Customer Experience Management

It’s the age of the customer! Legacy approaches against competitive strategies combine to make existing marketing strategies obsolete.

Customer Experience Management (CxM) is the sum of all experiences a customer has with a provider of goods and/or services, over the duration of their relationship with that organization. This can include awareness, discovery, attraction, interaction, purchase, use, cultivation and advocacy. CxM can also be used to represent an individual experience over one transaction – the distinction is usually context.

Products are increasingly becoming commoditized, price differentiation no longer sustainable, and customers are demanding more, faster. Companies are focusing on delivering superior customer experiences. The ‘customer experience’ has often been stated as the single most important aspect in achieving success for companies across all industries. As an example, Starbucks spent less than $10MM on advertising from 1987 to 1998, yet added over 2,000 new stores to accommodate growing sales. Starbucks’ popularity is based on the experience that drove its customers to highly recommend their store to friends and family. [Shaun Smith and Joe Wheeler (2002), Managing the Customer Experience: Turning customers into Advocates, Financial Times Press] Customer Experience Management involves strategy that focuses the operations and processes of a business around the needs of customers. Many companies have started to focus on the importance of the overall experience. Companies are focusing on the importance of the experience, as Jeananne Rae noted in 2010, realizing that “building great consumer experiences is a complex enterprise, involving strategy, integration of technology, orchestrating business models, brand management and CEO commitment.”

According to Harvard Business Review blogger Adam Richardson, a company must define and understand all dimensions of the customer experience in order to have long-term success. Some companies segment the customer experience into technical interactions with the customer such as use of the web, smartphone or tablet. Other companies define human interaction such as over-the-phone customer service or face-to-face retail service as the customer experience. In the global economy, where technology and bricks-and-mortar business often interact or even compete for the customer base, it is important to recognize all these aspects as having an impact on the customer experience. Every business offers a customer experience. The more aware a business is of what type of experience they want to offer, the more likely they will create a positive experience.

How does an organization decide the best path to mapping a customer’s journey? How does any organization come to the realization that the day of ‘one avenue for customer service’ is history? Innovium Group, LTD provides experienced management consultants that can lead executive discussions, develop the roadmap to a future, and evaluate current initiatives.