A new IPA report investigates the complexities and tensions surrounding Customer Experience to provide a four-step framework and a new formula to unlock the value of this significant area.
The report was launched as part of the free, virtual IPA-led EffWorks Global 2020 Conference by report author, former Samsung analytics expert Nick Milne.
Customer Experience is complex, but the ‘Positive Brand Friction’ report demonstrates that getting Customer Experience right is increasingly key to unlocking the growth potential of many organisations. According to the findings, when managed effectively, it delivers value and distinctiveness that is seen in commercial performance and doesn’t have to be considered as simply a cost centre.
Based on in-depth interviews and online workshops with CX consultancies, marketing, media, advertising and marketing-services agencies, and brands (including L’Oreal, Lloyds Banking Group, Samsung, Eve, Centrica, TfL and more), this report highlights the tensions which make Customer Experience a complex area to master, including:
In the process of segmenting Customer Experience, the report uncovers the concept of ‘positive brand friction’ and the value that this can bring to unlocking growth potential. This is something the report defines as ‘purposefully slowing the experience down in a way that accentuates the brand and positively impacts the experience without making it harder for the customer’.
With this idea of positive brand friction in mind, it goes on to outline four focus areas to help navigate and overcome the identified Customer Experience tensions.
Says report author Nick Milne, Founder and Director, Go Ignite Consulting: "Due to COVID-19, organisations, more than ever, need to be more aligned, more integrated, more agile, and really clear around how to best use all growth levers to aid their financial recovery. From a Marketing perspective this throws open the challenge of whether organisations are being as impactful as they can be in delivering the right distinctive key moments across all paid and earned touchpoints with customers. Customer Experience is a major lever to that growth. It is complex, but we hope this framework of where organisations should look to unlock its potential and change the culture of their organisations will help to drive their short and long-term success."
With Customer Experience being the buzz phrase of the moment, we were curious to explore the role of brand thinking and customer insight in this new discipline. As we can see from this report, Customer Experience needs to complement and build on brand marketing and communications to provide an integrated and memorable consumer proposition. Indeed, brand understanding lies at the heart of the Experience Value equation and can provide invaluable, predictable incremental returns.