Posts Tagged ‘experience’
Guest post by Gib Bassett (@gibbassett), firstname.lastname@example.org
“Businesses today must invest in experiences because that’s what people want.” – Brian Solis
So says Brian in this recent post. He goes on to qualify this statement further, saying people today simply don’t care about products, services or offers. What they desire and what they respond to with regularity are superior experiences. I don’t think this is limited to Millennials either – we are all being conditioned to have affinities for businesses that deliver superior customer experiences.
Whether you realize it or not, when you share an experience you have, whether it’s through a post, review, video, image, rant, praise, etc., it helps a stranger make a decision about what to do next.
Customers aren’t following the customer journey you designed because they’re too busy hacking it. No matter how much journey work you do, no matter how creative your marketing, no matter how responsive your website is, no matter how much technology you invest in, customers trust the experiences of others over your words aka branding and the path you’ve laid out for them.
The title is credited to Max Beerbohm, English essayist, parodist, and caricaturist best known today for his 1911 novel Zuleika Dobson. Taken from his 1918 work, Hosts and Guests, I interpret his work for a new era of hospitality. We live in a connected society now and as such, guests and the experiences they have and share, form the foundation of marketing and service. If we try to scale experiences for the sake of doing so, we miss the essence of true engagement. Instead, we connect with guests, customers, at an emotional level.
While in London promoting What’s the Future of Business (WTF): Changing the Way Businesses Create Experiences, I spent some time with the folks who produce The Digital Marketing Show.
In this short video, I share the rise of Generation C and how an era of connected consumerism created the perfect storm for digital Darwinism to accelerate. We also discuss how the future of marketing takes more than technology, it takes a philosophical shift to create meaningful and shareable experiences.
Digital Darwinism is forcing businesses to #AdaptorDie. Many realize that customers are different. At the same time, leaders understand that how employees want to work is also changing. Yet, they’re frozen in the past, undermining the future simply because they do not know what to do and how. After all that is known, it is the unknown and the fear of venturing into the unfamiliar that becomes paralyzing.
Experience is becoming more important than the product itself.
What is experience?
It’s not a thing, it’s everything. It’s an embrace and an emotional ecosystem that requires purpose, thoughtfulness and mastery. More so, experience requires architecture and a supporting ecosystem to deliver more than features, utility or capability. And, it starts here: <3
We must flip our everyday approach from brand-centricity to customer-centricity. Think beyond budgets, approvals and technology and creativity for the sake of technology and creativity. That’s what everybody else does.
All customers are not created equal. This is also true for relationships. No business has the same relationship with their customers as you intend to have with yours. The thing is though, you must first define what a relationship with your customer looks and feels like and in turn, how they would describe it to their friends and colleagues. This is where the future of customer experience begins.
Customer experience is meant to be evocative not reactive…
We are entering an era of customer-centricity, mostly because we have to. But also, because employing a customer focus is the right thing to do. I guess businesses lost their way at some point. Blame quarterly earnings. Blame technology. Blame politics. But over the years, we overlooked the importance of the “C” and “R” and instead scaled the “M” in CRM. It didn’t hurt that we found ways to save time and money in the process of promoting management, cost-control and efficiency over customer experiences.
You’ve heard it a million times, a happy customer tells a couple of people and an unhappy customer tells everyone. Yet to this day, executives tend to run business strategy with an emphasis on transactions over experiences. More so, business value is expressed in short-term performance metrics and reports to an audience of shareholders and stakeholders over the very people who keep them in business…your customers. It’s all a bit absurd when you think about it.
The Technology of Us
I’ve been in the technology business for a long time and what I can tell you is this: Technology enables us to invent new products and services at rates that humans never before experienced. Whatever the next big thing is in tech doesn’t matter as much as the fact that anyone today has the power to disrupt entire industries with a single, smart idea.
Brian Solis is a digital analyst, anthropologist, and also a futurist. In his work at Altimeter Group, Solis studies the effects of disruptive technology on business and society. He is an avid keynote speaker and award-winning author who is globally recognized as one of the most prominent thought leaders in digital transformation.
His most recent book, What's the Future of Business: Changing the Way Businesses Create Experiences (WTF), explores the landscape of connected consumerism and how business and customer relationships unfold in four distinct moments of truth. His previous book, The End of Business as Usual, explores the emergence of Generation-C, a new generation of customers and employees and how businesses must adapt to reach them. In 2009, Solis released Engage, which is regarded as the industry reference guide for businesses to market, sell and service in the social web.