An emerging focus for many companies and CCOs is the overall customer experience. This is an emerging discipline and as such has a process but relatively few “best practices.” During the CCO Summit in June, 2009, Rudy Vidal presented brilliantly on the Customer Experience and outlined a process for mapping and improving the holistic customer experience.
Typically, companies deliver products and services and most other communications in a uni-directional format— delivering to and speaking at customers, rather than engaging in a dialog and sharing expectations. Customers are forced to interact on the company’s terms rather than through the channels and media and that work best for them.
Rudy Vidal divides the customer experience into two components: emotional and tangible. The emotional represents how we want the customer to feel as a result of an interaction, and the tangible is the corporate deliverable such as a product, service, telephone problem resolution, or delivery of a bill.
Prior to this point in the discussion, our focus has been on the tangible, practical aspect of the customer experience, especially around ensuring that basic needs around products and services are being met. The focus of this section is more on the process for understanding, measuring, and improving the emotional aspects of the customer experience. There may well be some practical overlap with previous sections.
All CCOs have had experiences where customers have flared up and escalated hot issues. Many people get involved, each pointing the finger or defending a position. As the CCO gets to the bottom of the issue, the company ends up doing the right thing for the customer and fixes the issue. Why wait for the issue to arise if it can be properly anticipated beforehand? This section discusses how the “ideal” customer experience for the most important customer segments is discovered, implemented, and refined to provide competitive advantage while making it easier for customers to do business with your company.