Reinventing the Customer Experience

Building a remarkable, memorable, meaningful, pick a positive adjective—customer experience is what marketers are chasing today. And it isn’t just marketers—CEOs place building compelling customer experiences as their number one priority.

Why is this such a difficult challenge to tackle? Part of the answer may be in this piece of data—according to a recent study by Bain, 80% of CEOs believe they deliver superior customer experiences, but only 8% of their customers agree. Part of the reason for the gap is a lack of data, but our studies show a significant gap also exists in the qualitative understanding of the customer.

In our work with B2B businesses, we find that companies and their employees spend a lot of their days selling at customers or putting out fires, but they rarely have the time, or take the time, to listen to their customers. This leads to an enormous gap between what the customer wants and what the business is delivering. Even when companies hear the desired experience, it is very hard to quickly act on and deliver that experience.

So what do we do about this problem? Below are 3 actionable things to do that will help build remarkable experiences:

Listen first, data second.

Companies today can become so focused on data patterns that they become deaf to what the customer is saying. Data is important, but nothing substitutes for qualitative customer insights.

Act quickly.

The world moves fast and customer preferences change. It is critical to build the customer experience ideas quickly. Test them out, iterate, and evolve over time.

Co-create the customer experience.

Many companies talk about co-creation, but very few are really doing it well. Building the ideal customer experience may require the help of your customers to get it right—why not ask them to participate throughout the journey? Strategy Boards or customer advisory boards are a great way to get your organization and your customers started.

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