I realize my last few posts here have been more ponderous and philosphical than anything else. I plan to return with some more “news you can use” in future posts. But there have just been some things that have been eating at me recently. So, I needed to get them out. And hopfully, learn some perspective from you.
The latest is about the notion of the customer experience.
Two nuggest came across my desk recently. One story on NPR was analyzing the changing grocery store industry in the U.S.A. The other was a blog post proclaiming the death of the customer experience. Two completely opposite opinions.
The NPR analyst was reporting on the shift of grocery store customers towards the desire for a greater in-store experience. As opposed to what? Better product? Better price?
In claiming the death of the customer experience, the blog author claimed consumers don’t really care about the experience. Their preference is what? Better product? Better price?
Do you get where I’m going with this?
Experience is a result of product, price, billing, shipping, manufacturing, customer service and every other element of your business model. Maybe its the fact that we talk about creating experiences that messes with our minds to the point where we think they are some tangible item that can be produced.
Customer experience is the output. The result of all of those things above. Experience design requires the examination and design of all of the business model inputs which result in a desired experience outcome.
With everything we do, with everything we interact as consumers, we have experiences. The experience itself is not designed. Nor can it be created or taken away.
So, can grocery stores do things that will enhance the experience? Absolutely. Is it exchanged for some other element of the business model? By definition, its impossible. Do customers not care about the experience? We can’t avoid it. Experiences are everywhere. In everything we do.