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You forecast that customer experience will be more important than ever -- and you will be right. Customer Experience in the era of Super Empowered Individuals is just as important as any Strategic Alliance with formerly Super Empowered Companies, or Trade Organizations. Great article! Thanks!

Glenn Friesen
http://impactlearning.com
http://twitter.com/impactlearning

Yes, customer experience is more important than ever. Certainly, integration of the experience is critical. And absolutely not enough leaders act as if they understand the disconnect illustrated by the Bain quote that opens your great post.

Every customer experience begins with a person who has a need, problem or desire they would pay money to have solved. Your post provokes the question: what need are you solving for your customers? Because whether or not it’s solved – and how well – will ultimately be a customer’s definition of a successful experience. So of all the actions you outline, I’d start with a crisp focus on what contributes to solving that need – and stop wasting precious time and money on what doesn’t (like your headline this seems like common sense but is hard work).

In the end, we get a profit payoff for our organizations if we do this well. In research my firm Aveus conducted, we found that organizations who had a focus on customer experience throughout the organization were twice as likely to hit their profit goals. Yes, twice as likely.(Learn more: http://www.ceforprofit.com/evidence.html)

So thanks for the potent reminder that customer experience is indeed more important than ever.
LCI

"Eighty percent of companies believe they deliver a superior customer experience, but only 8 percent of their customers agree."

But 100% bought (based on the implication that they are all customers).

This suggests that the nexus between the experience and purchase may not be as close as it might otherwise seem logical.

My own observations are that many customers come to the experience (of consumption) so clouded in their expectation, that they are incapable of recognising good or bad customer service - essentially the experience of consumption is bad.

I think (one of) the reason for this is that we tend to seek happiness in consumption. But when what we buy doesn't deliver we turn, not on ourselves for being silly, but on the company that supplied the product or service ( this is consistent with the overall pattern of dissatified but still consuming consumers (and humaness)).

In this sense, customer service is in part human compassion for the experience that the customer brings upon himself. Now there's a thought.

As always, happy to be half wrong.
(observe, ask, observe, make stuff up, observe and then forget.)

Peter

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