The legendary Steve Jobs once remarked: "You’ve got to start with the customer experience and work backwards to the technology." Steve Jobs has cast emotionality, simplicity, intuition, convenience, and beauty in and around his products like no other. He created an Apple universe. In doing so, he inspired consumers to the extent that revolutionized the technology market. His understanding of customer experience has become a figurehead, a role model to be followed.
However, the reality of business is different. According to New Voice Media (2018 study), 67% of US consumers change brands because they were not satisfied with the customer experience.
What Customer Experience includes
What stands behind the term Customer Experience? It includes:
- All psychological processes such as thinking, imagining, feeling, perceiving, and feeling are bundled in one experience.
- Behind the experience are understood and reflected experiences.
When we talk about customer experience, we mean the two dimensions:
- customer experiences, which include short-term, emotional experiences,
- the customer experience, which is a result of the reflection and evaluation of the individual customer experiences.
Together they form the world of customer experience. (cf. Wirtschaftslexikon).
Definition of Customer Experience (CX)
When we talk about customer experience, the term implies the totality of all impressions that a customer collects during the entire duration of the customer relationship with a company. It contains all individual perceptions and interactions of the customer at different customer touchpoints. Customer experience is a holistic construct: it comprises several process phases and forms the basis for customer loyalty. The process phases of customer experience are also called customer journey (cf. Wirtschaftslexikon).
How does excellent customer experience arise?
Each interaction of the customer is compared with the experiences he has made with other companies or products. The result is an expectation profile that a company must meet or exceed. The degree to which expectations are met is measured by customer satisfaction. This remains high as long as the expectations have been fulfilled. If they are not fulfilled, it sinks. If a company creates high customer satisfaction values, it is an indication of good or excellent customer experience. This strengthens the bond to the company and its products. The result is a higher intention to repurchase, increasing up- and cross-selling readiness and a high recommendation rate.
If a company wants to maintain a long-term relationship with its customers, it must ensure that it meets or exceeds the needs and expectations of its customers at all times, at all points of contact and in all interactions.
This sounds easy but is much more complex to implement. Customer experience requires systematic monitoring (collection of data), analysis, and evaluation of the findings. It requires corporate processes that are consequently aligned with the customer.
- CX includes the two dimensions of a) short-term, individual emotional experiences, and b) the reflection and evaluation of the individual experiences.
- CX is the sum of all impressions of a customer over the entire duration of a customer relationship.
- CX forms the basis for customer loyalty.
- High customer satisfaction scores across all touchpoints are an indication of a good to excellent CX.
- The CX process phases are mapped in the customer journey.
- For a good CX, the business processes are aligned with the customer.
- The CX measurement and optimization requires consistent monitoring, analysis, and evaluation of the voice of the customer) on the entire customer journey.