It’s now or never – Customer Experience innovationBy Mark Atterby Most businesses understand technical, product or process innovation. They are adept at creating new products, services and implementing new processes and technology to deliver those products to market. However, products, services, and processes can be easily copied and reproduced. So what differentiated a particular brand, quickly becomes commoditised across an industry. Organisations that deliver meaningful, timely and valuable customer experiences (whether it’s a message, a function, a product, some content or whatever) will achieve long-term differentiation in the markets they compete in. Jeffrey Phillips, author of Relentless Innovation, comments, “A company that focuses only on product innovation steps on to a treadmill that never ends, and in fact only accelerates over time. Any good innovator must climb the innovation hierarchy, moving from product innovation to service innovation to business model innovation, and then to the ultimate self-actualizing innovation, customer experience innovation”[i]. An organisations that truly understands their customers and creates experiences for those customers that matter, moves from being a “vendor” to what Phillips calls a partner of valuable experiences. The organisation becomes a virtual extension of those customers, earning their trust and acceptance.
Creating unique and valuable customer experiences can contribute significantly to sustainable growth. Though hard to achieve, it can differentiate organisations in industries that are highly commoditised , where price is the main difference between core product offerings.