The Definition of Customer Experience
Customer Experience: you read and hear a lot about it. But what exactly is it? What’s the definition? The definition I always use of Customer Experience is:
The perception a customer has of all interactions with you as a company during the whole customer journey, in all customer channels.
And I’m happy to explain this a bit more. Imagine, we are talking about your company. And the organization you work for is a hotel. But it could just as easy be an insurance company, a car dealer, or even a large B-to-B business. The type of business is not important, because customer experience and its fundament stays the same. So, let’s see. For now, we focus on the hotel example and step into the shoes of the customer.
In this example I am a customer and I am looking for a hotel. I want to book a room. So what I do is check your website, maybe read some reviews on independent websites, or I might have received an email from your reservation desk with answers to some questions I have sent earlier. All these experiences form my perception. And perception is important when it comes to customer experience: it’s all perception. So, customer experience is not what you think as a company, or what you would like to come across like. No, it is about what the customer really thinks and experiences.
The second word that is really important in the definition of Customer Experience is interactions. All interactions to be more precise. With all interactions I mean – in our hotel case – all interactions this customer has while booking (website, reviews and an email). But maybe later – once the booking has been made – this customer enters your hotel. She or he (but for now we make her a She) is greeted by the bell boy, or is maybe at the pool and talks to the lifeguard. Her experience is defined by all interactions in the whole customer journey and in all channels, both online and offline. That is what customer experience is really about.
This might sound easy, but it takes a lot of efforts to be consistent in all interactions and channels. Is you’re website great, but your reviews are not: you have a problem. If the bell boy is really courteous, but the lifeguard at the pool acts like a jerk: you have a problem. When booking through your website is easy, but by phone a disaster: again, you have a problem.
It really takes your whole organization to be consistent in all interactions and channels. Of course, you can also be consistently underperforming, but each organization wants to deliver what’s promised. Or even better: deliver some extra’s too, to become top of mind with customers; to stand out from competition.
So Customer Experience is all about the customer. About his or her perception of interacting with you as a company. I have taped this video where I show what Customer Experience is, using LEGO.
Are you curious to learn more about Customer Experience? It’s my mission to make the world a better place for customers. You can subscribe to my YouTube channel where I regularly upload informative and interesting videos on Customer Experience. Plus: you can register for my monthly CX Greetz where I’ll give you inspiration and some good facts on how to create these valuable customer experiences. Join me in my mission to make customer experience WORK!