The « Rencontre des Entrepreneurs de France » has just closed its doors, putting an end to many debates revolving around liberties and freedom. Criticized by some and praised by others, it has caused a divide in society and within the business world. While transformation has become an absolute “no turning back” situation for organizations, companies nevertheless have to find a way of engaging all the stakeholders in bringing them together around this digital journey moving forward.   

Great and ambitious program but where to start? As simple as it may sound, addressing customers is often a good starting point. Using data analysis or change management tools, companies can get a feel for the mood and degree of acceptance of the stakeholders. The only thing left to do is to try and match the given mindset with the transformation landscape and it’s a done deal, right?  

Although customers are themselves an impetus for change, at the end of the day, they are still human beings with their own concerns, beliefs and differences. This is a huge challenge for companies as they are faced with the following challenge: how do you reach out and engage your customers while factoring in all those differences?  

Ô Lean Six Sigma, What is my Customer Experience like?  

In the world of Customer Experience there exists a widely proven methodology called: Lean Six Sigma. 

This Customer Satisfaction continuous improvement approach brings together profitability and agility. In actual fact the goal is twofold: being « Lean », i.e. producing a product or service as efficiently as possible and complying with the « Six Sigma » rule, consisting of providing a quality service or a product, that caters to needs of customers.   

One of the main takeaways of this methodology is that it is universal. Defining, evaluating, analyzing, improving and controlling is a unique 5-prong initiative that allows all companies to embrace a Customer Satisfaction continuous improvement approach.  

Fine, but then where do you fit in the human aspect? This methodology, strictly speaking, can seem to suggest that it addresses only those in charge but this is not the case anymore.  

Thanks to data intelligence, companies can now quantify and qualify the entire business of a company, including customer satisfaction. Even better, they can even modelize fictional groups representing a typical customer profile (persona) by running a sentiment analysis to read what they feel at each step of their customer journey with a brand. Tools such as Cemantica or methodologies such as Value Stream Mapping, designed to map and modelize the customer journey of customers, make up these ever evolving technologies.   

So we have completed the analysis of processes, the customer journey, checking all the customer touchpoints and the sentiment analysis: the main objective being enhancing the customer experience. This approach puts the customer at the center of the company’s operational excellence dynamic. 

So in the end, delivering a stellar customer experience while ensuring top-notch customer satisfaction is now a reality. But does getting to know what customers think and feel get you their business?  

From Customer Experience Management to Customer Purpose Management 

« It’s a match! » What if this statement, that pops up on a dating app when there is chemistry between two profiles, is actually the future of Customer Experience? 

With the growing automation of interactions between a company and its customers, the question could be raised whether we are ready and willing to trust a brand that has cut off all human interactions and dehumanized the customer relationship.  

In the « Experience 2030 survey called: The Future of Customer Experience », published by Futurum Research and conducted by the analyst firm SAS, a couple of answers have surfaced. For instance this first significant figure: only 35% of consumers are uneasy dealing with technology in stores. There is a definite trend here: the study finds that by 2030, 67% of customer engagement will be handled by smart machines rather than today’s “human touch.”  

Are we dematerializing the emotional connection between companies and their customers and between brands and consumers? If so, then the “formula” would  overshadow the “chemistry” and Customer Experience would boil down to a question of data crunching.  

ZENO conducted a global survey asking more than 8,000 consumers in 8 different countries (including France, the United States, China…) about the importance of a brand’s strength of Purpose. It showed that consumers have high expectations for brands to have a more meaningful reason for being, with 94% of consumers globally saying it is important that the companies they engage with have a strong Purpose. Although most consumers agree companies should have a strong Purpose, only 37% believe companies actually do.  

So, there is still hope. Because what matters more than Customer Experience is the Reason for Being. Consumers stand ready to give their hearts, voices and wallets in support of purposeful brands. And what if this inclination for chemistry were the last variable of the Customer Experience formula, a variable that, through constant innovation and creativity, will break through its barriers? 

Article initially published in Marketing-Professionnel.fr

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