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Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Customer Experience, By Any Other Name, is as Sweet for Your Customers

By Stephanie Bannos

The definition of Customer Experience (CX) has evolved over the years and continues to take many forms. Some professionals perceive CX as akin to the customer service relationship. Others use the term interchangeably with Digital Experience. Some consider it a function or philosophy within the marketing organization. And yet, others elect for a more comprehensive definition viewing CX as the culmination of all interactions with a brand across touch points.

Thought: Customer Experience, By Any Other Name, is as Sweet for Your Customers
Customer Experience, By Any Other Name, is as Sweet for Your CustomersStephanie Bannos
Thought: Customer Experience, By Any Other Name, is as Sweet for Your Customers

At Rightpoint, we view CX as everything a brand does to deliver an “experience that works better for people.” This includes the tangible value a brand delivers across its human, physical and digital touchpoints. Our vision includes the intangible as well—the perception a consumer has about the brand’s commitment to its customers and community.

We view customer experience and employee experience as two sides of one coin. The employee’s experience, enablement and how well they embrace the customer-centric mission is critical to achieving a CX vision. Given that the definition of CX is variable across the market, it’s no surprise many companies have coined new, redundant terminology.

Salesforce has claimed the term “Relationship Design” as “…a creative approach to driving business and social value, focused on building relationships with customers, employees and community.” Relationship Design emphasizes understanding behavior and leveraging those insights, achieving a CX design that nurtures and engages consumers, employees and the community. Therefore, while “Relationship Design” is a catchy term, the outcomes it drives towards is no different than the objectives of CX. After all, customer experience inherently stems from designing for strong relationships.  

Another, more recent term that bears a striking similarity to CX is the “Business of Experience” (BX), coined by Accenture. Both this and CX account for how the operating model and organization design must evolve to put the customer at the center. And, BX shares the same goals as CX of driving growth by capturing consumer attention, building brand affinity, and offering seamless and valuable experiences. 

It's understandable that so many CX definitions drive consultancies and agencies to coin their own terminology, but to quote Shakespeare, “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose, by any other name, would smell as sweet.” CX by any other name, whether it's Relationship Design or Business of Experience, is simply about improving relationships and driving growth. The customer is at the center of everything, be they an end-consumer, vendor, supplier or employee.

Our advice to brand buyers is to look past the terminology and semantics to focus on the results being promised. Names tokened by companies like Accenture and Salesforce reflect increased CX investments and underscore the importance of finding a partner who can nail it.

Seek partners who take a qualitative and quantitative approach to understanding the customer and employee. Ensure they view process and technology as enablers of the CX vision and drivers of cross-functional alignment. Not all brands share the same level of CX maturity and ambition, so be wary of playbooks that suggest solutions can be applied off-the-shelf. At Rightpoint, we leverage our flexible "Rightpoint Way" methodology that follows an iterative, highly collaborative cycle. First, we "Frame" and "Shape" the opportunity, then "Create" the solution and "Iterate" against the outcomes. This approach allows us to understand and action the unique nuances of each client’s customer relationships and business objectives.  

The team at Rightpoint is excited to help you achieve your CX goals no matter the label. Get in touch with us to learn more about our approach.