Delivering On Customer Experience Promise As a Program

As everyone begins to look quite similar in terms of product offering, price and service quality, the key question becomes: “How do we differentiate our brand to become and stay the preferred choice of target customers?”.  In most industries, while the perceived quality gap among companies is closing, prices are significantly going down due to intensive competition.

Management of “Customer Experience Promise” as a program is widely used across industries to differentiate and emotionally connect with customers.  Fedex’s Purple Promise, Ritz Carlton’s Gold Standard, Zappos Culture are only some legendary examples of such programs.  The main idea is that if we consistently deliver experiences that create distinctive emotions in our customers, then we can get a differentiated positioning in their hearts and minds, making us substantially immune to competitor attacks.

While building customer experience promise for a company, two key questions to begin with are:  “Which emotions do we want to create in our customers to differentiate us?”; and “Which specific actions can we promise at every stage of their journey with us to create these emotions?”.  Then, rest of the program concentrates on the systematic delivery and measurement of these specific actions at touchpoints through developing the right skillsets in employees, systems and processes.

Customer experience improvements indeed bring significant returns on financial bottomline when applied systematically.  As an example, a major global telecom group follows a customer experience program where they expect a potential EBITDA increase by €0.8 billion in 5 years.  Their projections are based on their actual “NPS (net promoter score which is a key customer satisfaction metric) vs. customer behavior” observations where their promoters churned 2.5 times less than detractors, and promoters ARPU (average revenue per user) is 9% above detractors.