Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Differentiated Customer Experience: Easier Said

By: Rick Kieser, Ascribe 

This post was recently published on Ascribe’s blog.

Differentiated customer experience (CX) is a deceptively challenging goal shared by growing numbers of companies. In a recent presentation on Digital Marketing Trends by Mike Corak to the Cincinnati AMA, we heard a lot of valuable insights, but one statistic in particular caught our attention.  On slide 36 in his presentation, Mike quoted an independent study that said “89% of companies plan to compete primarily based on customer experience in 2016.”


It sounds smart and admirable, but what does really mean to compete on customer experience, and what does it really take?  One thing it means is “something different for every company,” because to compete – to differentiate – means that you are setting yourself apart as better, special, even unique.

Easier Said Than Done

In order to truly compete on the basis of differentiated customer experience, you must:
1.       Identify what makes (or could make) you special IN THE EYES of CUSTOMERS
2.       Understand the underlying drivers of your differentiated customer experience
3.       Deliver it consistently and monitor customer sentiment relative to your differentiator

So how do you tackle the differentiation challenge and turn it to your advantage?  The answer is this: ask, analyze, act and ask again.  Simple, right?  Well asking can be, but what comes next can set leaders apart.  If you process your open-ended feedback in context with the rest of your survey data, you can very quickly generate actionable insights to identify, understand, deliver and monitor your unique customer experience.

Build on Customer Feedback

In our own independent research, 91% of respondents said they collect some kind of unstructured comments, but only about 60% do anything at all with that feedback and a mere 30% drive their data all the way to real, actionable insights.  That’s a far cry from the 89% who recently claimed they would be differentiating based on customer experience!

To us, that translates tremendous opportunity for companies to capitalize on assets they already have (survey data and open-ends) to generate insights that can reveal and strengthen their own differentiated customer experience proposition.

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