Neil Ward-Dutton of MWD writes about the promise of customer experience management. It is an interesting take on what people seem to mean by customer experiences:
What I’m learning as I look across my team’s enterprise research and client interactions is that what’s primarily being focused on is the domain of marketing activities, and specifically finding answers to the following questions as they’re relevant to marketing:
- How can we get an integrated view of customers, their preferences and their behaviour?
- How can we apply this customer knowledge to deliver the most appropriate experience?
To my mind, what this boils down to is an attempt to answer the question “how can we make our promises to customers and prospects more compelling?“
As Neil implies, what’s more important – making the right promises, or keeping the ones you make?
And when you look at your own company, what are the failure modes you’re most concerned about? The ability to fine-tune your marketing message, or the ability to keep the promises your marketing makes?
Neil focuses on how different functions within your company need to operate smoothly together and share information at the right time and place. That’s true. But it is also true that you can invest in specific parts of your operation to increase the chances of keeping your promises. You can invest in the whole – but you can also invest in the parts.
I love this chart that he shared in the post:
The chart gives you a sense of (a) where most companies seem to be focused based on MWD’s analysis, and (b) where else they could be focusing. MWD could have added a column for Product, or R&D as well – in that these activities can also be shaped by a focus on customers, or on what a company has learned from customer experience.
I love finding a model that simplifies the explanation of something you already know to be true. And in this case, maybe provides a framework to identify areas that need more investment.
Setting the model aside for a minute, at BP3, we’re focused on keeping our promises to customers. And we’re focused on how to improve everything about our organization that supports keeping those promises – whether that is technology or organization or operational improvements.
Maybe the most important thing about trying to improve customer experience is setting aside the idea of trying to sell something else, or something more. Just focus on the experience and let the references and the experience itself do the selling for you.