About Them Continuums

(this is a cross-post of a short post I wrote for Ciboodle, a client, to introduce a research white paper I wrote)

I recently wrote an article about what an Experience Continuum is –published at MyCustomer.com – and how organizations can go about adopting the model.

It is not as simple as snapping your fingers, but it is part of the planning process that organizations are undergoing right now with the advent of the social customer.  It is part of figuring how to stop pushing “stuff” out to the customers, stop trying to obligate them to do things in a certain manner and instead try to partner with them, work together, and leverage communities to build a better business.

The problem that most organizations have in embracing this new model is that they are still doing business based on the traditional sales cycle of target-acquire-support-retain, which obligates them to think of the customer as being ready to enter, or already in, one of those stages.  If the customer behaves in a different manner (customers that know more about the business and the product based on their participating in communities, for example), the cycle breaks down and is unable to perform as expected.  The new “social model” where customers are more-knowing and feel more-empowered to deal with the organization in their own term, not the business’ terms, mandates the lifecycle to change.

And this is where the continuum comes in.  The continuum assumes that the customer is going to interact with the company, at any time, via any channel of their choice – and they will provide feedback on how to do it better next time.  They are no longer just looking for support information post-sale, they are looking for marketing materials to purchase the next item.  Retaining them is no longer limited to providing good service, it is now imperative to integrate their feedback into out methods for creating better processes.

The customer is no longer just waiting for the business to tell them how to interact and through which channel, they will come across all channels they have available and expect impeccable service, personal interactions, and to be listened to – both directly and indirectly via their communities.

How can a lifecycle do that? It can’t.

Welcome to Customer Experience Continuums.  Download this white paper to learn more about them.

4 thoughts on “About Them Continuums”

  1. It is nice to start thinking in this way with the old #cem processes changing as the mediums in which we interact change. Continuums are better because the need to have a start and finish to the experience was always a flaw.. Downloading your white paper now.. Thanks for the great work my name sake Sir Esteban.

    Steve

  2. Completely agreed – it is a continuum. I’ve always pictured it as a virtuous circle, so I’m really curious how you look at it. (Downloading your white paper now.) Not sure about the focus on marketing materials though – your post still appears to be more product than customer focused. Is that intentional?

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