Improving the customer experience

Bruce Temkin, an analyst and blogger at “Customer Experience Matters,” provides a thoughtful set of definitions, below:

  • customer experience: the perception that customers have of their interactions with an organization
  • the perfect customer experience: a set of interactions that consistently exceeds the needs and expectations of a customer
  • customer experience management (CEM): the discipline of increasing loyalty by exceeding customers’ needs and expectations

There are three key elements of CEM:

  • discipline (ongoing activities, not slogans)
  • increasing loyalty (for profitability, not altruism)
  • customers’ needs and expectations “CEM is not about technology deployments or internal milestones. It needs to be calibrated from the perspective of target customers.”

The last phrase is worth repeating: “…from the perspective of target customers.” I’ve long maintained that good customer service occurs when the organization sees things from the customer’s perspective — OK, from my perspective!

Temkin warns that improving the customer experience is hard work. “CEM is easier to define than to do,” he says. You can download his (free) 11-page PDF booklet titled: “The Six Laws of Customer Experience.”

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