Redefining the Customer Experience

The challenge in managing the experiences designed for target segments multiply with adoption of devices in the channel. This brings in enormous possibilities and at the same time enormous challenges. Stretching experiences to woo customers in a multi-cultural scenario will see more faux pas than successes. Buying processes differ, association of colors with emotions differs, and timing of festivals, promotions differs across countries.

It’s funny how people will post their most ludicrous personal videos on social networking sites and yet sue companies if their telephone numbers are shared. Companies have to recognize differences in the people’s wide personal choices from “Baby Boomers” to “Generation Y-rs”.

In our experience, we believe experience-based design has been vastly undernourished. We see a tremendous scope for companies to take advantage of this opportunity to build a differentiating edge. It’s not just the early birds who will receive the biggest catch; it’s the ones who think through their customer experiences and align them with their business strategies well. Companies need to keep the customer in the center when designing customer experiences.

The canvas for design has to start before the customer has heard about you and end after she has narrated her most fascinating experience with you to few of her friends. Understand the customer beyond socio-economic interests: People get bombarded with thousands of messages in a day. Engage deeper with customer sets to segment them into what they are like physically, intellectually and cognitively.

Interaction is two way. A rich experience will require you to create interactions that actively engage people. It is extremely important to understand what people can or cannot do. What they do well or cannot do well. What they expect and what they don’t want. What people like and don’t like and what people dream about and aspire to.

It is obvious that the design of richer experiences is multidisciplinary. Cognizance of that is essential in bringing together a diverse team beyond functional silos to be really effective. Teams have to be created who bring in business strategy knowledge, process knowledge, visual design, interface design, interaction design, psychology, skills of narration, knowledge of technological opportunities and challenges. People have gone to the extent of even recommending a Chief Experience Officer. While we may be a little away from that reality, we should certainly start getting our act together.

Sagar Paul is the general manager and head of Customer Experience Consulting within MindTree’s Business Technology Consulting Group. Mr. Paul is based in Singapore and may be reached at [email protected].