What influences Customer Experience?

Previously we have written about Customer Experience and how it gives the company competitive advantage. Customer experience is vital part in experience design, where we try to analyze service through customers’ eyes. This is also important part in service design. But what customer experience and what are the differences of customer desires?

Customer Experience definition

 

It’s known that more than 50% of Customer Experience is about emotions. This includes also B2B environment. So this means that it is more important to look deeper inside the customer to understand their motivations, desires and what drives value for them.

In the book “Customer Experience: Future Trends and Insights” the authors have made a model where they show all of the levels of customer desires.

Customer Desire Model

In this model we see that all customer desires are divided in 4 categories:

  • SUBCONSCIOUS– they don’t say it but it still drives value
  • CONSCIOUS – customer knows they want it and it drives value
  • INVISIBLE – customers don’t want it and it doesn’t drive value
  • DECEPTION  – customers say they want it but it doesn’t drive value

It is important that company knows their customers to understand which of these desires drive value to the customer and what doesn’t!


How customer experience is linked to customer loyalty?

In case a company wants next sale, good word of mouth, to keep customers, it’s unlikely that anything else the company does for business matters more than delivering a superior experience for customer.

Positive customer experience drives willingness to consider for another purchase, willingness to recommend, and reluctance to switch to a different provider. 

Age of Customer

Business development ages

(I) 1900 to 1960 the age of manufacturing – commercial success was achieved through production efficiency and affordable price;

(II) 1960 to 1990 the age of distribution – the key barrier to competition was a distribution network that brought goods from where they were cheapest to local stores;

(III) 1990 – 2010 the age of information – companies with information-centric products and services gained vast advantage. The power started to shift from sellers to buyers;

 (IV) 2010 – … the AGE of CUSTOMER when brand, manufacturing, distribution, and IT are equal and transparent stakes. Now the customer has extensive and quick access to product, price, services and competitor information with most convenient records about other customer opinions, recommendations or warnings.

It’s very easy for customers to know about products, services, competitors, and pricing via Internet social networks, mobile web access. Customer has power to destroy the service/product sharing widely his/her negative opinion in social media. If service/ product provider does not pay attention to customer opinion statements in different social communities, then customer could have better market overview than a company.

In this age, the main competitive advantage that is well managed customer experience.

What does customer experience management mean?

For efficient customer experience management a company needs to understand that the roots of customer experience success or failure lie deep within and around the company, not just with customer-facing employeess

Disciplines that customer experience leaders must master well:  strategy, customer understanding/ human psychology, anthropology,  service design, measurement, governance, company culture

Customer experience - Customer loyalty

Most  of traditional enterprises have had customer service function responsible for customer contact competent treatment in an efficient way . Customer Experience Management has much wider prospect.

Enterprise who wants to be successful has to decide who is taking at Customer Age the wider and professional role of customer management.

Customers’ changed expectations for service companies

how to achieve higher levels of customer satisfaction and at the same time increasing the labor cost efficiency?

To stay competitive companies have realized, that service quality and customer satisfaction are becoming more important. In service quality and customer satisfaction one of the most important factor is now the amount of right information given to the clients ie the amount of knowledge to be shared.

However, it is vital for companies in the current economic situation to improve the efficiency of the labor costs … and keep the quality high which is often resource intensive. Therefore these two objectives see to be  quite opposite, There is a solution that could contain the answer to both – knowledge management.

complex-task-sdoor15Knowledge management is a complex, multi-layered concept with many meanings, however, most experts agree that this is a systematic management of knowledge in order to achieve economic benefits.

Specifically said, knowledge management  is the process that includes organizational learning, knowledge creation and sharing knowledge in special databases (Knowledge Base) and in trainings and meeting.

You can read more about knowledge management in The Electronic Journal of Knowledge Management.

In addition here are the 100 most influential companies in knowledge management right now.

 

Cutting-edge services are a prerequisite for economic growth

Today, economic growth of developed countries is driven mostly by services which provide today 2/3 of added value and new employment.

Focus of economic development is strongly shifting from “things” to creating value in services – the importance of product characteristics is shifting to specificity and positive customer relationship.

At a time when competing products and services are comparable in price and quality, which customers are adequately informed,  the purchase decision becomes more and more based on emotions and relationships. This is the reason why the mediocre quality of the customer relationship is no longer enough – winner is the one, who  is capable to surprise positively the client.

Based on Acccenture/an international management consultancy survey, clients are using following parametres to distinguish competitors: brand and reputation 59%, quality of service 50%, smoothness and speed of business 45% confidence, trust 33%. Lower prices were brought up only by 3%.

Paraphrasing Colum Lowe: “Only one company can have the best quality of services, others must compete with the price.”

When developing customer relationship it is critical to have the skills and ability to follow the the customer evolution – various web and mobile self-service solutions, social media, openness and speed of customer communication.

The question is no longer the price or the amount of time spent, but how the customer feels himself and how he is welcomed by the service provider. Received good or bad customer experiences are today more than ever shared through social media. Shared experience becomes often the main reason of final choice.

The main expectation of the client to the service provider is a human relationship.This is exactly the reason to look more closely at the mirror to decide whether the apparent self-image matches also to the client’s vision? Good service means the ability to place ourselves in the customer shoes: relate to your  customers as to your friends, talk to him as to your good colleague.

The worst thing a company can offer to it’s customer, is to make him feel insignificant and stupid.

Companies who see clients as just a mass to create profit get by return just expectations for ongoing discounts.

Service Providers who treat the consumer as equal partner have more loyal customers, even when the prices are higher.

 

 

G4S invests in customer service

Press release 06/05/2012

Estonian market leader in security services G4S carries out a comprehensive customer care reform, under which G4S is going to improve existing processes and invest in innovative and more convenient customer service solutions.

Wishing to provide a more flexible customer service and to speed the customer support up G4S introduced in the beginning of June g4s - sdoor15the call distribution system and launched technical support unit. All calls made to number 1911 are now divided by the reason  – so saving the caller and the receiver time and speeding up the security service. The operational goal of the new technical customer support unit is to provide technical advice over the phone. More frequent technical issues could be solved over the phone, when more complex concerns take place – the technician will be sent to the client.

Service reform will also change the security group structure: G4Si is about to add a new unit responsible for customer service, under the leadership of Ene Raja. Ene Raja has international management experience, she has previously worked in senior management of Tele2 Group, being responsible for strategic customer relationship management of 22 European Markets. 2010-2011, she led the Retail Banking division of SEB in Estonia.

G4S Customer Service Division Director Ene Raja said that latest customer satisfaction surveys indicate that security companies are evaluated the most for prompt responsiveness and effective problem resolution: “We want to expand this narrow point of view, and provide more to customers. Experiences received from security company, regardless of the occasion have to be positive, memorable and uplifting customer safety, “said Raja.

By the end of this year it is planned in addition to develop the motivation and career model for employees based on competency and skill and knowledge management program to support technical expertise, 2013-2014 is planned to invest in internet-based customer self-service and analytical CRM software improvements and a staff e-training system. These improvements allow faster, more convenient and valuable customer relationship, better competence levels of G4S employees, in-depth customer knowledge and simpler workflows.

G4S Estonia has repeatedly earned the Estonian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Estonian Institute of Economic Research  the title of the most competitive service company. G4S security group has an excellent credit rating (AAA).

 

Head of communications G4S Julia Garanža