Many of us have received offers for a product or service at some point that, although new and interesting, made us question, “Why am I the target audience for this?”. Those deals feel as if a company doesn’t pay attention to what we want or understand our changing needs.
In those moments, what we experienced was the disconnect of customer-centricity from innovation — two sides of an equation that must remain linked if organizations wish to drive sustainable growth that surprises and delights customers.
For this reason, innovation of products and services alone is no longer enough for organizations to differentiate themselves from the competition. While revenue may increase in the short term, customer stickiness — and eventual loyalty — is likely to remain stagnant.
However, according to Qualtrics, a typical $1 billion company can expect to earn $775 million more on average over three years with modest Customer Experience (CX) improvements. Software companies stand to gain the most at approximately $1 billion over those same three years. Combine this with the 1.9x higher customer retention seen by experience-driven businesses, and it becomes clear that pairing customer experience with innovation promotes positive, long-term impact.
What Is Customer Experience Innovation?
Customer experience innovation is the practice of providing personalized (Know Me), memorable (Surprise Me), and helpful (Make It Easy for Me) products or services that stand out from those in the broader marketplace. Together, Know Me, Surprise Me, and Make It Easy for Me act as levers in a surprise and delight strategy that powers customer experience innovation.
Examples exist all around us:
Know Me: Amazon adapting product recommendations based on past searches and available data through predictive analytics
Surprise Me: Chewy gifting customers custom portraits of their pets
Make It Easy for Me: Warby Parker offering virtual try-ons to simplify the buying process
At RevGen, we’ve defined customer experience innovation workshops as a rapid-start methodology to inspire what’s next for our clients’ futures. A CX innovation workshop is intended to make sense of disparate data and address pain points found in customer journeys, leveraging these learnings to devise strategic enhancements across organizations. These workshops follow a tried-and-true format:
1. Review existing data, including any current customer journeys, personas, and processes, to identify pain points during moments that matter — moments that are critical to a customer’s experience.
2. Prioritize pain points to address based on effort and impact through the lens of Know Me, Surprise Me, and Make It Easy for Me.
3. Define ideal customer journeys for each moment that matters that involves a pain point to be addressed; additionally, define service blueprints to drive cross-functional support and collaboration.
4. Identify recommendations for quick wins as well as a longer-term roadmap.
By bringing together stakeholders from across the organization to workshop customer experience innovation, companies are able to engage with creativity while also centering the common denominator of every department: the customer. In this way, a customer experience innovation workshop also serves to jump-start the customer-centricity needed to propel truly impactful innovation.
We’ve instilled innovation as a practice across our own firm. We put substantial time and research into our approach to innovation and even hold an annual Innovation Challenge to bring colleagues together from across our services to tackle real-world problems and innovate solutions. Through these efforts, we’ve seen the benefits of customer experience innovation firsthand and know the value it can offer organizations.
Evan Struke is a CX subject matter expert and serves as our CX Services Project Manager. She is passionate about helping clients drive meaningful value by keeping the customer at the heart of digital delivery and transformation.
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