By Lewis (Lou) Carbone
Founder and CEO of Experience Engineering
Despite the trials that face customer experience professionals, the time is ripe for you to be a crusader for customer experience management.
Recognizing this need comes when you know the breadth, depth and potential of experience management. It is all about improving the lives of customers and employees so that they have more meaning and are invested in those experiences. When that happens, experience management will reap great financial and humane returns for your companies.
If you are a chief experience officer or are deeply involved in customer experience efforts at your company, you know how challenging the job can be.
Too often, companies create customer experience initiatives with no clear sense of what they want to accomplish or how to carry them out. Too often other departments don’t buy into the value of customer experience or the need for experience management. Too often, businesses establish new initiatives they label “customer experience,” operating them in parallel and not tied in with other programs. As a result, they fail to capitalize on benefits that they could reap from truly integrated experience management.
In a teleconference call last month sponsored by the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA), I had the honor of talking about this and other facets of customer experience management. Conference call interviewers Steven Ramirez, CEO of Beyond The Arc, and Steve Cohn, director of learning at Strativity Group, asked me probing questions about the CX world and what are some of its challenges.
These hour-long “thought leader” conference calls are just one way the CXPA is helping move our industry forward. As I concluded my talk, I urged people in our field to think about the work we do as a crusade. To think about customers differently than we have thought about them in the past. To shake up and change the world for experience management.
There are five major opportunities that present themselves to a company when it is a crusader of CX management:
Opportunity # 1: Customer experience management helps raise sales and profits for your company.When you have a system for designing, managing and maintaining great customer experiences, the end result is that it will boost your financial results. For just two of countless examples, read my blogs on how Nemours/A.I Dupont Hospital for Children and Pizza Hut UK reaped the benefits of customer experience management.
Opportunity #2: You’ll better connect with customers on an emotional and unconscious level. Experience management will help you get inside the head of the customer to help you learn not just what they think but how they think. It will enable you to design and manage customer experiences rather than allowing them to happen in a haphazard manner. It will help your company discover the needs of customers which are what really drive customer value. And, in return, you will gain customers and employees who are invested in your company.
Opportunity #3. Experience management will enable you to “sense and respond” to customers’ needs rather than employing the old Industrial Age model of “making and selling” merchandise and services. We need to create experiences that transform people’s lives.
Opportunity #4. Experience management is the business framework that will enable you to fuse together and integrate your company’s resources. It can serve as the key to make the most efficient use of your resources so you can re-invest the savings into improving the design and management of experiences for your customers. Pursuing customer experience management that is holistic and integrates all your service initiatives will help your company recognize and pursue new ways of doing business.
Opportunity # 5. Experience management can be an accelerant for moving forward your company’s overall business strategy. Customer experience management is a business framework that can achieve tremendous return on investment (ROI) for a company’s business strategy. There are ways to measure the value of experience management aside from ringing up the cash register and building margins.
The richness that the framework of customer experience management represents for your company is like the difference between writing on a Post-It note versus writing on a billboard. When you experience writing on the billboard, you will never want to go back to the Post-It note.
Meanwhile, when your organization embraces customer experience management, the transformation need not be slow in coming; it can be instantaneous. This acculturation can come by simply, but profoundly, seeing the world in a different light. It is looking at customer experience from the “customer in” rather than the “company out.”
When you have that magical moment and the light bulb gets turned on, as it were, and you experience the power of experience management, that conversion experience will make an indelible mark on your life. When you experience the power of customer experience management, your life will never be the same. And neither will your company.
In conclusion, I was honored and thrilled to share some of these thoughts with the many people of the CXPA, whose co-founders are Jeanne Bliss and Bruce Temkin.
If you have thoughts or questions about customer experience management, please share them with me and Experience Engineering, which is dedicated to customer and employee experience management. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 952-942-8880. To find out more about Experience Engineering, visit our website at www.expeng.com.