Customer Centricity & Analytics Blog

Customer Experience or Customer Centricity: What's the difference?

Recently I interviewed Tiffani Bova, Customer Growth and Innovation Evangelist at Salesforce. You can see that interview as well as details on our upcoming Customer Centricity Conference where Tiffani is a speaker, here.

And I agree with her. Customer experience seems to be a catch-all for the general act of removing friction from the customer journey. I doubt you would find anyone who wants to repeat the checkout process more times, or wants to battle the button that doesn't quite appear clickable in their mobile phone interface. Clearly, removing friction is a good thing.

But when most people discuss customer experience, they are again talking about "customer" as if this were one lump of homogeneous people. Whenever you hear customer as an aggregate, I want a big red flag to appear in your mind. This is an instant sign that we are not doing our best as marketers, and consequentially we are leaving money on the table. Proof can be found here and here in the form of customer-centric academic research from our friends at Wharton.

 

Whenever you hear customer as an aggregate, I want a big red flag to appear in your mind.

Customer centricity by definition means you know the value of each and every customer. And if you know the value, you might tailor their experience differently. Here's a great example I personally experienced when Marriott blended customer experience and customer centricity.

Somehow Marriott flagged me as a customer with potential. In customer centricity, we often quantify and seek "up and comers" to target. The desk clerk on what seemed like a whim (but was probably not), temporarily upgraded me to Gold status. Not for just that visit, but for several months. And every time I stayed at Marriott in those next few months, I got the Gold treatment, even though I had not earned it. I loved the experience, and when it expired, I turned into the biggest Marriott point piggy you've ever seen. That well-targeted customer experience boosted my value to Platinum status today.

 

Customer experience coupled with the potential future value of each customer is an unbeatable combination that solidly connects marketing to ROI.

Just like Marriott, you too can do more than remove friction from a customer experience. Customer experience coupled with the potential future value of each customer is an unbeatable combination that solidly connects marketing to ROI. It's pleasing to the customer, profitable for the business and efficient for the marketer. Come learn more about proper customer-centric strategies at our Customer Centricity Conference on May 10 and 11th, 2017 in San Francisco.

An Invitation to Play CMO Customer Centricity Conference LiveBlog, Day 1

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