Sunday, April 15, 2007

Defining "customer experience," part 5

Today's definition comes from C.B. Whittemore, who writes a wonderfully thoughtful blog called Flooring the Consumer:

"I like to use the image of 'walking in her shoes' to capture the notion of customer experience, because it's all about suspending all of an organization's pre-conceived notions about the customer and truly appreciating or understanding the experience from her perspective.

That would include listening, hearing, seeing, feeling, doing [i.e. asking,searching, buying...] as the consumer would. It would definitely include
removing the irritants.

This holds for on-line as well as off-line, and before the purchase, during the purchase and definitely after the purchase, with the goal being to make the experience so hassle-free that it leads to a multitude of further experiences [i.e. a relationship].

The folks at Future Now do a great job in their books Waiting for Your Cat to Bark and Call to Action explaining the conflict between a consumer's purchase process and a buyer's selling process. Their focus is more on websites, but holds equally for an offline experience.

Too often, as business-people we think only of the selling process when we should be thinking about our consumer's purchasing process. Our challenge is to intuitively match up our selling process with how the consumer approaches it and delight them with the ease of our processes. Because we have thought through so carefully what matters to them, we create a wonderful customer experience."

You can find the rest of this series here: part 1, part 2, part 3, and part 4. Listen to the podcast.
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