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An Oracle White Paper
February 2012

Seven Power Lessons
for Customer Experience Leaders

Seven Power Lessons for Customer Experience Leaders

Introduction
Customer experience—the sum total of all the interactions a customer has with your brand during their customer lifecycle—has become the critical differentiator in today’s hypercompetitive, hyperconnected global marketplace. Differentiation based on product innovation is no longer sustainable because competitors can leapfrog feature/function advantages more quickly than ever. And differentiation based on price kills profitability. On the other hand, research shows that 86 percent of consumers said they would be willing to pay more for a better customer experience.

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To optimize both your market share and your margins, you must provide customers with consistent, compelling experiences—before, during, and after their purchases—across all channels. The tremendous impact that customer experience has on business performance is also evident on the downside. Nowadays, when customers have a bad experience with a company, they don’t keep it to themselves; they instantly start venting on social networks. This means you don’t just lose one customer; you lose many, hindering new and existing opportunities to grow your business. You also lose brand value and positive word of mouth— which may be the only truly cost-effective form of advertising left. There are many things organizations need to do to deliver a superior customer experience. They must respond quickly to customer requests. They must ensure that customer interactions are highly personalized. And they must deliver the right information to the right place at the right time.

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2011 Customer Experience Impact Report conducted by Harris Interactive

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Seven Power Lessons for Customer Experience Leaders

Investments in improving the customer experience start by understanding the customer lifecycle, making business changes that unify the customer experience across all channels, and measuring the value of these changes to both the business and the customer. For upper managers, the challenge doesn’t come in making incremental improvements to the company contact center or Website. Instead, it comes in shifting the strategic focus to providing stellar customer experience—empowering the people in the organization who are connected to each step along the customer’s lifecycle to do what’s needed individually and collectively to deliver compelling and consistent experiences. Customer experience leadership, however, is not easy, and there are all kinds of issues that can derail even the best-intentioned customer experience initiatives. That’s why so many companies fail to achieve customer experience excellence. But just as there exist a few issues that typically derail corporate customer experience initiatives, there are also best practices that can enable customer experience leaders to overcome these issues. The following seven power lessons are derived from real-world experiences of successful customer experience leaders. By applying these lessons, you can better ensure the success of your company’s customer experience initiatives—and avoid the most common and potentially disastrous customer experience pitfalls—so that you can optimally affect your company’s topline revenue, bottom-line profitability, and long-term brand value.

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Seven Power Lessons for Customer Experience Leaders

“Research shows that 86 percent of consumers will pay more for a better customer experience.” Harris Interactive, 2011 Customer Experience Impact Report

Power Lesson 1: Customer Experience Is Political
A top cable provider engaged in a major battle for market dominance has a strategy for increasing per-customer revenue through enhanced content and service offerings. One of the company’s top managers proposes a major Website redesign to promote these offerings and steer customers toward incremental purchases. Another...
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