As far as buzzwords go, this one takes the proverbial cake.

Customer experience. 

Heck, Forrester Research calls it the age of the customer. Tools are geared around it, and it's the name of some platforms.

The hype's definitely here. But hasn't it always been this way? I mean, really, since the first customer exchange ever, hasn't it always been about customer experience? 

Sometimes it seems we're more in the "Age of Everything Has a Name" than the age of the customer.

We do, however, agree that customers are everything.

That's the premise of "CX Day," a global initiative by the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA), which arrives today with message to "spread the love."

OK, we'll get in on that lovin'.

We take a look back today at some great customer experience-driven pieces from our own CMSWire community over the last 10 months: 

6 Dimensions of Customer Experience

In January, Amith Parameshwara got us warmed up by outlining the six pieces of the customer experience puzzle.

Parameshwara got the idea to define customer experience and create the best customer experience as he worked on an assignment to increase sales from the digital channel of a hospitality giant. 

What does “great customer experience" mean, he wondered, before coming up with an answer:

"Divide the customer experience into six dimensions that can work cohesively to improve the requisite 'experience' to customers, provide competitive differentiation and even affect the bottom line."

Tweet to Amith Parameshwara.

Everyone's Job

Dan McAuliffe in August told us that customer experience is a true team effort. Whenever the phrase "it's not my job," is uttered in the business enterprise, it opens a much larger issue, especially for those working in the trade of customer and user experience.

Those words, McAuliffe wrote, are a "crack in the foundational values of good customer experience."

"Customer experience is a function of people," McAuliffe continued. "It’s fickle and fragile. It thrives on collaboration and is cultivated by the actions (both direct and indirect) of every employee at a company. It is a shared responsibility and vision. Any one person can help to improve customer experience, and, in the blink of eye, any one person can destroy it."

Customer experience, he said, cannot be tied to a task. It's a shared responsibility, and therefore, everyone's job.

Tweet to Dan McAuliffe.

Still About Working Together

With the abundance of devices and connectivity today, humans still yearn for a special connection for themselves, Maria Ogneva wrote in January.

"As our communications tools improved, the radius of our connections increased — until the whole world was at our fingertips," Ogneva wrote. "Now, we are moving into a time when our connected devices are helping us connect to the world around us, in ways we couldn't dream of."

Retain humanness, Ogneva preached, because we humans can make sense of data. But we are also an "integral part of your system’s resilience — in times of uncertainty, or when the system is stretched to the limit." 

Tweet to Maria Ogneva.

When DAM and CXM Meet

Digital assets and digital experiences fuel customer experiences, and keeping digital asset management (DAM) siloed from other strategies stifle business.

That was the August message of Mark Floisand.

"By integrating DAM with customer experience management (CXM), brands can quickly and easily deliver rich media content," Floisand wrote. "This contributes to more personalized, relevant and efficiently-delivered customer interactions. Three magical things happen with the marriage of CXM and DAM."

Neither IT nor marketing should be searching for assets, worrying about permissions or manually matching assets with particular customer interactions, Floisand wrote. DAM and CXM can help to connect these things.

"As consumer behaviors and expectations change," he wrote, "so must the ways in which brands formulate their selling strategies, invest in their marketing technologies and, ultimately, present their digital content to their customers."

Tweet to Mark Floisand.

Customers: Understand Me

Customers today have a simple message, according to Christine Crandell: understand me from my vantage point.

In May, Crandell wrote vendors need to understand that buyer needs evolve rapidly over the relationship lifecycle.

"Buyers look at their vendor relationships holistically," she wrote. "Unfortunately, vendors stubbornly continue to look at their customer relationships from the vantage of a point in time."

Crandell asked businesses: Do you want to lead your own change or have it forced upon you?

"Either way you will have to change because helping is the new selling," she wrote. "While focusing on isolated experiences or optimizing journey segments can be measured and reported, you’re just making the road to your goal much longer. A better approach is to start with a deep, holistic understanding of the customers’ perspective, crafting a change management strategy and plan from it. You’ll find this will lead to faster measurable results that are sustainable."

Tweet to Christine Crandell.

Title image by Brad Lauster  (Flickr) via a CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 license.