The customer relationship with brands is in constant evolution. As marketing, sales, commerce, and service professionals, we're forced to adapt to these shifts or risk extinction. That's never been more true than it is today. We’re living in the experience economy, where your customers’ experiences with your brand are inseparable from the value of the goods and services you provide.
The experience economy is driven by the way the world works today. People expect physical goods to arrive at their doors in a matter of hours, not days—and they expect answers to arrive on their mobile screens in a matter of milliseconds.
In the experience economy, the customer is the innovator, not the enterprise. Technology lets customers create very personalized experiences. As people become more comfortable and facile with technology, they will create new ways of managing their daily lives and online experiences. And they will expect that kind of flexibility from every company they do business with.
Expectations Are Changing Rapidly
I think about my teenage daughter, for example, who can track the location of a Lyft or Uber driver she only knows as ‘Carl, white Toyota Prius’—and then is frustrated if she can’t do the same with me when she’s expecting me to pick her up. Mild customer frustration is only the first impact of not delivering the experience people have come to expect. Loss of business, poor reviews, inability to attract new customers follow closely behind.
While I may not be able to let my daughter track me the way you can track a Lyft ride or FedEx delivery with graphical richness and GIS specificity, an enterprise needs to be able to meet that and every other customer experience demand.
That’s not easy because things are changing at a pace that almost nobody on the enterprise side is ready to match.
Look at voice interaction. It’s well on its way to replacing the traditional user interface for everything from discovering products and services to controlling the devices in a person’s environment to getting information. Already, 20% of households use some kind of voice interface for everyday tasks; there will be 870 million voice-assisted devices in the US by 2022.
More than that, people who use these devices aren’t going to care what platform or system they’re built atop. They’ll just expect to have an ordinary, conversational interaction with them. If your company doesn’t offer this, be prepared for average reviews, shrinking customer base, and ultimately loss of business. We all know, particularly in this experience economy, once a customer is lost, you will not get them back.
Want to dive deeper? In the video below, I discuss how Oracle's CX Platform empowers businesses to exceed and deliver unforgettable customer experiences in the experience economy.