What is the starting point for customer experience strategy success?
In the first part of her series describing 10 essential characteristics of customer experience, Lynn Hunsaker looks at strategic planning templates, consultants’ models, and business and marketing textbooks for the correct first step.
- The Marketing Leadership Council’s five steps describing world class marketing capabilities are: 1) developing strategy and planning, 2) defining brand strategy and managing the brand, 3) understanding customers, 4) managing the marketing function, 5) executing the marketing plan. My view: How do you know the strategy and brand are right until you know your customer? A deep understanding of the customer drives better segmentation, SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, strengths) analysis, and branding.
- In the landmark book Managing the Customer Experience (2002) by Shaun Smith & Joe Wheeler, the first steps are to determine "how do our customers need to behave to achieve our key growth plans" and "develop and maintain a differentiated point of view that is credible and relevant to customers". My view: How do we need the company to behave in order to achieve alignment with customers that naturally results in desired growth?
- In a more recent book with great CEM advice, Customer Experience Strategy (2010) by Lior Arussy, the first step is "understanding the brand and its impact on the customer". My view: I agree with obtaining a deep understanding of the gap between the brand promise and reality from the customer’s perspective, and the resulting impact on customers. This leads to adapting the brand as needed to serve the customer’s need.
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Lynn Hunsaker, Customer Experience Transformation Strategist, is head of ClearAction, Marketing Operations Partners, and the Marketing Future Forum. She has developed and led customer experience transformation for more than half of her career, as Voice of the Customer Manager...