As consumers, we are confronted by an overwhelming variety sameness. Similar (or even identical) products and services with differences that only the experts care about.
As companies, we face incredibly fierce competition. Barriers to getting new products to market are incredibly low. The cost to develop new products, both physical and digital, has never been lower. The advantages of new features are short-lived and quickly copied. The result is price- and feature-wars and rapid commoditization.
The use of data and marketing technology enables companies to segment consumers in incredibly granular detail. Companies can create highly customized products and create offers to target a specific audience, leading to increased product proliferation.
For many companies, experience is the only differentiator left.
According to the American Express 2012 Global Customer Service Barometer two-thirds of consumers state that they are willing to spend more with a company they believe provides excellent customer service.
The Accenture 2013 Global Consumer Pulse Survey found that although "price still plays an important role in the choice of provider, the customer experience is equally important" in a customers decision to switch service providers.
Avanade found that decision makers buying products and services for their business are paying on average 30% more for an improved customer experience.
In their report “Why Customer Experience, Why Now”, Forrester found that a stock portfolio of Forrester’s Customer Experience Index leaders had a cumulative 43% gain in performance over a six-year period (2007 to 2012), compared with a 14.5% increase for the S&P 500 Index and a 33.9% decrease for a portfolio of customer experience laggards.
Great experiences are hard to copy and drive loyalty.
People care about how you make them feel. They talk about the experience they have.
Every company delivers an experience across the customers end-to-end journey. It is either deliberately and intentionally designed, or it is left to chance.