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Delivering a Great Customer Experience – It’s all about Context

There’s no such thing as the “right customer experience.”  Every customer of every business has his or her own perceptions of good/right experience expectations and even those expectations may vary based on an infinite set of variables like time of day, day of week, mood, outcome of last meeting, weather – you can probably name many more.  So attempting to anticipate every specific customer’s expectations is a fruitless effort.

Customer expectations are all about context.  And smart businesses spend their time understanding the context in which they do business.  Context is something they can control.  It’s driven by their brand, their products or services, by their delivery environment, by their target market and their pricing.  The “ecosystem” these factors create, set the stage or context for their customers’ expectations of a great experience.

When a business conducts a transaction with a customer, they enter an agreement.  Some agreements are very specifically defined and documented and others are implied.  But they all have three dimensions in common:

Dimensions
Description
Contextual Test

Ease
How much effort did it take to get the outcome (product or service or solution) the customer was looking for?
Was it a reasonable amount of effort?  Did it meet the agreed upon expectation?

Speed
How long did it take to get it?
Was it a reasonable amount of time?

Did it meet the agreed upon expectation?

Quality
Did the result deliver what was promised?
Was there a clear understanding of the promised result?

Did it meet the agreed upon expectation?

 

An obvious example is a fast food restaurant.  Their industry category sets the stage for customer expectations about product and service quality.  Their delivery environment and business model requires that they focus on fast delivery of product and low cost.  Their target market consists of individuals who are looking […]

By |August 13th, 2014|Blog Post|0 Comments

FINDING THE CUSTOMER

I think it is fair to say that a substantial amount of money is spent around the world in customer focus groups, market research and marketing campaigns that are all spurred with the hope of better understanding the “customer.” Who are these elusive creatures that we are spending so much money to learn more about? Why can’t we lock down what they want and how they buy?

Look around you…look in the mirror…stop the presses, you have found the customer! It’s amazing how many hoops we jump through to try and get closer to our target market and find that magic pill to increase sales by 40%, but just like diets, the magic pill doesn’t exist. The good news is that the customer is alive and well…we have dinner with them, celebrate birthdays, talk to them on forums, buy from them and sit next to them on planes. We are making our jobs too complicated.

When you pause for a moment and think about the most amazing buying experience you have had, what comes to mind? You probably are not thinking of an experience that was solely based on price…did it involve a delightful sales person? Were your expectations exceeded? Did they know all about you before you started shopping in their store or on their website? Did they have your back in a way you didn’t expect? I am guessing it involves some if not all of those things that made it a memorable experience.

I am a fairly frugal person – I use coupons when I can, I like deals and I like to save money. I am always […]

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