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What Captures and distributes what a customer thinks about a company

When At points of customer interaction: ‘touch points’

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How monitored Surveys, targeted studies, observational studies, ‘voice of customer’ research

Who uses the information Business or functional leaders, in order to create fulfillable expectations and better experiences with products and services

Relevance to future performance Locates places to add offerings in the gaps between expectations and experience

Source: Adapted from Meyer and Schwager, 2007

The work by Katherine Lemon and Peter Verhoef around the online customer journey took place nearly a decade after Meyer and Schwager’s research. Lemon and Verhoef were keen to build a picture of the body of knowledge in this area and investigated earlier research into customer experience, summing up various definitions as ‘a multi-dimensional construct that involves cognitive, emotional, behavioral, sensorial, and social components’ (Lemon and Verhoef, 2016, p. 70). The concept of a ‘multi-dimensional construct’ covers many bases and ensures that the relationship and the product offer are combined.

Lemon and Verhoef provided a useful summary to explain what the research to date had explained about the different topics within customer experience, and this is reproduced in Table 2.4.

Table 2.4 What we know about customer experience

Topic What we know

Customer experience dynamics

• The customer’s dynamic external environment can have a significant influence on customer experience

• Extreme crises can have a strong, negative and enduring effect on the customer experience

• The economic situation (i.e. recession, expansion) influences the customer experience across firms, and the drivers of customer experience may depend on the economic situation

 

 

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Topic What we know

Mapping the customer journey

• Service blueprinting can provide a solid starting point for customer journey mapping

• Customer journey analysis should understand and map the journey from the customer perspective and, therefore, requires customer input into the process

The multichannel journey

• Channels differ in benefits and costs, often making one channel more useful for a specific stage in the purchase funnel than other channels. These differences are, however, shrinking due to technological developments and diffusion of new channels

• Customers differ in their preferences and usages of channels across different purchase phases, and specific multichannel segments can be identified that differ in terms of consumer characteristics

• Channel choices in the purchase funnel affect one another because of lock-in effects, channel inertia and cross-channel synergies

The multidevice and mobile journey

• Mobile device channels interact and may interfere with existing channels • Mobile device channels offer new location-based, time-sensitive opportunities to

create firm-initiated touch points • Mobile channels appear to be better suited for search than for purchase • Mobile devices’ direct-touch interface appears to significantly influence the

customer journey

Customer experience measurement

• There is not yet agreement on robust measurement approaches to evaluate all aspects of customer experience across the customer journey; long-tested approaches (e.g. SERVQUAL) may offer a good starting point

• Customer satisfaction and NPS perform equally well in predicting firm performance and customer behaviour

• Transformations of metrics to account for potential nonlinear effects due to theoretical notions, such as customer delight, are useful

• Customer feedback metrics focusing on a specific domain of the customer experience (i.e. Customer Effort Score) are not strong in predicting future performance

• Multiple customer feedback metrics predict customer behaviour better than a single metric

Effects of touch points • When moving through the customer journey to purchase, customers use and are exposed to multiple touch points that each have direct and more indirect effects on purchase and other customer behaviours

• Although it is a complex and difficult endeavour, it is important to identify critical touch points (‘moments of truth’) throughout the customer journey that have the most significant influence on key customer outcomes

Customer journey and experience design

• A seamless experience across channels through channel integration will create a stronger customer experience

• The effect of an individual touch point may depend on when it occurs in the overall customer journey

Partner and network management

Internal firm perspective

• When mapping and analysing the customer journey, it is critical to take the broader service delivery system into account

• The benefit to the firm of taking a stronger role in the service delivery network is to reduce uncertainty in customer experience delivery; this needs to be balanced against the increase in costs and complexities associated with such an expanded role

• As partner networks become more ubiquitous, choosing appropriate governance models will be critical

Source: Lemon and Verhoef, 2016, p. 86, Journal of Marketing

Lemon and Verhoef mentioned three terms in Table 2.4 concerning customer experi- ence which may need more clarification:

• SERVQUAL – a model for measuring service quality (see Parasuraman et al., 1985).

 

 

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• NPS – Net Promoter Score, which is a single-question survey asking customers how likely they are to recommend the product or service, on a scale of 1 to 10. The percentage of all scores of 1 to 6 is subtracted from the percentage of 9s and 10s; 7s and 8s are discarded to provide a single score (largely credited to Reichheld, 2003).

• Moments of truth – all points of customer interaction (largely credited to Carlzon, 1987).

See Template online: Analyse the customer experience

Online customer service experience (OCSE) Online customer service experience (OCSE) is a newer concept, and writing in the Journal of Services Marketing, Philipp Klaus from the ESCE International Business School in Paris, created a conceptual model of online customer service experience which was based on customers’ experiences with the online bookseller Amazon. com (Klaus, 2013). His research identified 28 attributes, which were split into two main areas – psychological factors and functionality, and these were supported by sub-dimensions.

The psychological factors included trust, value for money and context familiarity (how close the experience is to an offline model).

The functionality elements are a useful checklist for overall website usability: ease of use; communication; social presence; product presence (product images and descrip- tions such as ‘look inside’); and interactivity.

The model is shown in Figure 2.4 and it may be that you think that this does not include any surprises. However, it is the combination of the two areas that leads to a better customer experience, which is similar to the initial descriptions discussed earlier in this chapter, provided by Gentile and colleagues, who considered the psy- chological factors, and it could be argued that Meyer and Schwager’s definition of customer experience focused on the functionality aspect.

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