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What is Customer Experience?

Question:

Discuss About The Definition Integrated Customer Experience?

Customer experience can be defined as the response of the customers to the company regarding the experience they had at the time of using their services or products. The customers can directly contact the company to share their views or indirectly post their comments somewhere to share their opinions about the products and serves they have used. Integrated customer behaviour is the term that is used when the customer’s experiences are used as the basis or the starting point if everything that the company do (Botha & Van Rensburg, 2010).  In today’s era, it is very important for the companies to integrate the customer’s experiences in their strategies so that they can cater the market better. Marketing is done by the companies for conversion of the respect in the customer. Conversion is also done to make the normal customers a loyal one and this can happen only when the customers experience is excellent with the company. Thus, Taking integrated customers experience as the basis of conversion strategies of the company is very useful and essential. Customer’s experiences can be linked to the expectation of the customers and the promises of the company. The conversion can only happen if the company can live up to the expectations of the customers which are developed in accordance with the promises of the company (Mosley, 2007). Customers experience is very crucial for brand image. Customers make a perception about the products when the brand image is associated with it. If that perception deviates then it becomes difficult for the companies to give better experiences to the customers. Perception cannot be controlled by the companies but it can be altered as per the situation and by applying some of the strategies. There are different types of experiences that the customers go through and thus it is difficult to measure the experiences.

As per the definition of the customer’s experience, it has been analysed that it is the response of the customer’s feelings that they have experienced at the time of using the products or the service. It is not just the products or service that affects the experience but many external factors have their impact on the customer’s experience (Schmitt, 2010). An example of a restaurant service can be taken. If the ambience of the restaurant is good and the food is not good then also a customer can claim that he or she had good time there because of the ambience and other services. It has been discussed that measuring customer experiences is very important for the companies and as there are many factors that affect the customers experience thus it is required by the companies to categorize these customers’ experiences. Below is the figure that categorizes the customer’s experiences on some bases:

Importance of Integrated Customer Experience

The customer’s experiences above are based on the standardization of the business process and the engagement of the customers in a particular situation. It has been analysed that most of the customers experience the situation that is defined in the last right corner quadrant that is business as usual. This is the situation where the standardization of the business process is very high while the customer’s engagement is very low (Meyer & Schwager, 2007). Here, the repetitive truncations are made by the company and the customers. It can be associated with the daily life activities such as making debit card payment of buying something from the one retailer. These are the activities that give the business as usual kind of customer experiences to the customers and this is the most obvious experience that customers feel in their daily lives. In this situation, the companies can make the system automated by assuming the possible situation that can be generated (Nagasawa, 2008). For example when the iTunes remind the customer that they already bought the item they are going to buy, it is not the one spot decision that has been made but the company has already set some of the rules according to the most probable situation that can happen with the customer.


The upper right corner of the matrix deals with the predictable customer’s lifecycle events. It is the situation where the process is standardized but at the same time the customers are also engage to a high extent (Yi, Y., & Gong, 2009). It can be understood with an example such as getting the first bill from the mobile network company. In tis, the company have already perceived that the customers will want to know about the high amount that has been charged with them in the bill and the customers will equally be interested in knowing and enquiring about the bill. It is the predicted situation by the company and thus a standardized system needs to be made by the companies to handle such types of customer’s experiences. It is not the uncommon situation as every customer will be inquiring for their bill so that company can easily detect the situation and make standard solution to resolve such issues (Smith & Wheeler, 2002).

The third experience is related to quadrant in the left lower corner that is about threat to cost efficiency. It is the situation were the standardization is also low and even the customer engagement is also very low. In this kind of situation, the customer’s experiences do not really matters to the customers as well as to the company. For example, if in a hotel, the billing machine or the computer fails to type a single letter or because of any technical issue the computer fails to take any information of the guest automatically then the manager or the receptionist has to fill the detail manually (Palmer, 2010). This is not a big concern but the computer can be checked by the technician later. In this situation not the customers and not even the company is interested. So, these are the experiences that really don’t matter and cannot be predicted by the company to make any standardized solution for it.

Categorization of Customer Experiences

The last quadrant deals with surprises, trials and tribulations. It is most threatening and dangerous situation for the company because the customers are highly engaged in the situation but the company does not have any pre planned solution to resolve the same. This is the situation where the customers experience can be negative and can affect the brand image of the company adversely

(Homburg, Jozi? & Kuehnl, 2017). This might happens sometimes that the problem is there but the company does not have any idea about it and even does not have any standard plans for that problem which may be surprisingly experienced by the customers and can create a negative impact. This is the most critical situation that should be handled calmly by the company.

Many times, the customers of the company can get this kind of situation. The companies these days are appointing many people in the customers support area while some of them have a full department that only deals with customers and resolve their issues. These are the strategies that as make the customer experiences and also helps the company to make their brand image in the market (Johnston & Kong, 2011).

With the above discussion, it has clearly been mentioned that customers experiences are very important element that needs to be integrated in the business processes and strategies so that the company can cater the market in effective way with good brand image. One of the most important benefits for the company by integrating customer experience is innovation. When any of the takes customer experience as the basis of their strategy formation process then it becomes easier for the company to innovate the products med the services according to the preferences of the customers (Grewal, Levy & Kumar, 2009). Also, the innovation made with this basis has less chances of getting failed. Another important benefit for the company by customer experience is brand image. Predicting the situation or the problems that the customers can face in future and making standardized solution for them is the most effective way of developing the brand image of the company (Puccinelli, Goodstein, Grewal, Price, Raghubir & Stewart, 2009). There are some other advantages as well such as development of effective strategies, catering market effectively, developing the customer oriented approach etc.

In addition to it, the company also face some of the challenges in terms of integrating customer experience in their business (Lemke, Clark & Wilson, 2011). One of the biggest challenges is regarding the identification and prediction of the customer experience. This is because there are different customers having different point of views. It is not necessary that every customer have similar experiences in similar situations (Wen, Prybutok, V & Xu, 2011). Thus, the companies have to assume the most common behaviour of the customers to predict the situations that can be generated in future. It is very difficult to cater the market with the same strategies as different market and customers have different preferences. Similarly, it is also difficult to categories the customer experience in the similar manner as different market and customers have different nature.

Benefits of Integrating Customer Experience for Businesses

It has been recommended to the business that integrating customer experience is one of the best approaches to be used to develop the brand image of the firm but at same time the company has to find an approach to categorize the customer experience according to the market. Most of the companies have installed the customer support system in their processes so that the customers can easily contact the company with their issues (Frow & Payne, 2007). This is because resolving the issues of the customers also generates a different kind of customer experience amongst the customers. If the roble is resolved easily then the customers feels happy. Satisfying each and every customer is not possible. So, the only solution to make the services better is to cater the needs of the customers according to their nature and supporting them even after selling the products or the services to then (Rahman, 2006). This will help the companies to be in the good books of the customers and can also deliver better customer experience.

Conclusion:

Customer experience can be defined as the response of the customers to the company regarding the experience they had at the time of suing their services or products. In today’s era, it is very important for the companies to integrate the customer’s experiences in their strategies so that they can cater the market better. Customers make a perception about the products when the brand image is associated with it. If that perception deviates then it becomes difficult for the companies to give better experiences to the customers. There are different types of experiences that the customers go through and thus it is difficult to measure the experiences. There are four types of customer experiences. The first one is predictable life events, threat to cost efficiency, business as usual and surprises. It has different advantages and disadvantages for the company.  It has been recommended to the business that integrating customer experience is one of the best approaches to be used to develop the brand image of the firm but at same time the company has to find an approach to categorize the customer experience according to the market.

References:

Botha, G. J., & Van Rensburg, A. C. (2010). Proposed business process improvement model with integrated customer experience management: general articles. South African Journal of Industrial Engineering, 21(1), 45-57.

Grewal, D., Levy, M., & Kumar, V. (2009). Customer experience management in retailing: an organizing framework. Journal of retailing, 85(1), 1-14.

Homburg, C., Jozi?, D., & Kuehnl, C. (2017). Customer experience management: toward implementing an evolving marketing concept. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 45(3), 377-401.

Johnston, R., & Kong, X. (2011). The customer experience: a road-map for improvement. Managing Service Quality: An International Journal, 21(1), 5-24.

Lemke, F., Clark, M., & Wilson, H. (2011). Customer experience quality: an exploration in business and consumer contexts using repertory grid technique. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 39(6), 846-869.

Meyer, C., & Schwager, A. (2007). Customer Experience. Harvard business review, 1-11.

Mosley, R. W. (2007). Customer experience, organisational culture and the employer brand. Journal of Brand Management, 15(2), 123-134.

Palmer, A. (2010). Customer experience management: a critical review of an emerging idea. Journal of Services marketing, 24(3), 196-208.

Puccinelli, N. M., Goodstein, R. C., Grewal, D., Price, R., Raghubir, P., & Stewart, D. (2009). Customer experience management in retailing: understanding the buying process. Journal of retailing, 85(1), 15-30.

Schmitt, B. H. (2010). Customer experience management: A revolutionary approach to connecting with your customers. John Wiley & Sons.

Smith, S., & Wheeler, J. (2002). Managing the customer experience: Turning customers into advocates. Pearson Education.

Wen, C., Prybutok, V. R., & Xu, C. (2011). An integrated model for customer online repurchase intention. Journal of Computer Information Systems, 52(1), 14-23.

Yi, Y., & Gong, T. (2009). An integrated model of customer social exchange relationship: the moderating role of customer experience. The Service Industries Journal, 29(11), 1513-1528.

Frow, P., & Payne, A. (2007). Towards the ‘perfect’customer experience. Journal of Brand Management, 15(2), 89-101.

Nagasawa, S. Y. (2008). Customer experience management: Influencing on human Kansei to management of technology. The TQM Journal, 20(4), 312-323.

Rahman, Z. (2006). Customer experience management—A case study of an Indian bank. Journal of Database Marketing & Customer Strategy Management, 13(3), 203-221.

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