The customer experience, by its very definition, is complex. Forrester Research defines it as: “The product of the interactions between an organization and a customer over the duration of their relationship. This includes all of a customer’s interactions with your company from awareness to discovery, purchase, use of products / services, loyalty and advocacy.”
However, Forrester understands the power of simplicity and has distilled this definition down to a single sentence: “How customers perceive their interactions with your company.”
The key word here? Perceive. Perception is something that every CMO should know something about.
Perception is defined as “the way we think about or understand someone or something.”
Isn’t that what marketing is all about? Isn’t that what “branding” is meant to do — establish a clearly defined position or perception in the mind of the customer?
The CMO owns customer perception. That is why the CMO must also own the customer experience and be able to capture the customer data and insights that are necessary to turn the customer experience into a competitive advantage.
But where does a CMO start? By defining and capturing the insights that will make a material difference on the critical interactions customers have with the company. More specifically, CMOs need to answer these fundamental questions.
- What do my high-value customers look like — both demographically and psychographically?
- When do customers interact with my company — at which touchpoints along their journey?
- Where do they interact with my company — online and offline?
- How do they interact with my company — through what methods?
- Why do they interact with my company — desired outcomes?
Remember, when it comes to capturing customer insights — your goal is to simplify. By surfacing accurate answers to these questions, you will have the knowledge you need to start leading and implementing a customer experience strategy that will improve “how customers perceive their interactions with your company.”