Customer Experience: An Experiential Business Application

Customer experience and experiential social mediaCustomer experience and experiential social media shows how you can succeed in transforming your customers’ experiences with your firm by adopting a refreshing and effective human approach. Transforming customer experience enables most firms to become more resilient and profitable.

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Customer Experience and Experiential Social Media

Customer Experience Overview

Most firms’ customers endure their products and interactions because these rarely reflect empathy and trust toward customers. Products and services are designed to make the firm money, and they cater to customers from that perspective. This reflects a long legacy of the inherent value of mass-produced things during the Industrial Economy, which is fading now.

Today, in the Knowledge Economy, most products commoditize very quickly. So do services that are mechanically managed. Analysts, professors and pundits increasingly call customer experience the final frontier of competitiveness. This acknowledges that competing mostly on products and services is risky, that firms need something more.

Steps to Customer Experience Transformation

Customer experience & experiential social media: 4 steps to transformationStep1: To transform customer experience, I’ve found it’s best to start by adopting an attitude of humility—because this enables us to develop empathy much more quickly.

Let’s acknowledge that customers don’t like our products, services or firm as much as we do. They are willing to use us to attain an outcome that’s personally meaningful. Think about that for a minute. It’s breakthrough because it enables us to be more curious about what customers want when they use us. We’re already more aligned with them once we are humble.

Step2: We use ethnographic research of social media to study the behavior and motivations of people whose interests correlate to our best customers. We don’t survey them; we study them when they’re in deep conversations about their outcomes because we get the whole picture that way. We create workstream and journey models. This enables our teams to really empathize with customers and the role our products and processes play in enabling and frustrating their outcomes.

Step3: Then our experiential social media teams empower people’s outcomes in digital public. We show our relevance and care in public and our reputation grows among the very people who correlate to our best customers. We don’t talk about ourselves because our actions say everything people need to know, and promotion arouses suspicion.

Step4: As they interact with thousands of our best customers and people like them, our experiential teams learn and catalogue our products’ good and bad points, so we use this information to correct our policies, processes and even product design.

Our experiential teams accumulate thousands of links to highly valuable interactions, so they give us a real-time pipeline of insight into how our most valuable customers are thinking and how we can empower them.

Think about this a minute. When we do this, our relationship transcends the product. We become a customer advocate. We end up selling more at better margins because we’re focused on the outcomes of our best customers.

And our interactions are real-time digital artifacts, so all our employees can share in the insights, in real time. Experiential activates and intensifies the Trust Business Chain Reaction, which explains how trust monetizes.

Customer Experience Impact

Customer experience & experiential social media: financial impactBy being humble, developing empathy and empowering our best customers in digital public, we can truly transform our relationships with our customers.

By doing it this way, we grow trust at scale with our best customers and people like them. Competitors won’t be able to compete with us very easily because trust is stronger than marketing tactics. When our customers trust us, they want to do business with us because it makes them feel good and they know they’ll achieve their outcomes faster and easier. They also know that if things go wrong, we’ll have their backs.

One last thing. You’ll be much more successful with customer experience transformation when you’ve transformed employee experience (aka engagement) first. Its post shows how.

If you’d like to learn more about how firms are pursuing customer experience transformation, see the Chief Customer Office or the Chief Digital Office.

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