By Christina McKeon on Oct 04, 2012
What makes a great customer experience? And, why should
you or your organization care? These are the questions that set the stage for the Oracle
Customer Experience Summit, which kicked off yesterday in San Francisco.
Day 1: The first day was filled with demos and
insights from customer experience experts and Oracle customers sharing what it
takes to deliver great customer experiences. Author Seth
Godin delivered an entertaining presentation that included an in-depth
exploration of the always-connected, always-sharing experience revolution that
we are witnessing and yes, talked about the purple cow. It turns out that
customer experience is your way to be
the purple cow. Before everyone headed out to see Pearl Jam and Kings of Leon
at the Oracle customer appreciation event, the day wrapped up with a discussion
around building a customer-centric culture. Where do you start? Whom
does it involve? What are some pitfalls to avoid?
Day 2: The second day addressed the details behind all the questions brought up at the end of Day 1. Before you start on a customer experience initiative, Paul Hagen noted that you must understand you will forge a path similar to Copernicus. You will be proposing ideas and approaches that challenge current thinking in your organization. Just as Copernicus' heliocentric theory started a scientific revolution, your customer-centric efforts will start an experience revolution.
If you think customer experience is like a traditional
marketing approach, think again. It’s not about controlling your customers and
leading them where you want them to go. It might sound like heresy to some, but
your customers are already in control, whether or not your company realizes and
acknowledges it. And, to survive and thrive, you'll have to focus on customers
by thinking outside-in and working towards a brand that is better and more
authentic. We learned how Vail Resorts takes this customer-centric approach.
Employees must experience the mountain themselves and understand the experience
from the guest’s standpoint. This has created a culture where employees do things for
guests that are not expected.
We also learned a valuable lesson in designing and
innovating customer-centered experiences from Kerry
Bodine. First you make the thing, and then you make the thing right. In
this case, the thing is customer experience. Getting customer experience right
means iterative prototyping and testing of your ideas. This is where shampoo
comes in—think lather, rinse, repeat. Be prepared to keep repeating until the
customer experience is right.
Many of these sessions will be posted to YouTube in the coming weeks so be sure to subscribe to our CX channel.