The most common fact about Customer Experience is that its importance is agreed by everybody and lots of advises are re-iterated on the importance of adopting and implementing Customer Experience. The missing part will be always the “How” dimension that is rarely said. In order to help organization in answering the how, it is imperative to start with CX basic definitions.
one of good definitions is as prescribed by Gartner, whereas it covers aspects of VOC (voice of the customer), Customer Expectations, and it also tackles the objective of CX which is eventually Customer advocacy, yet misses two important foundational pillars; Customer Emotions and Customer’s Effort.
Important basic definitions in the CX tool box are:
Customer Lifecycle (CLC):
It is a structured approach to describe the stages through which a customer engages in when making a purchase decision and he eventually turns to be a loyal lifelong customer. It commonly involves interactions with marketing, sales, and Customer Care. The customer lifecycle is usually described through the various stages a customer engages in prior to and after a purchase, including awareness, consideration, selection, action (buying), retention, and advocacy. Capitalizing on customer engagement notions happens in order to maximize revenue across the customer lifecycle and it involves multiple internal functions (e.g. CVM or CBM) and other stakeholders.
Customer Experience (CX):
The customer experience is also generally defined as the total sum of all interactions with customers as they touch base with a service provider. It is the cumulative result of interactions taking place at various events, mainly referred to as “moments of truth”. These moments of truth can begin when a prospect customer becomes aware of a company’s brand, or its products or services, and it continues as they are obtain additional information either via multichannel marketing campaigns, or content on the company website, or in social media, in a company shop, or somewhere else.
A clear demarcation between “Customer Experience” & “Customer journey” is that the customer experience also encompasses interactions that are out of the service provider control, such as online reviews, social media peer to peer feedback, or influence from third parties.
Customer Journey (CJ):
The customer journey is a representation of the collective list / series of interactions when a particular persona/segment interacts with the service provider at different stages of the customer lifecycle. This could be simply an exposure to an ad., getting an email, an interaction with sales, registering to a loyalty program, etc. Customer journeys are usually created around a specific customer persona, or a target segment to define how he engages, when he engages, and across what channels to engage. Customer segments or buying personas may be defined by the customer large segmentation (in a B2B frame) or demographic or psychographic customer characteristics (for B2C segments). The customer journey encompasses every interaction a customer could have with a company. This is managed via two dimensions; As-Is Customer Journey and the “To-Be” customer Journey, which moves us to the coming definition.
Customer Journey Mapping (CJM):
It is a methodology that works on documenting in complete description the multiple stages and interactions within a specific or a generic customer journey. This key scientific practice aids in defining specific areas of reconsideration/optimization for the improved Customer Experience (ICE) and it also supports in specifying areas of competitive differentiation. A customer journey map is mainly used to anticipate how a particular customer persona/segment might interact with the service provider brand across various channels and mainly focuses on the As-Is scenario to meet the “To-Be” customer Journey and work on the in-between gap as part of the continuous improvement of CX (ICE)
All of the mentioned definitions are key Customer Experience terms that works as functional tools in acting on behalf of the customers from a customer view point and are functioning towards the Customer Experience Excellence (CXX).