How do you define Customer Experience?

Consumer buying journeys have evolved for years however within the last 5 years the evolution can be seen more as a revolution.  The next 5 years will change even faster for how customers buy and it is up to YOU to keep up with this revolution (hopefully you can get in front of it).  I have been watching how customers buy and how companies sell for the last 20 years and I believe that we are in a time of incredible change.  My experience has been in the enterprise software industry, my posts will be focusing on the software industry (but the information is transferrable to any product, service, or industry) and how customer experience is the most important aspect of the business.  I have been lucky to be involved with many industries (including Financial Services, Life Sciences, Insurance, Retail, and Software) in many different countries (including US, Canada, Mexico, Hong Kong, Thailand, Germany, UK, Ireland, Singapore and Finland)  Viewing customer experience in different industries and countries enables me to bring a fresh perspective to my customers.  How do you define Customer Experience (CX)?

Here is the definition from Wikipedia:  Customer experience (CX) is the product of an interaction between an organization and a customer over the duration of their relationship. This interaction includes a customer’s attraction, awareness, discovery, cultivation, advocacy and purchase and use of a service. It is measured by the individual’s experience during all points of contact against the individual’s expectations.

When I take a step back and think about customer experience, traditionally it has been thought about what happens after the contract is signed.  Today I see something completed different.  Customer experience starts before a perspective customer engages with your organization.  Consumers are researching your company on the internet, with the community, and reaching out to people/companies that they trust.  So I would say that the customers experience starts with your marketing organization.  Have you thought about including the following into how you define CX?:

  • Does your website provide easy to consume information about what your product, service, or company does or provides?
  • Can customers easily access information on your product, service, or company? What is your content gating strategy?
  • Are people talking about your product, service, or company on social media? Are you addressing negative experiences immediately?  Are you amplifying positive experiences?  (Hint: if you are lagging on this item you are losing revenue).

A successful software company from today forward will have to hire people who think about customer experience.  Let’s take a sales person as an example – 5 years ago a sales person could be successful by calling and emailing customers with product information to prospects.  Today sales people are lucky if customers pick up the phone or open an e-mail.  A sales person today needs to be a marketer, a sales person, product specialist and customer service agent.  If you are missing any of their traits then you are/will not a successful sales person.

Your successful sales people of the future will poses most of these attributes:

Sales-Marketing-Support-CRM-overview-300px

Do you sell a product or a service?  Are you a sales person in 2016?  Organization and individuals better take some time and understand how to become a marketer, sharpen your sales skills, and provide excellent customer service.  The buyers journey is going through a REVOLUTION and it will accelerate in the next 5 years, are you making the changes to ensure your success?

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