Managing Customer Experience: the next big thing?


I am a big believer in management guru Peter Drucker saying “What gets measured gets managed“. When it gets down to tracking a company’s success, too many businesses tend to rely on market share, profitability, EPS growth or repeat purchases only. Don’t take me wrong, you still need to track these down, but as one brilliant Berkeley Marketing guru asked: “Do you think your partner is loyal only because he’s having diner every night at home? So, does the number of repeat sales indicates that your customer is loyal?” At least for the first one you must admit he’s got a point.

Nowadays, customer experience is one if not the main ingredient of customer loyalty which translates into market share — as loyal customers are the best brand advocates, profitability and EPS growth i.e. the way most businesses would define success. Then what are you doing about it?

If you’re still in doubt, take the coffee business as an example. Who has been insanely successful in this business? Starbucks and Nespresso success stories — follow the links for more — can attest about it.

As Shaun Smith, author of Managing Customer Experience, details in his post, there are 10 best practices to create real business value:

  1. Successful deployment requires the active and continuing involvement of leadership
  2. Ensuring cross-functional ownership is vital
  3. Focusing on your most strategically important customers
  4. Finding out what these customers truly value
  5. Being clear about what you stand for
  6. Delivering the promise at every touch point
  7. Providing branded training to ensure that employees understand the brand story
  8. Designing CEM before installing CRM systems
  9. Measuring the customer experience
  10. Aligning KPIs with the customer experience

This is heavy duty, but social media — as you can see in the Starbucks video in the link above — is becoming instrumental in that regard.

I’ll leave you with the five barriers to measuring customer experience, from mycustomer.com:

“Customer experience isn’t just about giving customers a good time. It’s about understanding just how good a time (or not) you are giving – and making adjustments”

  1. We rely on magic numbers
  2. We don’t really listen
  3. Measuring word of mouth is hard
  4. We have too much functional data – too little insight
  5. We don’t look beyond the obvious and the superficial

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