MUSINGS ON EXPERIENCE, TRANSFORMATION, STRATEGY AND MORE
In my recent personal newsletter, Thoughts & Tidbits, I made the case that organisations should match their digital transformation investments with a ‘human touch’ for everything they do.
Tactically, because any digital edge will eventually be copied by the competition. Strategically because, until further notice, humans still pay the bills and we like a side serving of humanity.
Still, we live in a time where nothing is as it was before.
The other day I saw a customer experience checklist that said a business had to be Easy, Fast, Convenient, Trackable, Personalised and Predictive ... OR ELSE, the relationship with its customers would fall apart.
In my head, it makes sense. In my heart, I have my doubts.
Especially when looking at my top 'real life' relationship: that with my wife.
Last week, I got home without remembering how I got there
No, I wasn’t under the influence. Also, as far as I could tell, my brain was still quite functional.
I blanked because I knew the road so well that I walked it on autopilot. All I remembered of my journey was the podcast I was listening to. And the cyclist who nearly ran me over.
To me, customer experience management has always been about making a difference.
Literally, by helping the companies I worked for differentiate.
Metaphorically, by enriching their customers’ lives.
Every exponential curve eventually takes you by surprise. Even if you’re watching.
In generative artificial intelligence, for me, that moment was last week.
I’ve played with it since 2017. But I looked at it as a toddler writing or drawing. The effort and creativity were endearing. Though I felt it had a long way to go.
Earlier this year, my views started changing.
For a few years, Forrester has been tolling the death bell for non-performing customer experience programmes. But in their latest European Predictions 2023, they deliver their harshest verdict yet. To paraphrase:
Tighter markets mean next year is 'sink or
swim' time for CX leaders, in which up to 20%
of programmes may disappear.
At the risk of being unpopular, I can see the logic of CEOs getting critical about CX.
As a profession, many of us confuse the tools and the tech with the financial, competitive and customer value results we are supposed to deliver.
In a recent video, I suggested spending more time on getting customers who ‘would’ recommend to actually do so. As I received some ‘how to?’ questions on the topic, I’m using this issue of Level Up to outline three practical steps you can take. I hope you find them useful.
PS. While the below may sound like a B2C topic, it is even more relevant in B2B.
Some time ago I briefly took part in a UN project on sustainable fashion. In the early part of my career, I have been part of (building) the fast-fashion system, so amends were (and are still) in order.
Covid cut short my involvement. But the project made me hyper-aware of both the challenges and opportunities in making the fashion industry sustainable. In which the good news is that ‘it can be done’. Yes, systems change is hard, but once the change momentum reaches its tipping point, developments can go exponentially.
So in this article, I’d like to share four customer experience (related) initiatives that caught my eye. I’m curious about what you think of them.
When was the last time you were truly ‘immersed’ in an experience? Was it a movie? A walk in the woods? An absorbing conversation? A bag of crisps?
While we all know the feeling of being immersed, I’ve seldom seen customer experience teams deliberately design for immersion. At least among mainstream B2C brands and B2B vendors.
Why brands should stop creating stuff and instead offer more meaningful experiences
I’m working on a ‘next level experience’ concept studio. So I’m asking myself some deep questions about the customer expectations of 2027 and beyond. Like whether meaning will be the next (premium) consumer experience frontier?
What do you think? Would you agree I am onto something? Or am I being a bit fluffy?
Alain Thys is an experience architect who helps organisations drive profit and transformation through experience.