Studying the impact of innovation on business and society

.ME: Interview with Brian Solis On What It Takes to Create Exceptional Customer Experience

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by: Sanja Gardasevic, .ME (Excerpt)

A little less than a month ago, in the middle of the night, hollers of excitement have been heard, as far as the Montenegrin coast I believe. It was the moment when we heard that Brian Solis accepted to be the keynote speaker at Spark.me, the biggest tech and marketing conference in SEE, organized by yours truly as part of .ME’s CSR efforts.

Brian is someone whose work we have been following closely over the years, who has a specialty of writing blog posts one can meditate over for days, and who has been one of the first marketing thinkers to start writing about the implications of the technological revolution on business and society. He looks at technological trends from lenses of sociology, psychology, and business, something that has earned him the title of a digital analyst, anthropologist, and futurist.

Besides having the privilege of spending two days with someone we admired greatly, we jumped at the opportunity to interview him for our blog and share at least a slice of his wisdom with you. Here is… our conversation with the Mister X himself…:

Q: What makes an exceptional customer experience and what does it take to create one?

An exceptional customer experience is starting with understanding what a customer experience is. Too many people that work in this field look at customer experience from their point of view; so it means that these are the technologies we need, these are the systems and processes we need, these are the groups that handle the experiences that people have, but there is no one person who necessarily owns customer experience. The customer owns customer experience.

What I challenge the businesses to think about is: What if you had to measure the customer experience from the customer’s perspective? For example, what I feel as your customer, what I am buying, what I am trying to consider, what I should buy, what I do purchase, how I use your product, when do I have a problem with your product and how I talk about your product. That is the customer experience.

This is why most businesses miss the true opportunity to be the disruptor and why they become disrupted – because they are not understanding what matters to people.

Q: In your book “What’s The Future of Business?”, you are talking about the role technology plays in engaging with the consumers. Do you think having a top-notch technology is the most important thing?

Technology is one of the things that gets in the way of the people when they are trying to be more relatable to people because we use it as a crutch. By that, I mean that we use technology because we are lazy. We try to be scalable, we try to be more relevant, because we are using the latest technology but at the same time what we use technology for is essentially just being put on to, or bolted on to, or slapped onto, old stuff, old thinking and old ways of doing business. At the end of the day, the customers are changing – they are becoming more empowered.

I don’t care where you live in the world, I don’t care how you think about business, I don’t care how you think about customers, but today there is a real revolution going on and I call it the Digital Darwinism and unless we don’t start thinking about the ways technology solves problems or creates opportunities, we are going to be a part of the problem. Not part of the solution.

Brian Solis on Digital Darwinism

Brian Solis on Digital Darwinism

Q: I stumbled upon a quote of yours that says: If you don’t disrupt yourself, it will be a gift given to you by someone else. In this turbulent times how dangerous it is for someone else to shape your vision?

I believe that if you do not disrupt yourself, you are not allowed to talk about disruption. It is a truth that I believe that it’s something you have to experience. Too many companies are essentially trying to evolve through iteration. They are trying to evolve by doing the same things better. But innovation, and this is the time when we need innovation, is when you do new things that create new value. This is so important because new value means that there is something to be appreciated outside of what you appreciated.

Brian Solis on Innovation

Brian Solis on the difference between iteration, innovation and disruption

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