One of the cornerstones of the work we do at Spire Digital is customer experience design. It’s the art and science of optimizing every interaction a customer has with a product, a service, or a company as a whole.
A positive customer experience is what differentiates Southwest from Spirit, Lyft from Yellow Cab, and Netflix from Comcast. It’s why Tesla holds the top two spots on Consumer Reports’ list of the year’s best cars. It’s why Amazon’s market cap recently surpassed that of Walmart’s.
If you’ve ever gotten lost in customer service phone tree hell until you were finally connected to a live person who had absolutely no idea how to solve your problem; if you’ve ever been treated in a hospital where you literally feared for your life; if you’ve ever used a PC, or pretty much any Microsoft product other than Xbox; then you know negative customer experience.
Positive CX creates evangelists, like a good movie. If you walk out of the theater with a smile on your face, then you’ll tell people. Customer evangelism is one of the most effective, and cost-effective, types of marketing.
Meanwhile, negative CX creates enemies and naysayers, who are more than willing to tweet and post and Yelp about their dismay, or at the very least, delete your app or unsubscribe from your newsletter. Hell hath no fury like a customer scorned!
Positive CX is a driving force behind the sharing economy, the maker movement, and the rise of the unicorn. In these cases, entrepreneurs are trying to disrupt industries and dethrone market leaders by improving the customer experience, think Airbnb, Blue Apron, Slack, and Wealthfront.
CX is a powerful force!
How, you may ask, do you embrace this force? Well…listen to your customers. Be cognizant of their needs and desires; and build and rebuild to satisfy those needs and desires. Delight and impress every step of the way – online, offline, in the office, at the home, and everywhere else. And constantly add value through functionality and simplicity.
When people love what you do and how you do it, there’s no stopping you. When you give people what they want, they want more of it. CX design is more than a discipline, it’s a strategy for success.
So, for this new year, my recommendation is to focus on the customer. At Spire, I most certainly will, on every level. Soon, as positive customer experience becomes the norm, rather than the exception, we won’t be able to avoid it. And that will be a better world in which to live.