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Customer experience unpacked

Customer experience is a broad term - covering a wide range of experiences, from the minutiae of usability to the magnitude of a lifetime's loyal custom. Businesses will find that identifying what customer experience means to their organisation – helps to employ customer experience activities for positive ends.

When we examine the term customer experience we discover four focus areas – human, consumer, customer and user. Looking at customers through these lenses enables organisations to design better experiences.

One of our clients has identified a need to be more human with its customers. Another client is working to understand the difference between the customers who pay and the users who don’t.

Customers are human

As humans, our main concerns are the things closest to us; our families, our work, our sense of self. When we have bad customer experiences, it is the human in us that is irritated or offended because we are being delayed in our lives or feel that we are not receiving the respect we deserve. Consequently, humans set the base terms of engagement between customers and organisations.

Customers are consumers

As consumers, we experience many different interactions with organisations. These interactions set our expectations of an organisation, and their product or service. Our ‘standards’ are usually set by the good experiences. Good experiences will lead us to expect more of everything. Consumers define what good experiences look like.

More than 60% of consumers are influenced by other consumers’ comments

Customers are customers

As customers, we engage with specific organisations – we bring our custom. From purchasing a cinema ticket to receiving a tax return, a customer has a contract with a business – there is a value exchange. The level of quality we, as customers, receive in that exchange defines our satisfaction.

70% of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels they are being treated

Customers are users

As users, we participate in many processes. We all engage with the ‘stuff of life’ – the forms, shops, web pages, telephone lines and so much more that can make things easy, or hard. We define whether something ‘works’ through our ability to complete our part of the activity.

Understand the human, the consumer, the customer and the user

Knowing your customers is valuable. Understanding them is more so. Understand them as humans, as consumers, as customers and as users. Understand what makes them tick, what they perceive good to be and what will improve their satisfaction. Help them get more value from your products and services. Understand them!

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