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Über dieses Buch

Now, more than ever, customer experience plays a pivotal role in the success and longevity of a company. Based on rigorous scientific tools and global data, this book offers a simple but thorough guide on how to master the challenges of the market, and how to deliver superior performance through effective customer experience management.



Chapter 1. Customer Experience: The Origins and Importance for Your Business

Today’s organizations have a new, overarching, and often overwhelming challenge to successfully manage the customer experience. This challenge ranges from seeking how to create compelling customer experiences through all stages of the customer’s engagement, to managing the customer’s expectations and assessing it, before, during, and after the buying process (Berry et al. 2002). There is widespread agreement that customer experience is different from, and more complex than, service quality (e.g., Schembri 2006) and customer satisfaction (e.g., Verhoef et al. 2009), and that it is context specific (Lemke et al. 2011). This makes it difficult for scholars, researchers, and consultants both to assist managers in understanding customer experience and suggest generic “best practice” to them. It is therefore up to managers to interpret this emerging concept and make sense of its implementation (Maklan & Klaus 2011).

Philipp Klaus

Chapter 2. CX Strategies and Management Practices

We know from the points discussed in Chapter 1 that implementing a CX strategy is challenging. CX’s suffers from its broad, holistic definition; it covers an extended time frame, every customer touch point, and both emotional and functional responses. Managers, in order to master this challenge, need to define a clear scope that matches their strategy, and determine an achievable plan to develop it. Given the suggested contextual nature of CX, it is unlikely that researchers will be able to develop a comprehensive and universal guide to CX implementation quickly. Similarly, consultants will not find it easy to develop universal best practices to reduce the risk of failed implementations. The vast majority of scholars exhort managers to do everything they can, based on the unchallenged assumption that only the truly committed and ambitious will succeed (Prahalad & Hamel 1990). However, a large-scale, comprehensive CX program may be beyond the immediate reach of most firms, and may not be considered desirable by all companies on account of their individual strategies. Just think about budget airlines, such as Ryanair, where the customer experience is not considered to be an integral strategic factor. Thus, what is the best approach to master these challenges? First, we need to establish a typology of CX practice based upon how firms actually strategize, practice, and manage their customer experience programs. This typology allows managers to define a level of ambition, scope their efforts, and calibrate their investment accordingly. A typology of CX management is therefore an ideal starting point for firms that want to understand the quality of existing CX practice and plan for CX development systematically.

Philipp Klaus

Chapter 3. The 5 Dimensions of CX Management

Managers report a wide range of reasons and objectives for initiating their CX programs. Only three of the interviewees, however, articulated a precise definition for their CX strategy/program. Only two managers could identify measurable targets for their CX management. Most of the informants described CX in very broad and ambitious terms, which we felt were somewhat vague. For example, four managers expressed the opinion that customers’ expectations of services and value were increasing all the time, and that this trend led them to feel that they had to keep up with their competitors – they regard experience as being a new front in competition in their industry. However, these managers offered very little insight into why this is the case and/or why this is particularly true in their industry. The managers’ assertion was often supported by anecdotes of extremely positive or negative customer experiences, which enabled them to lay out the case for improvement in a heuristic way. The managers defined their heuristic approach as experience-based techniques for problem-solving and learning, leading to discoveries and subsequent solutions which are not guaranteed to be optimal – a “learning-by-doing” approach. A manager from a major bank said that his organization began focusing on CX when it encountered high rates of customer defection, despite enjoying higher levels in measures of customer satisfaction than its competitors.

Philipp Klaus

Chapter 4. The 3 Types of CX Management Practice

In order to produce a typology of CX practice, we use the CX strategy and management dimensions we explored and established in the last chapter. Our primary research team, consisting of some of the leading marketing researchers, scrutinized each of the 14 CX case studies and interviews individually, according to the five dimensions of CX practice. In order to do this, we converted the key ingredients of each dimension in a corresponding statement (see Table 3.2).

Philipp Klaus

Chapter 5. Linking CX Practices to Profitability

Researchers, managers, and consultants alike champion the notion that optimizing the customer experience is the key strategy for generating enhanced sales revenues, market share, and profitability. However, until now, there was no typology to assist us in the task of putting this notion to the test and establishing which strategies are the most profitable ones.

Philipp Klaus

Chapter 6. Your CX Management Balance Sheet: Where Are You and Where Do You Want to Be? How to Get from A (Current State) to B – A Step-by-Step Approach

In terms of annual average sales growth during the last three years, this converts into Vanguards 12 percent, Transformers 5 percent, Preservers 2 percent. In terms of performance, the lowest variance, as in performance values deviating from the average, is found in the Vanguard cluster, while the widest spread is, almost by definition, present in the Transformer cluster. Of course, there are slight differences inside the clusters, too. For example, not all Vanguards perform equally, but the overall message in terms of who is outperforming whom across all sectors, industries, and other possible factors, is clear – Vanguards.

Philipp Klaus

Chapter 7. The Devil Is in the Details – Only What Get Measured Gets Managed

Management guru Peter Drucker once said, “[only] what gets measured, gets managed.” As we could clearly document, this applies in particular to the challenges firms face in measuring their customers’ experience and its impact on the firm’s performance. Even Vanguards see the measurement of CX as a, if not the, key challenge for their CX strategy’s success.

Philipp Klaus

Chapter 8. Best Practice vs. Next Practice

Let’s reflect upon what we have covered up to this point. We have learned about the history of CX, CX strategies, and management practices. We have established CX as the next competitive battleground. Firms have no other strategic option – they need to engage in CX management. Nevertheless, there are different options available on how to manage CX, and we have established the three practices as being Preservers, Transformers, and Vanguards. These practices differ across all dimensions of CX management and, more importantly, achieve different amounts of profitability. Vanguards outperform the others by far, leading us to focus on their practices. We explored, using three examples, how each and every firm can develop a Vanguard strategy using a step-by-step approach. Next, we presented the most crucial factor in a firm’s performance: the challenge of measuring the customer experience. We introduced EXQ as a comprehensive CX quality measurement, and established its superior explanatory and predictive powers.

Philipp Klaus

Chapter 9. Concluding Thoughts

It’s time to reflect and ask, “Did Measuring Customer Experience deliver (the experience) I was looking for?” We started by stating that we are entering the CX age – an era where customers call the shots and success will be based on how well firms can rise to meet customer demands and expectations. Only firms that deliver desired customer experiences will survive in the next competitive battleground. But how can this be achieved?

Philipp Klaus

Chapter 10. The Science behind the Knowledge

Very often managers ask me if they can simply use data they have already collected in order to move towards becoming a Vanguard or to measure customer experience. While I understand the allure that existing data has in terms of immediate availability and no added costs, the shortcomings of the data outweigh any possible benefits. It’s quite simple: if you don’t ask the right questions in order to develop a Vanguard strategy or measure customer experience, the answers will be a poor fit for the challenges you are trying to address. Retrofitting data and insight is not recommended and can also be counterproductive to the firm’s aim of developing long-term profitability. Don’t get me wrong – the data and resulting insights you already have are valuable. However, the data need to be used at the right time and in the right place. In most cases the firms we encounter are perfectly able to determine what their customers are doing. Moreover, firms gain insight on how and when their customers act, and how these actions can be stimulated. But while what and how are answered perfectly, the missing insight is often why customers act (or do not) act in a particular way. Without the why, the what, how, and when make very little sense. Answering the why questions requires a different set of research skills, patience, and a longitudinal view on how to gain insight. Exploratory, qualitative, longitudinal research using insights from psychology isn’t often used in the fast-paced business environment. In particular, in the holistic CX management domain, the complexity – the nature of the beast – can only be converted into actions and results if the right methods are chosen right from the start. Developing a measurement of CX quality is a prime example. In our 2011 and 2013 International Journal of Marketing Research articles we described the complexity of the issue in detail. In our article asking if market researchers were using the right measures to help their firms improve customer experience, we established that customer experience was conceptually different from service quality and hence requires a new corresponding measurement (Klaus & Maklan 2007). The role of measurement in successfully implementing and executing strategy is long established and well documented (e.g., Martilla & James 1977). This role is particularly crucial for new emerging paradigm shifts (Bowden 2009) such as the most recent one towards CX management (Smith 2002).

Philipp Klaus


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