Customer Experience today!
Guest Post by
Sunil Pereira, Industry Principal, Enterprise Architecture Services, Infosys
The storm is moving in. I am at the gate in San Francisco waiting to board my flight to Richmond. As expected, due to the delay of the in-bound aircraft, the scheduled departure of my flight would be delayed as well. That means I was expecting a cascade of delays with all my connections and reservations. Luckily, I do not have to worry. Fortunately, I land in Atlanta a bit early than expected (thanks to the tail winds), and automatically the airline system realizes I can make it to an earlier connection for the next leg of my journey. An agent calls me on my cell as soon as I deplane and asks me if I would like to take the earlier flight to Richmond that was just boarding passengers. I say "yes, of course". Within seconds, I get a notification on my smart phone. While I rush to the gate, I fire up the airline application and load my new boarding pass along with the boarding gate information. The gate agents are waiting and expecting me at the gate, since they have been notified of this change. Also, due to my frequent flyer status, I get upgraded. The agent on the phone with me also knows that I will be arriving pretty late at night at my destination and that restaurants will be closed by then. The agent asks me if I would like to have dinner ready when I check in. I cannot believe my luck. Automatically, a message gets sent to the hotel. My pick up time from the airport in Richmond is now rescheduled and with my food preferences (and master data) on file - I have the right menu waiting for me in the hotel room as I check in. Everything automatically syncs up on my calendar. There is an early morning meeting that I have to attend the following day. The front desk agent at the hotel has that information and confirms my ride to the venue, while also letting me know that my wake-up call is scheduled based on my calendar and personal preferences on file...
This, my friends, is 'Customer Experience'...and everything I have mentioned above was doable due to technology.
Now, fast 'rewind' to present day!
Technologies do exist, but we have not been able to tie it end to end. Customer experience is all about delivering that exceptional value.
With most consumers choosing not to do business with a company because of a bad customer experience, Customer Experience (CX) is today's primary business imperative. It's a complex process of understanding that relationship with your customers and that experience needs to be the core strategy and focus. When addressed effectively, customer experience eases customer acquisition, drives customer loyalty and improves customer retention.
To thrive in today's customer empowered environment, brands need to deliver the best customer experiences when, where, and how customers want it. In today's economy, the customer is in the driver's seat. The customer is truly the king. Eventually, consumers will be able to tell what they want, how they want it, where, when they should be able to get it, & how much it should cost. Once economic signaling starts to crank up on the demand side of the marketplace, the supply side will have to start regarding customers as complex and fully empowered individuals. Organizations should be able to engage with them in a more effective way.
Lets start by defining 'Customer Experience'. What is it?.
Customer Experience (CX) is the sum of all experiences a customer has with a supplier of goods or services, over the duration of their relationship with that supplier.
Customer Experience is a relatively new term with a number of different interpretations in the marketplace. CX, however, is quite simple. Every time a company and customer interact, the customer learns something that will either strengthen or weaken the future relationship and that customer's desire to return, spend more and recommend via personal and social connections.
CX can also be used to mean an individual experience over one transaction; or through every transaction from awareness, discovery, attraction, interaction, purchase, use, cultivation and advocacy. Customers move through a closed-loop, continuous journey - (1) Market and sell during the buying phase and (2) Support and serve once they own. They require a simple, consistent, relevant experience throughout the journey Implemented across all channels of interaction. Integrated solutions can help deliver seamless customer experiences, grow revenue and reduce costs. Exceptional customer experiences create loyalty, advocacy and repeat business.
* Source http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Customer_experience