expectations these days or they’ll be crucified all over social media, “So, the new game is taking content and customer data seriously and using it across all your domains from product information to actual commerce. These are automated services, but it starts with the right customer-centric solution design. I believe this is applicable to both B2C and B2B.”
Customers are always on a journey, and companies are forced to keep up. Where to start? Aisen shared three tips:
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