Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Stand Out from the Crowd: Create Innovative Customer Experiences

How can your business create an innovative customer experience (CX) that helps your stand out? It’s harder than one might think.

According to a recent Forester report, “Customer Experience Innovation Demystified,” everyone talks about innovation, but no one knows quite what it is or how to get it. Today, the biggest driver for CX innovation is differentiation that will distinguish a company in the marketplace. Thirteen percent of respondents are shooting for a better CX than any company in any industry. The report states “innovation that drives differentiation and long-term value is the key to getting there.

Additionally, more and more companies want innovation. Customers have higher expectations than ever, upstarts are using technology to compete, and competitive advantages do not last long. Forrester points to customers being wow’d by new apps like Google Now, to Warby Parker’s Net-based competition with established retailers like LensCrafters, and to USAA’s short-lived advantage with its mobile check deposit app.

However, the strategy and planning do not match the ambition. Three-quarters of respondents focus on making incremental improvements, not radical ones. And, less than a third said they connect CX improvements with results that have business consequences. Not to mention, the majority of respondents said their companies plan CX innovation by watching their competitors or companies in other industries, 62 percent expect technological improvements will help them innovate, and only 53 percent develop ways to understand customer needs.

Ultimately, Forrester says that CX innovation differs from normal innovation processes because it goes beyond traditional methods. CX improvement enhances current customer needs, while innovation solves unmet ones. Companies need to reframe their business opportunities as meeting customers’ unmet needs. To do so, of course, involves looking at the company’s CX from the customer’s needs.

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