You know the saying…. “You can’t please everyone,” but as customer experience professionals, that is exactly what we are trying to do.
Let’s define what Customer experience means. Customer experience can and should include a lot of elements, however, let’s try and narrow the scope. To do this, I like to take each word separately and define it.
Customer – cus·tom·er – Noun – a person or organization that buys goods or services from a store or business. “Mr. Harrison was a regular customer at Starbucks.”
Experience – ex·pe·ri·ence – Noun – practical contact with and observation of facts or events. “Mr. Harrison had already learned his lesson when his last contact with Starbucks was a painful experience”. Verb – encounter or undergo (an event or occurrence). “Mr. Harrison is experiencing difficulties trying to purchase the software”
Based on the definitions above, I like to think of the customer experience practice as the memory a customer leaves with during an interaction with your brand or product. The lasting memory you leave with a customer that does business with you is unique to that person That is why building personalized experiences is so important to building great memories for all customers.
It’s useful to remember that perceptions can be changed or influenced. However, a memory is permanent. Let’s look into both definitions to gain a true understanding of the differences.
Perception – per·cep·tion – Noun – the ability to see, hear or become aware of something through the senses. “the normal limits to human perception”
Memory – mem·o·ry – Noun – the faculty by which the mind stores and remembers information. “I have a great memory for faces.” Noun -something remembered from the past; a recollection. “One of my earliest memories is of sitting on his knee”
As you can see from the definitions above, there is a slight difference. A perception is something you become aware of through your senses. A memory is so much more, it’s the way by which the mind stores and remembers the information or in other terms, the way you remember the perception you had. The silver bullet here is that perceptions can be changed, and a memory cannot.
So how do you build a memory, one the lasts and creates an experience that your customers perceive as priceless? I like to focus on building effective internal communication methods that include the customer’s perspective, across all business decisions.
One way to accomplish this is to build internal communications that focus on stories about great customer experiences. Most companies will report on a great new product release, winning an award, or doing monthly and quarterly financial reporting, but how many of us celebrate great customer experiences? An effective way to achieve this might be to create a newsletter named “Feel Good Fridays” that gets sent out internally and highlights employees who are doing things that create great experiences for customers. You can also share stories from your customers talking about great experiences they have had with you company, products, or employees.
If you can effectively communicate the importance of the customer experience internally, and align it with how it impacts the business, you will create a customer- focused culture that helps drive value to your customers, employees and shareholders.
Michael is known for creating, improving and executing Collaborative Customer Experience frameworks across diverse industries (Media, Streaming Services, Ed Tech, Health & Wellness, SaaS, PaaS) at different stages of growth – early stage start-ups, seasoned companies looking to transform, high growth and declining businesses.
His experience ranges from Professor, Board Member, Keynote Speaker to leading Global Business Transformation(B2B, B2C, B2B2C), Business Development/Launch Strategy, Customer Experience, Customer Success, Customer Engagement, Customer Retention, CustomerService, Lifecycle Management and AI Transformation at companies like Spotify, The New York Times, tech start-ups and telecom providers globally.