DIFFERENT BUSINESSES. DIFFERENT CAPABILITIES
It’s a basic fact that different businesses will have different capabilities when it comes to interacting and customizing. One company may be able to interact with individual customers by phone, for instance, while another could engage via online chat, email or social. And in terms of the product or services it renders, one firm might have the ability to deliver different types of service to a few broad segments of customers, while another has the ability to track individual customers and modify its service or offering as necessary to meet specific, individual customer demands.
Looking at these two capabilities – interacting and customizing – on a scale, which any individual business could be highly proficient or not so proficient. Your own company’s mix of capabilities when it comes to interacting with, and customizing for, customers will actually define the kind of experience you’re capable of delivering.
Four different kinds of experience
The below matrix outlines four kinds of customer experience, based on a company’s capacity for (1) cost-efficiently and effectively interacting with customers, and (2) customizing its behaviour toward individual customers, based on who they are.
On the lower left, a company that has little ability to either interact with individual customers or customize for them, will rely almost entirely on advertising and promotion, and its product or service offering will be fairly standard for all customers, delivering a mass customer experience designed to be pretty much the same for everyone. This kind of practice is less common in B2B selling, but it could describe the way some large enterprises sell into small-and-medium business market – high volume, low cost.
The “niche” bottom right, is the result of a company that can alter its product in meaningful ways for different types of customers, but isn’t capable of interacting with those customers richly enough to be able to fit specific products to specific customers. Instead, it will market to different niches, using specific one-way messaging. We can find many B2B brands in this quadrant as result of silos and complex internal systems and platforms.
In the upper left a company has the reverse problem: it isn’t capable of customizing or tailoring its product offering, but it does have capability to interact on a real-time basis with individual customers. In this case, you could think of them as delivering a kind of “targeted” customer experience. That is, the customer knows that the firm is interacting and communicating individually, but the communication is not designed to elicit an individual customer’s needs so much as it aimed at positioning and selling the product that the company has available. Loyalty programs fall into this quadrant, for the most part and is a key consideration for when designing ABM programs.
Top right, the company is capable of delivering a genuinely “one-to-one” customer experience. If your business can interact efficiently with customers in real-time, and also tailor your product-service offering for individual customers, then the experience you deliver to the customer will be more meaningful for them and more profitable for you. When a customer interacts with you to tell you how they want to be served, and you tailor that customer’s product or service to meet that specification, the relationship is now “owned” by the both of you. To achieve this at scale requires mastery of data, insight, technology orchestration, channel connectivity and cross department collaboration to achieve – the goal
No company is born into any one quadrant. Business models or internal culture might make it more or less difficult to improve their capability to interact and customize, but no matter where you see your business it’s always possible to create a transformation roadmap to Quadrant 4.
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