[Executive Corner] A New Era of Customer Experience
Recently, we’ve introduced many revolutionary products, such as an indoor gardening appliance that lets you grow your own greens and flowers in the comfort of your own home and a laundry solution that packs a full-size washer and dryer into a single unit – automatically applying the optimal drying cycle for unparalleled user convenience. With user-centric innovations like these, LG and other like-minded companies are helping usher in an exciting, new era of customer experience (CX).
At the essence of CX is an increased focus on how customers feel when they experience a particular brand, product and service. Nowadays, comprehensively understanding CX has never been more fundamental for company growth. No longer confined to customer-product interactions, CX refers to the total flow of any interactions between the company and the customer, targeting all the experiences and emotions that customers have and feel from the moment they first learn about a product or service, to purchase, use, repair, disposal and so on.
Considering the emotions and reactions that customers have, CX – if done properly – goes beyond traditional definitions to provide value that surpasses customers’ expectations, successively increasing the attractiveness or appeal of a brand, product or service. And, with the recent business landscape reorganizing around online and omni-channels, ‘digital’ has also become an integral part of CX and a key priority for companies.
The Age of Relational Value: The Customer-Company Interaction
The channels that users encounter and experience in the digital sphere are so diverse, with substantial variables in terms of the emotional responses elicited. While all variables cannot be controlled, the direction or even the degree of satisfaction can be modified by removing the source of dissatisfaction. Thorough analysis allows companies to determine what these may be and, subsequently, proactively respond to remove them from the equation. Brand competitiveness comes from offering a CX that fosters an emotional relationship with the customer and, to be successful at this, brands must be effective at increasing the positive emotions their customers experience.
In the past, having competitive technologies or products and an aggressive marketing strategy was sufficient. However, in this new era, a company must focus all available resources on the needs of the customer. CX, which includes direct, indirect and even virtual experiences, is where all such efforts come together. Direct experience comprises various categories, including exploration experience, purchase experience and user experience, along with the sharing and resale experience. For companies to compete in today’s market, offering a differentiated CX is essential, especially where the MZ Generation (a widely-used term in South Korea that encompasses Millennials and Gen Z) is concerned. With members of this group already accustomed to experiential marketing, designing a diverse range of experiences for them is exceptionally complex.
Favoring unique shopping experiences both online and offline, the MZ Generation generally opt for experiences with optimized digital convenience and minimal interruptions. To provide a seamless CX without any hassle, companies are actively undertaking an array of digital transformation (DX) initiatives. From a micro perspective, DX plays a significant role in CX, enabling companies to resolve pain points in a short period of time – exactly what consumers expect and demand in today’s market. The ultimate goal is the innovation of CX, something that is now essential. Conducted continuously in the background, silent and subtle support for better CX backed up by variable data serves as a steppingstone on the path to building strong and lasting relationships with customers.
At its core, CX is a journey where brand loyalty is earned through the development of trust as well as the delivery of immersive experiences. Cyclical in nature, the CX journey repeats again and again, creating a genuine connection with customers that grows over time. With CX, the concept of customer loyalty, which had been all but abandoned in recent years, is reborn and reimagined for a new era.
By Lee Hyang-eun, managing director of the Customer Experience Innovation Division at LG Electronics
Learn more about the areas of CX that LG will be focusing on in the future in the second part of this series, coming soon to Beyond News.
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