An interesting discussion on LinkedIn is currently exploring the definition of ‘Customer Experience’ with the intention of also creating a global definition of ‘”Customer Experience Management’.
As I write the Wikipedia definition of ‘Customer Experience’ is:
“Customer experience (CX) is the sum of all experiences a customer has with a supplier of goods and services, over the duration of their relationship with that supplier. From awareness, discovery, attraction, interaction, purchase, use, cultivation and advocacy. It can also be used to mean an individual experience over one transaction; the distinction is usually clear in context.”
I have two problems with this:
1. In essence it contains circular logic. ‘The customer experience is the sum of all experiences a customer has’. I still do not know what a customer experience is.
2. It lists instances of when a customer experience occurs but how do we know they are instances if we do not know what a customer experience is?
In the LinkedIn discussion I suggested that Colin Shaw’s Beyond Philosopy is an improvement on the Wikipedia definition because it acknowledges that ‘experience’ is a psychological event:
“A customer experience is an interaction between an organization and a customer as perceived through a customer’s conscious and subconscious mind. It is a blend of an organization’s rational performance, the senses stimulated and the emotions evoked and intuitively measured against customer expectations across all moments of contact.”
Developing that idea, with all due respect to the Beyond Philosophy team. I believe we can arrive at a more succinct definition:
“Customer Experience is a customer’s internal representation of all interactions and contacts with a supplier of goods or services.”
From there I suggest a definition of Customer Experience Management as:
“Customer Experience Management is the process of dealing with or controlling the factors that potentially impact upon customers’ perception of their interactions and contacts with a supplier of goods or services.”
And why do should we want to do that? What is the benefit to the organisation?
The purpose of Customer Experience Management is to positively influence a customer’s perception of the organisation. The expected gain is repeat purchase, advocacy and consequently an increase in brand equity.
I am no expert in logic and I cannot say for sure that the above will stand up to scrutiny but for me it a a good place to start. What do you think?