From Experience to Engagement to Expectation

Companies not only need to rethink their approach towards customer experience, they need to completely reorganize the way they manage themselves to meet customer expectations.

The experience company’s aim to achieve can only be facilitated through having the right strategic direction, the most efficient operational policies, and enabled through the best of breed technologies. All too often companies buy into vendor messaging that customer experience can be achieved through a piece of technology. Analysts rank what vendor offers the best capabilities, vendors provide flashy marketing spin on the benefits that can be achieved, and organizations tend to look at their internal objectives to try and fit into what they believe is best suited for a customer’s ‘experience’.

Companies have all the best intentions for promoting a positive experience for their customers, but all too often they don’t take the right actions to promote an effortless engagement to satisfy customer expectations.

  • Decisions are made in silos, by organizational design
  • Even with roles like Chief Customer Officer, Chief Evangelist, or Chief of Chief’s, organizational models are still fragmented and set up to serve the internal objectives of each department
  • Marketing is tasked with managing the ‘brand’, and often is seen because of this the face of managing the ’experience’ of the customer
  • Sales is the group that closes the deal, regardless of what Marketing does to bring awareness to the brand, and they need to keep tabs on customer interactions
  • Service is the only group that has ’Customer’ in the title, yet even still today to often amongst many organizations treated as a cost center

The problem today with many organizations, whether you’re a stockholder, a stakeholder or an investor, you’re eyes always gravitate to the bottom line. Revenue numbers are still made with products and services, and achieved by customers who buy them. The patterns haven’t changed from the days the Medici’s capitalized on these concepts, through the days the Fords, Gates, Jobs and Bezo’s perfected them.

  • Offer the best product or service (Manufacturing)
  • Build awareness and branding of that product or service (Marketing)
  • Provide the most effective capture channels through sales and commerce to buy the best products and services (Sales)
  • Collect the fees and balances owed for what customers procured (Finance)
  • Offer convenient ways to support customer needs after that product or service is bought (Service)
  • Listen to what the customers want improved, added and revised (Management)
  • Rinse and repeat

Decisions on who ‘owns’ the customer are frequently asked but rarely decided. More importantly, the decisions on how to manage the experience a customer engages with a company is becoming increasingly complicated. The reality is that customers don’t care what division or department in a company is tasked to ‘own’ them, because people generally don’t like to be ‘owned’. Therefore, companies not only need to rethink their approach towards customer experience, they need to completely reorganize the way they manage that ’experience’.

While companies are well intended on providing a positive customer experience, the fact of the matter is most companies are not in the business of facilitating that experience, and have not taking the necessary actions to design their organizational model to engage in a customer’s experience.

At the end of the day, companies don’t care about the means, they care about the end. The end is to improve the bottom line by offering the products and services that best suit your customers. The means become the way you manage that experience. The risk is not meeting the expectations your customers have of you.