The experience age is upon us. Those who practice or follow the changes in market and media will validate this truth: the age of advertising has changed. Customer Experience Design, innovative cultures and the drive to build lasting value from “what we do” versus “what we say” is here. In many ways, this cultural shift is a unique maturity of our age. It has a purist mantra, "give me what I want," or in the ancient context, "treat others the way you want to be treated." Of course, exceptional Customer Experience always comes when we deliver an unexpected pleasure. The guys who are doing it right go beyond "what I want." They design a culture that delivers an experience that surprises their customers and delights them to come back for more.
Perception is key. And understanding that perception is at the forefront of Customer Experience Design, also called CX Design. Even if you have a high-end product and have put your employees through lots of training, if the customer has a bad experience interacting with your service or product, then that is how they will perceive your brand.
Try thinking of Customer Experience Design as the big picture that becomes the map of how you manage customer interaction across every step of their customer journey. And the customer journey map provides all of the various customer touchpoints. Every touchpoint should be designed to provide a Customer Experience that is in-line with your brand’s promise.
In short, it is the way companies can track and measure the way they engage with customers and build long-term loyal relationships. First step in this process is creating the map of the customer’s journey, beginning with their very first interaction with your company. Discovering what your customers are really saying and feeling about your brand is essential. And customer feedback should always be considered a touchpoint along their journey.
Emotion is a major part of every customer’s experience with any brand. Creating a positive emotional experience should be your focus along every step of a customer’s journey. So after the journey is mapped out you are ready to begin CX Design. This will be the structure that provides companies the opportunity to be innovative and improve their products and services.
I would argue yes and no. Let me explain. Most national brands are leading the way in CX Design. Brands like Southwest, Apple, Zappos, and Disney are recognized pioneers in the space of Customer Experience Design.
There is little debate: the trend will continue to filter down into the middle business markets, especially for service-based businesses. But Customer Experience Design is one of three essential elements. In short, brand, marketing, and customer experience comprise the solution that most businesses need.
For instance, we know brands that deliver a clean, consistent and clear market message command the greatest market value. But great brands also include a promise and the brand promise is your benchmark for leading culture and Customer Experience.
Marketing—the strategy to attract customers—must stay true to the brand and the Customer Experience. So, the solution is a three-dimensional approach: brand, marketing and Customer Experience Design. I believe this process of connecting all three disciplines into one effective strategy is what every innovative business owner needs to do to remain profitable and competitive in today’s market.
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