Customer experience is a subjective impression that is built up from the sum of a customer’s interactions with the company. These interactions may be personal or adopted from friends, acquaintances, recommendations or social media. Companies can also influence customer impressions via marketing and communications but personal or adopted experiences almost always take precedence.

Customer experience can be managed by managing interactions. Every interaction should create value for the customer, allowing the customerto determine the value independently. What creates value for your customers and how do your customers define a good experience? By breaking down the desired customer experience into customer reactions, the abstract becomes concrete, indicators can be specified and customer experience can be managed.

CUSTOMER VALUE SHOULD GUIDE EVERY ASPECT OF A COMPANY’S OPERATIONS

We have long since entered the customer era. When all interactions are shaped to create value for customers, process development should equally be guided by customer value. Operations that do not create customer value are – in Lean terms – wasteful, and they should be eliminated. Typical bottlenecks, such as changeovers, prioritization, or waiting on approval for work in progress, often appear on lists of wasteful operations.

A GOOD CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE BOOSTS THE EMPLOYEE EXPERIENCE

When a company’s processes include substantial waste, a lot of unnecessary work is done. Nobody can identify unnecessary work better than the person who is doing it, and this person often becomes frustrated by poorly functioning processes. This frustration is also likely to make its way – directly or indirectly – to the customer, while employees are burdened by continuous requests for improvements from customers. By focusing your customer’s operations on creating customer value you can boost the efficiency of internal processes as well as customer-facing processes, while also creating a good experience for your employees and your customers. Less is more.

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