25 July 2006

Ruthless focus on the customer [Business Week]

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Jeneanne Rae
“From the Mini Cooper to Whole Foods, companies and brands are discovering how superior customer experience keeps ’em coming back for more”, writes Jeneanne Rae in a long story in Business Week.

Rae is co-founder of Peer Insight LLC, a research and consulting firm, and a former member of the senior management team at design and development firm IDEO.

“Customer experience is one of today’s great frontiers for innovation. While the concept isn’t exactly new—it was coined by designers and became more widely known to the business community through the work of Joe Pine and Jim Gilmore’s 1998 Harvard Business Review article and subsequent book Welcome to the Experience Economy—in my estimation we are still at the dawn of the Experience Age. And, it is my prediction that in this new age, customer experience will decide the winners and losers in almost every industry imaginable.”

The article then delves into themes such as:

  • the importance of “moments of truth” which “occur at the key touch points in a customer’s journey with his product or service environment”;
  • linking “information-technology strategy with human-resource models to create mass customization“;
  • entrusting customers with the “co-creation of the entire experience”;
  • using “an eco-system approach to orchestrate numerous business models that drive customer value”;
  • creating great customer experiences is not “just a matter of design content” but “must be everyone’s job“.

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