How to manage the Customer Experience in the Emotional Economy?
“We offer the customer the best experience” is a phrase that nowadays seems to be an obligation to recite in all companies. However, very few can be exhibited as differentials in this aspect and believe that dealing with the “Purchase Experience” is to continue dealing with those aspects that remain unchanged since time immemorial and that continue to declaim in days of little innovation “Quality of Customer Service “
Many companies that today speak of the importance of the client, trust in one of these three paradigms that do not really imply developing a true Purchase Experience.
The first one is “customer orientation”. In the 1990s, many companies recognized the critical importance of being “customer oriented,” rather than product, technology, or sales oriented. This is the concept of Philip Kotler, who affirmed the idea of determining the needs and desires of customers. When the managers of the companies analyze in detail what are the components of the traditional marketing conception, they realize that this does not allow to offer the client a “Purchase Experience”. Most traditional marketing tools focus on the functional aspects of the product. The client is seen as a rational decision maker who makes his purchases based on functions and benefits that his mind has on the product / service offered, when in fact, emotions and intuitions also intervene. Many times it is driven by visceral impulses that lead us to sacrifice a bit of our future for immediate pleasure. Marketing orientation does not serve as a tool to build a strategy or plan a Differential Purchase Experience
Second, many mistakenly associate the concept of “Purchase Experience” as an equivalent of “customer satisfaction”. The objective of this approach is to ensure that customers are satisfied after having made the purchase of their product or after having interacted with the company. When we measure customer satisfaction, what we are really measuring is the difference between what they expect and what they perceive they get. But measures of customer satisfaction focus on knowing and managing customer expectations about what the company is already doing, rather than finding out what they really want. It is necessary to go beyond merely measuring the perceptions, the products / services offered must be massively customized in a massive way. The nature of what the client sacrifices must be understood, that is, the gap between what he wants exactly and what he conforms to. When we understand what the client’s sacrifice consists of, we discern the difference between what he accepts and what he really needs, even if he himself does not know it or does not know how to express it.
What is absent in this approach is the fact of considering all the Experiential dimensions that surround the consumption of a product or service and that really interest the clients.
The third and last approach so commonly used to associate the Customer Experience is that of CRM, which despite the name, focuses on transactions and not on the construction of relationships (relationship) with the client. The information that is collected in the bases is usually linked to the purchases and operations made by the client: what he bought, where, when, etc.
The main problem with CRM is that it focuses on information that is important to the company and that occasionally helps define consumer behavior; neither does the achievement of a company-client feedback take place, it traces the actions of the clients after the facts, it does not allow the management of emotional relationships and links with the clients, in fact, it only focuses on the analysis of commercial transactions.
The need for a new approach
Marketing orientation, consumer satisfaction and CRM promise, at least theoretically, to better understand people. However, each approach is very limited to achieve this objective. What companies and their managers really need is an approach that takes their customers seriously. It should provide a look at the integrality of the Customer Experience. Not only detail the functional aspects of the product and commercial transactions, but also everything that is generating value before, during and after the purchase decision, the purchase itself and its use. In this way, products and services that delight customers and provide them with true experience could be created. This new approach is Customer Experience Management.
This paradigm is the new model for business management and its main objective is to increase the value offered to the customer through the management of the Purchase Experience. It is an approach that represents a radical break with the traditional approach to Marketing and Management.
Purchase Experience Management goes one step further than CRM, from the simple registration of transactions to the creation of deep relationships with customers.