The ability to understand customer experience through the customer journey is an essential aspect of any firm. Customers are interacting with businesses at various touch points (point of contact between the buyer and seller) all the time. The interactions take place in some channels resulting in the customer experiences being more social in nature. As such, firms have to combine multi-business functions and external partners all to ensure that the customer has a positive experience at the place of business.
Customer Experience Defined
Customer experience “encompassing every aspect of the company’s offering – the quality of customer care, of course, but also advertising, packaging, product and service functions, ease of use, and reliability. It is the internal and subjective response customers have to any direct or indirect contact with the company” (Meyer and Schwager 2007, p.2).
There is a great need for firms to increase their focus on customer experience because customers are now interacting with them through different touch points in many online and offline channels and media resulting in the diverse customer journey. Customer experiences are more social in nature, and as such, businesses have to ensure to integrate various business functions that will assist in delivering positive customer experiences. For many years, firms have been confronted with an increase in media fragmentation. Even further, customer – to – customer social media interactions are creating both challenges and opportunities for businesses.
Over the years, firms have had much less control over the customer journey and customer experience which has resulted in negative behaviors like showrooming (entering a store to examine the product before purchasing it online at a lower price). The surge in the potential customer touch points and the limited control of their experience has required firms to integrate many multi-business functions such as marketing, human resources, and information technology to assist in the creation of delivering exceptional customer experiences.