Customer experience is replacing quality at the forefront of the brand agenda. It is one of the most complicated constructs to both understand and manage as it concerns the feelings and impressions a customer forms as a results of all its interactions with the brand, be they with people, services or products, direct or indirect, all contributing to the overall customer experience. As customer experience is developed over time, across multiple channels, businesses often tend to make the same mistakes.
- The luxury myth. Luxury brands can often mistakenly think that the prestige of the product renders them exempt from the requirement to focus consistently and meticulously upon customer experience, this is simply not the case, and if anything flawless experience is even more important in luxury.
- Confusion between service quality and customer experience. Service quality is integral to, but isn’t the entirety of, positive customer experience. The difference between what a customer expected and what they perceived that they received determines service quality- the gap. Customer experience on the other hand considers overall impressions.
- Lack of multi-channel focus. To deliver consistently positive customer experience necessitates attention to all channels, across all touchpoints. It is not enough to have excellent online booking facilities if the welcome at the venue is below par.
- Not knowing your customer. A big part of delivering both excellent service quality and positive customer experience comes in knowing what your customer wants, their motivations for buying.
- Not seeing customers as co-creators of value. A key concept to remember when focusing upon customer experience is that customers are no longer passive players in the service interaction but active players. All opportunities for customers to co-create value should be encouraged.
- Inattention to memorability. The most direct route to profitability and retention is signposted ‘memorability’, and the partner on this journey is always positivity. It’s the little unexpected touches that often make a customer’s experience memorable.
- Lack of attention to personal interactions. Often more positive perceptions of the service than was expected are due to interactions between staff and customers. An employee’s personal presentation, body language, tone of voice are all factors.
- A non-holistic approach. Customers will have a cognitive, affective, emotional, social and physical response to stimuli. Within customer experience, even the opinions of friends can impact upon overall customer experience.
- No measurement. Without measurement how can you know how happy or otherwise your customers are? Aspects of customer experience can be measured through service quality measures and customer satisfaction scores.
About the author
Paul Russell is co-founder and director of Luxury Academy London, www.luxuryacademy.co.uk, a multi-national private training company with offices in London, Delhi and Vishakhapatnam. Luxury Academy London specialise in leadership, communication and business etiquette training for companies and private clients across a wide range of sectors. Prior to founding Luxury Academy London, Paul worked in senior leadership roles across Europe, United States, Middle East and Asia. A dynamic trainer and seminar leader, Paul has designed and taught courses, workshops and seminars worldwide on a wide variety of soft skills.