How does your business approach the stages that make up the customer journey? Our contributors this week offered macro and micro views of the customer life cycle.

Must Reads

1. In this, the first in a three part investigation of the customer life cycle, Ian Truscott tackles the most obvious, and yet still elusive element in the equation: the customer. Navigating the 3 C's of Customer Experience - Step One: The Customer

Implementing CXM often requires significant organizational change and enterprises are defining new business functions and units to be the hub of managing the customer experience. To lead these new business units and initiatives, organizations are creating new senior roles to represent the customer and be an advocate of their needs, often in the C suite. Read more

2. Contributor Bonnie Thomas takes the effects of customer service on the customer life cycle very personally in her How Much Do Service Experiences Matter to the Customer Life Cycle? Ask USAA. Holding up her insurance company as an example, she explores the strong ripple effects that a commitment to customer service can have for a brand:

USAA didn’t begin as a business that embraced community. It began as a community that embraced business. I suspect this is what gives them their stand-out ability to create deep, lasting very positive customer relationships. But whether their community roots are truly responsible for their continued commitment service excellence, I really can’t say. That they continue to deliver the best services experiences I’ve known is certain. Read more 

3. We all dream of one simple solution to all of our problems, so who can blame businesses for searching for them? Barry Schaeffer thinks there are some hard questions that businesses should consider before turning to an all-in-one software solution in his Considering an ERP Solution? A Note of Caution

In the final analysis, with ERP and other areas of operation, it's well remembered that the weight of the acronym does not by itself set the bar for acceptable effort and success. What appears so logical in the PowerPoint sales presentation often doesn't work in real life and business, and not careening off the ERP high dive doesn't necessarily constitute a failure to stay abreast of the information world. Read more

Further Reading