Customer experience takes the next step by managing and merging all touch points between a company and the customer. In addition to user experience, customer experience also looks at the internal processes. When employees adopt a customer-oriented mindset and present information in the correct way, as well as endorse the philosophy of customer experience, they also manage to serve customers in the best possible way.
In order for employees to be able to create experiences, every employee needs to adhere to a certain set of rules and also be aware of his freedom. This will empower him to take the right actions during customer contact, in new situations, or when being confronted with complaints. In addition, those employees without direct customer contact represent a large target group of customer experience, as well. Through their contacts with friends and relatives, they are the first carrier of a company’s philosophy and values. Word-of-mouth marketing from such reliable sources lies among the fundamentals of a well-functioning company.
A service employee with direct contact to the end customer has to act according to clearly defined rules. Nevertheless, it is indispensable for this employee to have specific freedoms within his framework.
Let’s take an example that you receive a earphone for free whenever you purchase a certain number of corresponding products from a online shopping company. For an event, you make use of this offer, but unfortunately, part of the product is faulty, leading to resentment with event participants.
You call customer service to let them know about your complaint, so they offer you a another free earphone with exchange of the faulty one. For you, this does not alleviate the negative experienced, as you can get the earphone for free anyway because of the large number of corresponding products you buy from this company.
…If the customer support guy tells you that there is nothing he can do at this point and apologizes. Now you feel even more upset, because not only was the product delivered to you faulty, but clearly was the company’s fault, and nothing was done to make up for this negative experience. The company’s guidelines do not allow for any other way of making up for the free faulty device.
You will not only refrain from buying from this company in the future, but you will be keen on sharing this story with others.
Designing and implementing service processes for all potential situations that may arise with the aim of boosting customer loyalty is just one of the many areas related to Customer Experience Management. What would have happened if the service team would have had a viable solution from the moment you expressed your dissatisfaction? Most likely even a small make up gesture would have been sufficient and you would have been satisfied since your needs and concerns would have been heard and alleviated. The costs for the company would not have been noteworthy.
Products (Usability), processes and services (User Experience) as well as all related touch points are customer experience areas that need to be designed efficiently and effectively to achieve customer satisfaction. The crucial touch points (also known as ‘moments of truth’) have to trigger experiences. For this reason it is also called the customer experience. It starts with the right corporate communications and also includes peripheral areas such as the user manual of a screwdriver.
The art of matching the management of these touch points, processes and experiences with the corporate branding and additional measures and controlling is referred to as Customer Experience Management. Coming from an organizational structure and a holistic point of view, usability constitutes the smallest area and customer experience makes up for the most comprehensive topic.
On the operational side, usability is the most complex and largest topic, as all company interfaces have been designed and optimized according to the criteria of efficiency, effectiveness and satisfaction. Customer Experience, on the other hand, means managing all usability and user experience measures within the company.
In summary, the areas of the individual topics can be defined as follows:
Which focuses on:
- Instrumental Quality
- User Tasks
- Optimized work process design for the product
- Reduction of Stress
- Removal of Barriers
Which focuses on:
- Improvement of a product’s subjective experience (joy, fun, attractiveness . . . )
- Perceived/subjective quality (consequences)
- Developments/trends research
- Challenge and Novelty
- Optimized work process design for products, services, online, as well as offline
Which focuses on:
- Holistic strategic for all User Experience measures
- Management of all User Experience measures
- Coordination between products, services and branding
- User Experience in Marketing
- Alignment of internal processes
- Controlling of all Experience measures