Esteban Kolsky is a customer strategist, researcher, keynote speaker, and a consultant (analyst for 15 years, 8 years with Gartner). He believes that research has become a commodity and value has shifted from discovery to analysis and experience applied to better understanding of the issues and the solutions. In a long article, Vala Afshar, Chief Digital Evangelist at Salesforce, summarizes Kolsky’s thinking, including his 50 important customer experience related stats.
Kolsky’s concern is that companies believe that the customer experience is something that has to be manufactured, engineered or prepared for the customer. Whereas the customer is willing to define their experience as they go along, and this why most of the work in this area is of little to value. Kolsky believes that the customer experience process is non-deterministic, so one-time generically manufactured experiences ignore the nuances and complexities of actual interactions with customers.
Kolsky believes that the customer experiences must be chosen and validated by the customer. He does not believe that the customer experience is offered by the company. The company does however need to build an infrastructure – combination of cloud, mobile, social, apps, data science, CRM, community platforms and related technologies – to allow the customer to do whatever they want, whenever they want, and however they want. Customer experience is not a onetime event, and every single interaction is going to be different.