Customer Experience or ‘CX’ is the interaction between the organisation and the customer over the duration of their relationship. It is made up of three parts:
- The customer’s journey
- The brand touchpoints the customer engages with and
- The environments the customer experiences (including the digital environment) during their experience
A good customer experience means that the individual’s experience throughout all touchpoints matches their expectations.
In this Forrester session chaired by CMO Victor Milligan with VP Principal Analyst James L McQuivey (middle of picture) and VP Research Director Harley Manning (right of picture), they talk about creating the best experience for customers in 2019 to get ahead of the competition.
James L McQuivey (seen above) talked about how consumers are changing their behaviours and consumption patterns towards brands as well as how they choose to interact – so it’s hard for companies to keep up. However, he added, to differentiate ourselves in the market, we perhaps need to rethink our approach? Instead of dreading more changed consumer habits that we have to keep up with, that organisations (like Amicus ITS as a service provider), could view a customer’s changing behaviours as a fresh opportunity for conversation and to explore how we could help differently and deliver things better? This was set against a backdrop of consumers having massively increased their power through use of digital tools today and they demand more now – but they are also showing a willingness to be open to new experiences and new relationships with product and service providers.
Perhaps reassuringly, Harley Manning (pictured above) pointed out that the majority of companies are stagnating and have not been successful in creating change. He observed that a good company will recognise that customer experience is important and something they have to do to be competitive. But a great, ‘leading’ company will take advantage to expand opportunities because they’ve already taken time to try different forms of engagement and have the ‘permission’ to go further in 2019 using yet more channels.
Asked by Victor Milligan if this marked a strategic opportunity for companies, Harley Manning agreed, adding that for Boards, there was a ‘hygiene factor’ to note, as product and service companies could not afford to do poorly because this created a ‘reason’ for the customer to leave. James L McQuivey added that therefore the invitation to seek to try something anew at that point was lost. Harley Manning commented that the game changer for businesses would be those companies which recognised they may not have the best product, but could offer the best ‘experience’, as being the ones most likely to succeed going forwards.
James L McQuivey added that consumers have access to more digital tools today, but choosing between opportunities (read companies), required an ‘emotional connection’ to elevate the product/service. Harley Manning believed that the companies who were already delivering a substantially good customer experience, may not actually be racing to be the best, but remain happy with a holding position. Looking beyond to 2020, the panel believed that price wars were definitely not the answer, merely a race to the bottom, with those that failed to innovate not being able to catch up.
For Amicus ITS, in our B2B market as an IT Managed Service Provider, the key takeaway is that successful customer experience is not a given in any industry, it comes through hard work, regular engagement at all levels by our teams with our customers to gain the right and relevant insights from our customers that we can use internally to help us try do better each day.
Not everything works perfectly first time, but what I say to my team and our wider company is that success is a journey. You have to keep working at it and refining the detail – and this is especially true of the digital age. Finding the right digital tools to match not only our organisation’s needs but also the tools that we think will delight our customers, has been a journey Amicus ITS has been undertaking through 2018 with our Ami baby chat bot – and the choices we make to take us to the next stage in 2019 could be moderate or substantial game changers for the business in the longer term. So whether through data insights, AI chatbots or machine learning, we are with Forrester in that 2019 is the perfect time to revitalize, re-energise and lead the way with a vision for freshness and vitality.
We’d welcome your thoughts too if you would like to add a comment.