Have you ever noticed how and when business processes become over generalized?

Given my primary role as a public relations counselor, I have seen my fair share of terminology and jargon become part of the mainstream business vernacular. Forbes magazine has even gone so far as to create an annual list of business jargon that needs to be retired.

We have seen way too many people become risk management consultants

Do a Web search for "business process outsourcing" and you see more company names than you can shake a stick at

And let's not forget “providers offering robust solutions,"something I would bet is still being used at some of your companies

Beyond a Catchphrase

Like many of you, I love the promise of digital experience — the seamless interactions across touchpoints, the personalized, efficient, consistent customer interactions.

But I'm becoming increasingly concerned that the words digital experience are being tossed around with less thought than they deserve. They’re becoming common — and risk becoming cliche.

Want proof? Let's go back to when "quality" was the buzz.

Products and services would claim they had quality (along with value, another fave term of mine).

Quality control officers became more rampant in companies that were doing more than manufacturing goods and services. Quality consultants, Chief Quality Officers and other fancy job titles started showing up on business cards.

I would go to trade shows and see people present ways on how to integrate quality in an entire organization.

But here's the thing. Doesn’t everyone want quality? Would companies make things that are expected to be low quality?

How does the quality of Dunkin’ Donuts differ from the quality of Starbucks? Does price point and ambiance improve the quality of one brand over another?

A Concept in Search of Definition

This is where I see digital experience headed because there is no clear definition and so many interpretations.

I have worked with several companies over the years to make sure that they drew established lines in the sand amongst competitors.

I’m taking digital experience on as a client for a couple of paragraphs, providing it with a suggested path to ensure it stays meaningful for the long-term.

  1. Use digital experience as a verb as much as a noun. People want actions more than processes. Give people a reason to act upon an experience as opposed to merely describing it.
  2. Discern between experiences and interactions — and embrace both of them. Retailers often talk about the experience the consumer has with its brand, when the reality is that they are looking at one specific instance and not the totality of the situation.
  3. Think about your product's/service's path to purchase to determine if consumers are having interactions or experiences. Consumers define experiences for brands, and not the other way around. Pushing an experience upon a customer might deter someone from pursuing that brand in the future.
  4. Ask your company C-suite — and those of your clients — if they understand the difference between experience and interaction. Better yet, ask them to put themselves in the consumer’s shoes while she is shopping and see if there is clear comprehension of what encompasses experience. I bet there will be deficiencies in several organizations.

I’m hoping that those reading this article will build upon these thoughts to define digital experience better than I have done here.

But let’s work together to ensure the phrase discerns itself from mere jargon and toward more action.

You can learn more about digital experience at CMSWire's DX Summit in Chicago on November 3 and 4. Find out more here.