Is customer experience just customer-centricity by any other name?
Customer experience has replaced customer-centricity as the latest buzz-word.
Not that long ago we were all talking about the need for customer-centricity in response to ever-increased competition to win customers, especially in the retail sector.
Is it a case of the Emperor’s New Clothes?
First we had the notion of ‘customer satisfaction’ that took over as a marketing concept in the ’50s and ’60s.
With the advent of the total quality movement (1980s) and the rise of the services management field (1990s), the focus shifted to the concepts of perceived quality and value.
While all three of these concepts and their inherent measures continued to have strong influence, many voiced concerns that they were mainly about attitudes and not behaviours. Subsequently, notions of CRM and customer loyalty came into vogue throughout much of the next decade (2000s). This was not loyalty as traditionally defined (i.e. repeat purchase, etc.) Instead, a broader concept emerged that encompassed retention, cross-purchase, referral and other relational behaviours that ultimately influence customer lifetime value (CLV).
Loyalty models were then developed that considered the underlying motives, as well as the experiences that drive both the motives and the loyalty behaviours. The prevailing wisdom has been that by enhancing brand-controlled experiences, the marketer could foster higher levels of loyalty, which ultimately would impact CLV and brand value.
Acceptance of these models resulted in heightened attention to the nature and meaning of the customer experience and the (mainly) service elements that constitute it.
I find myself asking:
- Is Customer Experience really a new idea or merely a rehash of the true essence of Customer Relationship Management (CRM)?
- Does a focus on CX do anything to advance our thinking?
- Is it measurably different than what has come before? I’m not so sure it does!
- Are these areas you find yourself asking yourself too?
If so, here at Flock are here to help you and show to your business the importance of breaking down silos, building relationship with other departments, owning data/analysis and thinking omni-channel in your marketing.