You know how it is – you hear a song you like, and pretty soon it starts popping up all over the place. But what the heck is that one lyric? Unfamiliar language can be a barrier when you start to grapple with something new, even when the concepts resonate and the promise seems achievable. New terminology makes understanding difficult, and in emerging disciplines, it’s not unusual to find differences in the use of common catchphrases. Customer behavior is hard enough to fathom; why should the business articles be as inscrutable?
We love music here at G5, and like REM’s Michael Stipe says in Can’t Get There From Here, we respect that “"Philomath* they know the lowdown." So let’s look at a few key terms relating to Experience Management and how we define them at G5.
A public demonstration of support, generally with the purpose of influencing the decision process or outcome of others. A high level of customer loyalty wherein clients evangelize brand qualities, usually by relating personal experience and value perception.
Age of the Customer
The modern business climate where customers control the content and flow of information regarding brands and products. This reflects a shift in the dynamic between buyers and sellers driven by freely shared customer knowledge and experience.
Regins McKenna argued in his 1991 book, Relationship Marketing, that we have moved from the age of successful sales-driven companies “practicing the ‘any color as long as it’s black’ school of marketing” to this Age of the Customer where success is found by “adapting products to meet their customers’ strategies.”
Aligning business processes to keep the customer’s interest and success at the top of the priority list;
Customer Experience programs often focus on product and service improvements to create customer delight and advocacy.
The subjective and emotional response to interaction with a business. G5 considers Customer Experience to be the most important driver of brand value.
The typical path experienced by customers as they interact with a company throughout the business relationship lifecycle. The Journey is composed of moments of experience, notably at key stages in the relationship, that have formative and influential affect on overall satisfaction. Experience Management is concerned with optimizing the Journey to create delight and deliver success.
An emotional state of appreciation that occurs during or after an (often) unexpected and pleasurable interaction with a business. Generally, when a customer evaluates the service received as exceeding reasonable expectation. The creation of delight is a functional objective of customer experience programs, and is achieved by anticipating and meeting high-value customer wants and needs.
Digital Transition (shift)
The displacement of traditional ‘offline’ marketing and communication channels by ‘new media’ based channels delivered via internet and wireless technologies. This shift is driven by the widespread customer adoption of online (particularly mobile) technology and social interaction.
1. The establishment of an ongoing relationship between business and customer for the purpose of mutual success. The magnitude of engagement generally reflects relationship health, importance and value.
2. A metric used to estimate the “involvement, interaction, intimacy, and influence.”
An extreme advocate; a person who aggressively promotes a brand in order to persuade others to become a customer in the same image as themselves. Evangelists are emotionally attached to and self-identify with a brand, actively spreading news and opinion with an nearly religious fervor.
A customer’s predicted total financial contribution throughout their business relationship lifecycle reflecting “the future profitability of a customer.” In the Age of the Customer, Lifetime Value has moved from a simple average used for revenue prediction and company valuation to a more complex operational metric; Lifetime Values can vary substantially by segment based on a customer’s lifecycle stage, engagement, and advocacy.
Moment of Truth
Any key touchpoint within the Customer Journey where a business has the opportunity to create or modify a customer’s opinion of a brand through Managed Experience. Moments of Truth are generally marked by product consumption, action-based servicing, personalization, emotional engagement and customer-valued outcomes.
The profile is a collection of data elements and analytic insights that describe a person, generally in multiple dimensions. Profile details often include both explicit information, including first-person, second-person, and public reports of traits, status or class, as well as demographic data and behavioral history used to construct implicit attributes. Profile data is most valuable when normalized and integrated with data from specific business process events and outcomes to enable creation of optimal customer engagement.
A subjective service score posted by a customer in a public venue. The average rating reflects general customer opinion of a brand, product or service, through a simple metric on a small relative scale. While imperfect, this method has become the current standard for consumers to easily share and access opinions . Ratings are “influenced by the discrepancy between the actual and expected value of the product or service received.” See definition of Reviews, below.
A major source of new business in the Age of the Customer, referrals occur when customer advocates and evangelists share their experiences and recommendations with their social and business connections.
A long-term approach to prospect acquisition and customer development to maximize Lifetime Value rather than incremental-revenue or transaction-focused approaches. By investing in relationships, businesses and customers ignore some of the commoditization and competition forces in the general marketplace in favor of trust, accountability and expectation fulfillment.
A subjective evaluation of a brand, product or service posted by a customer in a public venue. Reviews have grown in popularity similar to Ratings, and are commonly found in association with business listings and directories such as Google Places, Yelp, Apartment Ratings, etc. Reviews require much higher effort by consumers to create and publish relative to Ratings, however their extensive content, fuller context, and personal nature imbues Reviews with much greater authority. Passionate customers may reflect on poor or exceptional experiences in order to influence other consumers or to drive change in future service. Customer-centric organizations often solicit customer reviews both internally as part of a feedback program and externally to leverage successful Customer Experience Management programs.
Any interaction between a prospect or customer and a business that provides products and services. From the customer perspective, a touchpoint will inherently include an experience, and therefore even minor touchpoints that are not Moments of Truth have the potential to impact overall satisfaction and the creation or maintenance of customer loyalty and advocacy.
Voice of Customer (VOC)
1. The wants, needs, and expectations of the customer, often expressed relative to their experience with brands, products or services. The substance of VOC may be found in many places, such as on social networks, in phone call transcripts, within support tickets, on survey forms, in ratings and reviews, etc.
2. A process or formalized program to solicit and analyze customer feedback for the purpose of improving customer experience or product functionality.
The presence of a tipping element in a customer experience responsible for driving exceptional satisfaction. A functional objective of customer-centric programs where Customer Experience is optimized by the creation and consistent delivery of delight.
1. A town in Georgia located between Lexington and Crawfordville;
2. A lover of learning.