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B2B Marketing

Customer Experience

A customer experience is an interaction between a customer and an organization, as perceived by the customer.  Overall, it blends the rational performance of the organization with the senses and emotions that are stimulated within the customer and measured them against the customer’s particular expectations of the interaction.

Customer experiences are not just about rational experiences.  Many companies think about how quickly they answer the phones, what hours they are opened, and how fast they deliver.  But the overall experience for the customer is much more than that.  Over half of the overall experience a customer has is about the subconscious experience.  That means what a customer feels during the experience plays a huge role in the overall interaction.  What the customer experiences is not just about what happens, but also about how it happens.  And, the customer experience is all about how that customer sees the experience.  It does not matter how the business interprets the experience.

Customer experiences can be based on many things, or a combination of any or all of those things.

-Pricing
Customers will usually be glad to pay more for a good experience that is both functional and emotionally rewarding in some way.  Companies that are able to unlock emotions with their brands and products can often build more products and services around those emotions and further their profit margins.

-Differentiation
Companies that give customers one or more of those “wow” moments will automatically be differentiated from the rest of the pack in the eyes of that customer.  That means the company’s product will have to work well, be at a good cost, or any number of other things.

-Technology
What other people say in the social media realm can even affect a customer’s experience with a company.  If all of his or her friends are raving about a certain product or service, the new customer will more likely enjoy the product him or herself.  Likewise, if people are not saying good things about the products or services, the potential customers will go in with a pessimistic outlook on the company.  The overall experience can be heightened if a company has a good reputation with the online community.

-Co-creation
It is always a good idea to help the customers create the experience themselves.  This creates value in the customer’s eyes and they will feel like they are partly responsible for the experience they have.  Once they have that feeling, they will work harder to make the experience positive, which will be better for both the company and the customer.

Building customer relations is a time consuming process.  It involves strategy that includes business models, branding, the use of technology, and plenty of commitment.  Overall, companies will see a huge pay off when they offer only the best customer experiences to anyone who tries their products and services.

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Melissa O'Sullivan

Melissa has worked in digital marketing for over 15 years. She cut her teeth in the CSE models for various retailers and now spends most of her time building great brand development programs across social media. Melissa has been a contributor to MarketingThis.com since 2011.

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