Customer experience is a philosophy and culture that puts the customer first in the belief that the best way to meet organizational objectives is to meet customer objectives.

The wrong metrics, the wrong behavior. The right metrics, the right behavior. Many websites measure success based on how many leads the website generates, or how many visitors have come to the website, or how many pages have been looked at, or how much time a customer has spent on the website.

These are crude, organization-centric metrics. These very metrics are often the reason customers have terrible experiences on websites, because the websites are managed in a way that maximizes the achievement of organization objectives.

Traditional marketing looks at a person as a potential lead because the job of marketing is often to feed leads to sales. So, marketing becomes obsessed with lead generation. In this sense, it becomes a purely tactical activity, with the overriding objective of maximizing leads. Everything gets judged through the lead generation lens.

If marketers behaved in the real world like they often do on the web, they’d be constantly punched in the face by irate customers because of their annoying and intrusive tactics. On many websites, for example, there’s a constant debate on how much ‘free’ content to offer, and how much people must signup for.

This whole thinking is poisonous to developing a superior customer experience. Instead of thinking about the customer, you are instead thinking about achieving your organization-centric objectives. It’s all back-to-front from a customer experience perspective.

You’re not focused on helping the customer solve their task. Instead, you’re focused on getting their personal data as quickly as possible, so that you can spam them with lots of offers they don’t want. You’re not focused on helping them solve their problem as quickly as possible. Instead, you’re focused on maximizing the amount of pages they view and maximizing the length of time they spend on your website. 

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These are totally ridiculous objectives in the vast majority of situations. Instead of helping customers navigate simply around the website, you plaster your pages with screaming campaign banners, trying to distract them as much as possible.

You cannot possibly hope to improve customer experience if you don’t totally overhaul how you measure success. You must measure success from the customer’s perspective. And that involves understanding what they mean by success. And that is nearly always about a task they want to complete as quickly and easily as possible.

Stop measuring organization tasks. Get out of campaign mode, for it is campaign culture that is truly corrosive of the customer experience. Measure what matters to the customer. I know, this sounds crazy for so many organizations out there. They have so lost touch with their customers. Not just that. Many organizations have a whole tactical approach based on a ramping up of the exploitation of their most loyal customers.

If your objectives don’t match your customers’ objectives, you’ve got a problem. A real problem. Change your objectives. Oh yes, in the past marketing and advertising was able to change and influence the customer. Those days are over. This is the age of the customer taking back control. That’s why so many people are talking about customer experience. It matters, and the real experience the customer is having with you will matter more and more.

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