CUSTOMER CENTRICITY

Leveraging the Experience Economy

 

I remember like it was just yesterday. The year was 1988. It was pay day for my school teacher mother, and we were lining up in a large banking hall, waiting our turn for her to cash out her monthly pay cheque at the counter. The experience was long, it took us at least an hour to get to the cashier counter. And I remember peeking over the counter at the cashier, as she proceeds to take money out of her cash drawer, placing it into this machine that counts the money, then handing over a piece of paper for my mother to sign, then an envelope with the cash. My mother would quickly place the envelope in her bag, and we would swiftly make our way to our car, with her monthly earnings. Fast forward, 3 years after that, I was tasked to withdraw money at the ATM machine using her card, whilst she waits in the car. The experience was simpler, quicker and ultimately more private. Today, spending, sending and splitting money is a seamless experience.

3 X E = Sustainable Business Value

Effectiveness used to be the measurement of success for many of what we did. Designing processes and checkpoints to ensure the desired results was key to business success.

Efficiency was a large area of focus and research in the 90s up to 2000s as businesses start to look at large scale operations and global reach capabilities. Designing processes that could be duplicated and repeated was an important factor to business growth. In the quest for efficiency, more emphasis was place on how processes flowed, integrated and optimised.

EXPERIENCE is the new measurement that needs to be included for sustainable business value. In the context of the world we live in today, great experiences are talked about and become meaningful touch-points for users that keep them coming back. Experience is not just about quick and cheap, it is about repeatable, personalised and impactful enough that they want to tell others about it.  This is because EXPERIENCES matter, and it has been the missing emotional component in a lot of services and offerings across organisations that has yet to be fully enabled.

  • Automated Teller Machines is an old example of how customer pain-points were addressed although not explicitly as the banks primary motivation was to make operations more efficient but the ATM made it more private to bank, no lines, no counters, no tellers and ultimately made it safer to bank.

  • Ride-hailing apps is an example of user-led disruption to a global problem of getting a good ride on taxi services, changing it to a performance based model driven by the question of how to make it more pleasant to get from A to B

  • Online Shopping was first introduced to allow for global reach of business to business traders to do business. It then became the death of retail business and made it more convenient for shoppers business and individuals to purchase at a price level, and quality level that they desire.

User-Centricity as a Business Strategy

What is it? To put it simply, User-Centricity as a Business Strategy is a process that involves a detailed analysis and understanding of user needs which is called an insight. Using insights as a focal point, co-creating and iterating possible prototypes and testing it out with real users. The result of a well-run process is a solution that delivers innovation value.

User Desirability – it resolves existing pain points and/or enhance gain points

Technical Feasibility – it is technically possible to develop within existing or stretched parameters

Business Viability – it makes business sense, in the short and long run in terms of the growth and continuity strategies

Why it's important?

Users, both consumers, and employees have endless options. The modern marketplace gives them access across borders, size of the organisation, types of services in direct or in-direct competition with what you offer. Those who strive to provide personalised, user-centric and responsive approach stands to be in a better position to engage and grow their brand loyalty, inside and outside of their organisation.

Personalisation with User-Centricity

  • In general, user-centric platforms will always recognise, remember & re-connect you by name, your last activity, what you like based on your activities and a pleasant way to achieve what you want to achieve.

 

Responsiveness with User-Centricity

  • In general, user centric platforms will always analyse, augment & anticipate your existing needs, your future needs and your potential needs

 

Loyalty with User-Centricity

  • In general, user-centric platforms will always attract, maintain and grow customer base, market share and product design.

 

The idea that immersive and engaging experiences produce value and deliver competitive advantage has come a long way in the 20 years since Joe Pine and Jim Gilmore welcomed us to something they called the “experience economy.”

Economists have typically lumped experiences
in with services, but experiences are a distinct
economic offering, as different from services as services
are from goods. Today we can identify and describe
this fourth economic offering because consumers
unquestionably desire experiences, and more
and more businesses are responding by explicitly
designing and promoting them.

Wherever you operate in the organisation, be it customer facing or back-end processes, wherever there are users, internal or external, the user-centricity needs to be the core of your strategic priorities.

© 2020 by BeInClarity