Customers have always demanded your best. But a decade and a half into the 21st century, they're demanding much more – not only your very best products and services but experiences that delight and amaze them.
Customer experience includes any and all interactions between a customer and a brand over the entire life cycle of the customer’s relationship with the brand. Increasingly, customers cross multiple channels in a typical transaction. Only those companies that get closer to their customers by creating and consistently delivering innovative, experiences across multiple channels will thrive.
At the same time, companies face digital disruption that is driven by many technologies and trends, ranging from big data and the "Internet of things" (IoT) to cloud services. There are four major disruptive trends, which together enable a company to drive innovation in customer experience:
In the near future everything will become commoditized – except your relationship with your customers. Consider the smartphone market. Today, it is easy for a design house to create a new smartphone. But the relationship that Apple has with its customers is very different from those of its competitors. Relationships are difficult to establish and very difficult to replicate once they have been established. This means the company that differentiates on customer experience by actually serving their customers better has a chance to capture and hold market share. Customer loyalty and engagement are not only the key to success – they are the key to your very survival as a company.
The same forces that are driving disruptive change can be harnessed to help create new customer experiences, products and services. The road to customer experience innovation runs down the digital path. The choice is becoming increasingly stark: Embrace digital disruption and customer experience innovation or face growing irrelevance and obsolescence.
To sum it up: