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Enhancing Customer Experience: Strategies for Success

What is customer experience?

Customer experience is the perception customers or companies have of a brand, shaped by every interaction, which can either strengthen or weaken their bond. Good customer experience involves understanding and meeting customer needs and values. It encompasses pre-purchase interactions, the buying process, and post-purchase support, aiming to create smooth and efficient connections between the brand and the customer. It’s vital that brands remember that every interaction people and other businesses have with them elicits some sort of emotion. Whether good, bad, happy or sad, the feelings brought on by those interactions are then associated with the brand. This can result in your customer asking some all-important questions: To buy or not to buy? To love or not to love? To return or not return? It’s also critical to acknowledge that people’s needs, desires and emotions change moment to moment based on external forces. An oversimplified understanding of people’s emotional responses is not enough—brands need to see their customers beyond walking wallets and respond to the complexities in their lives.

Why is great customer experience important?

Positive customer experience is a way of standing out from competitors. As more brands compete for public attention and more options are readily available, CX provides a way to put your product and brand at the forefront.

Imagine you’re a business looking to place beverage vending machines in your offices. Your overall customer experience isn’t just how much you like using the machine, it’s the full start-to-never-fully-finished process of engaging with the brand, making the purchase and continuing interactions for service and support or future upgrades. When making the purchase, the beverage retailer can offer you a one-size-fits-all experience, such as showing you pictures of various products. But a better approach would be to use augmented reality (AR) or virtual reality (VR) to create a bespoke, personalized, and customized experience so that you can see exactly how each type of machine would look in your office space. Because of this great customer experience, you and your business colleagues are happy, and your business will use the same retailer next time you want a vending machine.

Brands that want to increase customer acquisition, customer loyalty, customer engagement and drive growth need to think about delivering more exceptional experiences and connecting with customers in more dynamic ways.


How is customer experience changing?

Twenty years ago, the answer to “what is great customer experience?” would have been a straightforward explanation about optimizing touch points, mapping out customer journeys and designing and producing covetable products that customers want.

But today, how we interact with brands and what we need from them has transformed exponentially. At a time when people are navigating constant change amid external economic, social, environmental and political forces, their behavior is increasingly inconsistent. Consumers are more comfortable with paradoxical choices as their decisions become trade-offs between what they want, what they need and what options are available.

Adapting customer experience to these changes isn’t easy. Oversimplifying segmentation and underestimating the impact of external life forces has created a disconnect:

Who is responsible for customer experience strategies?

Historically, CX was limited to the Chief Marketing Officer’s (CMO) or the Chief Operating Officer’s (COO) purview with different functions in the business operating in siloes focusing on their own priorities.

Let’s take a quick look at how traditional CX thinking has informed how leaders and functions within an organization think about their customer experience strategies:

CEO: prioritize maximizing profitability

Marketing and brand

focus on creating a desire for products or services by understanding and appealing to consumers’ emotions, needs, and aspirations.


focus on promoting and convincing customers to purchase the specific products or services that a company offers.

Product Development

 involves creating new products or refining existing ones based on thorough market research and a focus on usability.


use traditional metrics based on employee performance within a function (onboarding, annual reviews, etc.)

Tech & IT

In the realm of technology and information technology (IT), the focus is on leveraging digital solutions to enable and enhance business processes at a larger scale.


In operations management, the primary focus is on optimizing processes and resources to enhance efficiency, thereby enabling the company to operate smoothly and effectively.

Supply Chain


In supply chain management, the primary focus is on efficiently moving products and goods from suppliers to consumers.

As you can see above, each department and function has its own priorities, targets and metrics. With blinders to the rest of the company, each department is executing a specific customer experience strategy template without seeing the bigger picture. Instead of operating in isolation, companies need to organize all of their internal operations in new ways to evaluate and serve changing consumer needs.

To remain relevant and compete in today’s ever-changing world, customer experience strategies need to be top of mind for every stakeholder in your business. From management to marketing to sales to service, everyone across front- and back-office functions needs to be invested in delivering a life-centric customer experience.

By taking the company’s existing assets (such as talent, data and technology) and rewiring them for more coordinated action, internal operations become simplified in pursuit of a common goal. Internal alignment lets companies pursue an external strategy that maximizes customer experience.

This is a pivotal moment for the C-suite. Leaders who push beyond traditional CX strategies and redefine their organizations, not just by which products or services they sell and offer, but with a life-centric approach to understanding and meeting customer needs, will emerge stronger and ignite growth in their organizations.


How can companies improve customer experience?

From banking onboarding journeys for new customers to how clothing should be presented online, many of the fundamentals of customer experience have become commonplace. As a result, it is increasingly difficult for brands to differentiate themselves via CX alone.

Businesses have traditionally focused on optimizing customer touch points around product and service. In the past this has been a successful approach to increase sales and loyalty. Now, it’s no longer enough. The way forward is to take a holistic, dynamic view of who customers are and what motivates their behaviors—and to treat them as more than just buyers.

Today, brands must enhance customers’ lives through new technology-led experiences that go beyond short-lived transactions. Consider the impact of omni-channel services that connect brick-and-mortar shopping with customers’ digital data for greater personalization. Companies also need to have the enterprise-wide imagination, vision and empathy for the customer that will drive them to find creative ways to engage and serve people who crave simplification and agency.

By evaluating what brings value to customers and reconsidering how a brand promise fits with customer needs, companies can refocus their efforts to drive growth and relevance.

The future of customer experience is life-centric

Brands are looking for ways to harness the changes the world is experiencing to emerge stronger and more prepared for the road ahead. To do so, they need to hone in on the complex life forces and paradoxical behaviors driving consumers today. Through data, technology and a holistic, human-centered approach, they can respond to people’s diverse, often paradoxical and ever-changing needs.