by Carl Agers, CEO, Rauxa
Whether B2C or B2B, customers have one thing in common: the potential to have deeply personal experiences as they engage with brands.
Whether a major decision maker for an enterprise technology decision or an everyday consumer’s impulse purchase, the experience customers have along the way shapes the entire relationship. Most importantly, these experiences don’t fit neatly into one box, such as the website or the retail store. In fact, there is a cacophony of touchpoints completely controlled not by brands, but by the customers themselves.
So as marketers, we are ultimately focused on defining, creating, and managing as many of these experiences as possible while allowing customers to gain the most from their own personal preferences.
While customer experience management is not new, our ability to shape brand interactions though real-time insights and adaptive tools is accelerating at an alarming rate.
Just consider for a moment that we can now shop online, pick up the purchase at a brick-and-mortar store and do so without even speaking to a retail store clerk (Apple Store is a prime example). However, if we do stop to talk to a clerk, he/she has the opportunity to identify our interests and focus the discussion on something relevant. This is powerful stuff. Let’s face it, as much as we may not want to admit it, it really is all about “me.” The best customer experience is the one completely tailored to the individual customer from beginning to end.
So what do we do?
Think in terms of the decades-old product concept of mass customization. Delivering the ultimate customer experience requires delivering the “all about me” interaction over the “one size fits all” approach—even though all the components are essentially the same.
The fact of the matter is that most of our needs and expectations are surprisingly similar. We just need to feel as though they are somehow different, i.e., personal. The objective for us as marketers is to create experiences that allow consumers, B2C and B2B alike, to feel as though their needs are specifically met throughout each step of their journey from discovery to advocacy.