Suppliers think about profits. Buyers think about value. What would happen if the buyer became the supplier? They would still think about value. The value they would think about starts, progresses and ends with the experience.
Is technological connectivity the next evolutionary step to creating more value in human experience? We created computers to process more information, and now we’re connecting through those computers and the Internet cloud as a way of expanding and sharing our experience with people, brands and things.
Companies need to re-orient the customer experience around what customers’ value, the touchpoints they use to create value and how the customer can benefit from co-creating more value together with companies. Doing this opens up new opportunities to create new revenues long after the point of sale.
Advertising people, who obsess about their Brands, talk about the customer experience in terms of creating a branded experience. And internet people, who obsess about ecommerce, talk about value in terms of creating a better on-line experience. And marketing people, who obsess about experiences, talk about value in terms of more efficient and effective, sales and service.
These views are all inside-out rather than outside in. They are only about companies, their consultants and the vendors who service them both. They are NOT about customers. They all pay lip-service to customers, but the customer is not at the heart of their thinking, let alone their doing. They are at best a target, at worst, just an afterthought. It is a lot like waiting on-hold in a customer service queue and hearing a sugary voice intone on the telephone, “your business is important to us”. Sure it is, but not enough to staff the call centre with sufficient people to answer my call in a reasonable time and even then once the customer talks to a real person that person has no real answers.
The Difference Is In Our Experience, Not Yours
Social media has become the megaphone of experiences. Consumers representing every market segment of products imaginable are expressing their experiences with most everything and everyone. Marketing and advertising initiatives are no longer effective when created from the suppliers perspective of what the customer values. Only the customer can tell you what they consider value and unless you are listening then you will most likely create the wrong experience. It is the customers experience that matters the most not yours.
What a consumer might find if they were searching for shared experiences about an organization or particular brand reflects what other customers say their experience was. No slick advertisement or marketing campaign will change the customers experience. Attention is no longer the primary goal, an outstanding experience is.