The Ideal Customer Experience

  Introduction
  The ‘Customer Experience’
  Map Your Current Customer Experience
  The Key Elements of an Ideal Customer Experience
  Map Your Business’s Ideal Customer Experience
  Identify and Prevent Potential Breakdown Points
  Conclusion

What is the ‘Customer Experience’?

Let's start by defining exactly what we mean by the customer experience, also known as CX.

To get a good grasp on this somewhat difficult concept, let's look at a few different definitions for comparison. There are many definitions given below, but we'll summarize at the end with a simple, clear definition useful for this course.

The company Beyond Philosophy, which leads organizations to create good customer experiences, defines it as, "an interaction between an organization and a customer as perceived through a customer’s conscious and subconscious mind.

It is a blend of an organization’s rational performance, the senses stimulated and the emotions evoked and intuitively measured against customer expectations across all moments of contact."

Avaya, another company that specializes in this field, calls it, “the discipline of managing and treating customer relationships as assets with the goal of transforming satisfied customers into loyal customers, and loyal customers into advocates of your brand.”

An article on the Harvard Business Review defines it as the journey the customer takes with your company from the very first time they become aware of it until the very end. The HBR definition emphasizes that it is more than just the many touch points a customer has with you or the life of just one sale.

BusinessDictionary.com defines it as, "The entirety of the interactions a customer has with a company and its products. Understanding the customer experience is an integral part of customer relationship management. The overall experience reflects how the customer feels about the company and its offerings. Surveys, feedback forms and other data collection techniques help a company to determine the customer experience."

Finally, we can look at Wikipedia's definition: "Customer experience (CX) is the product of an interaction between an organization and a customer over the duration of their relationship. This interaction includes a customer's attraction, awareness, discovery, cultivation, advocacy and purchase and use of a service. It is measured by the individual's experience during all points of contact against the individual's expectations."

So, what can we deduce from all of these definitions?

To summarize: 

  • The CX is more than just a routine interaction or one sale, but the customer's beginning-to-end journey with your company.
  • It includes the entirety of the customer's interaction with your business.
  • It includes things that actually happen externally, as well as the inner thoughts and feelings of the customer.
  • It includes both direct interactions and indirect experiences, such as when a customer hears about your brand which aren't always under your control.
  • The experience happens from the point of view of the customer.

Good interactions with your customer help them buy from you, but a valuable customer experience turns customers into loyal advocates of your company.