‘Customer Experience’ is a very popular business expression these days. It features heavily in everything from boardroom agendas, to Amazon book lists, to the events & conference circuit to LinkedIn posts.
But what you must be careful of is making sure you only reading content relating to the correct of the two wildly different definitions of customer experience which have been established. One is a force for gain for all, the other a force for gain for a few.
The correct and healthy CX focus if one that delivers value to clients and their customers and has been around since before ‘CX’ had a label. It is expressed (broadly) as follows:
“The value created from the sum of the interactions between a customer and company throughout the term of their relationship”
The focus here is on helping companies to identify what matters most to their customers and how to improve the associated experience to attract an increasing level of commitment from customers on a sustainable basis.
And there are a myriad of great books (see below), helpful practitioners guidance notes and insightful case studies to fuel your CX thinking. These are penned and provided by some great practitioners who happily stay in the wings; clientside or consultants who recognise the solutions are the true heroes and they are merely the enablers.
Accepting CX evolves and everything from customer expectations to the way it’s measured updates with it are the hallmarks of progressive and proactive professionals in CX. We’ve found being connected with an elite number of practitioners, professionals and professors in CX keeps us up to date and always seeking a higher ground.
This is an inclusive approach where the collective create gains for clients and customers alike dominate. Customer comes first.
I was approached to write a book on CX. In response to which I pointed out the set below – explaining there are enough good books out there covering many angles. What more could be said?The effort should be on the application.
So it’s very important to avoid the second definition of customer experience:
“The value created by often unqualified individuals or companies using CX primarily as a means to create personal financial gain”
Sadly these leads to many mediocre books, second rate speakers (poor content overpowered by delivery style) and case studies (without the context connected). These serve the providers and presenters well,feeding egos and euros in equal measure. But they are nothing more than re-purposed content often featuring outdated or unsubstantiated ‘observations’ from others or outdated polished pomp. But it’s getting easier to spot these pretenders from the true professionals.
CX is an evolving discipline and many of the conventional ideas, models and measures have now been proven to be less reliable and damaging. But like a one hit wonder pop star, it’s too much of a challenge for these podium princess and princesses, UX Unicorns, digital dinasours, solution serpents and other ‘CX pretenders’. They have built their fortunes on a back catalogue, and struggle to accept we’ve moved on.
Their advice and inspiring soundbites may quench the thirst and even taste good initially but they will be prove difficult to digest and ultimately add little to no substance, leaving you still hungry for sense and success.
So how can you tell the good from the bad? It’s quite simple beware of those putting ME and US into CUSTOMER. Now we’ve shared the signs, you’ll spot them every time you pick up a CX book, click open a webinar, pay to hear a speaker or scan an article on customer experience.
But if you are unsure simply challenge their value with these,
- ‘Does it put the customer first?’
- ‘Will it improve our customer’s experience?’
- ‘Does everyone gain from the experience?’
If the answer is yes, keep consuming!
Posted by Christopher Brooks, fan of progressive and productive CX which inspires practitioners and delivers gains to clients by generating genuine value for their customers.