Innovative and superior customer experience strategy By Bhawani Nandan Prasad IIMCalcuttaMature companies routinely perform a set of sound, standard practices that result in a high-quality outcome. Its true for manufacturers--they dont get up in the morning and startpondering how theyll produce high-quality widgets that day. Similarly, retailers havepractices for keeping their supply chains flowing and their shelves stocked, and mediacompanies have practices for getting the news online and into print. Thats how grown-upsdo business.Companies that want to produce a high-quality customer experience also need to routinelyperform a set of sound, standard practices. These practices fall under six high-leveldisciplines: strategy, customer understanding, design, measurement, governance, andculture.The strategy discipline is the game plan. Its a set of practices for crafting a customerexperience strategy, aligning it with the companys overall strategy and brand attributes,and then sharing that strategy with employees to guide decision-making and prioritizationacross the organization.The customer experience strategy defines the intended experience. For example, theexperience at Big Bazaar - a large retail store where customers push giant carts throughhuge aisles stacked high with value-priced products--is very different from the experience atan Apple store, where customers see a comparatively sparse selection of pricey productsand get expert assistance with picking the right one. Big Bazaars experience aligns with itsoverall strategy as a cost leader; Apples aligns with its strategy of innovation.The strategy discipline is critical because it provides the blueprint for the experience wedesign, deliver, manage, and measure. Without it, the employees and partners wont knowwhether to deliver an experience like the one at Big Bazaar, at Apple, or somewhere elseentirely. Worse, we could deliver a Frankenstein experience of mismatched parts, likeputting an Apple genius bar in the middle of a Big Bazaar store where customers wouldntcare about it but would worry that prices were going up to pay for it.The customer understanding discipline is a set of practices that create a consistent sharedunderstanding of who customers are, what they want and need, and how they perceive theinteractions theyre having with the company today. In other words, its the thing thatreplaces everyones best guesses about customers with real, actionable insights aboutcustomers.The practices in the design discipline help organizations envision and then implementcustomer interactions that meet or exceed customer needs. It spans the complex systems ofpeople, products, interfaces, services, and spaces that your customers encounter in retaillocations, over the phone, or through digital media like websites and mobile apps.The measurement discipline is a set of practices that let organizations quantify customerexperience quality in a consistent manner across the enterprise and deliver actionableinsights to employees and partners. This is how you put customer-experience metrics on parwith traditional-business metrics, such as sales and profitability.
The governance practice is essential because it holds people accountable for their role in thecustomer experience ecosystem and helps keep bad experiences from getting out the door.It also gives a boost to initiatives that improve customer experience.The culture discipline consists of practices that create a system of shared values andbehaviors that focus employees on delivering a great customer experience. You might thinkof it as the way you shape what your employees do when youre not in the room.Apple founder Steve Jobs said when announcing the iPhone in 2007, “Every once in a whilea revolutionary product comes along that changes everything.”However, the product is only part of the story. Revolutionary products such as the iPhoneflourish by providing a fantastic customer experience. It’s the product, the in-storeexperience, the applications, the customer service, the whole ecosystem. In today’s globallycompetitive world, companies that want to succeed must combine innovation withcustomer needs and satisfaction. Apple has been able to create successful new business inrecent years because they focused intensely on the customer experience.Customer Experience Management is a result of many overlapping messages, productfeatures used, goals achieved, and emotions felt. Companies that address the full spectrumof levels of customer needs will be more valuable, profitable, enduring, and strategicallyaligned with the market.This new Total Experience Model integrates functional, activity, and life needs with the rightmix of basic, performance, and delight features. Meanwhile, some companies need to stayviable and healthy by having product lines that turn over quickly. These companies achievesuccess, in part, by having a pipeline of innovations that continuously replace outdatedfeatures and products. They recognize that their products and innovation investments mustcontinuously improve to fulfill their customers’ activity and life needs.Whether its launching its latest iPhone or iPad, Apple sure knows how to create buzz withconsumers and the media. While other companies fight for attention, Apple seems toeffortlessly dominate the media--not to mention the hearts and minds of customers--with itsnew product launches. Recently, Apple sold 2 million iPhone 5s on day one, and then acouple of days later the stock hit the stratospheric price of $700 a share. So you could saytheyre doing something right. The strategies and tactics used by Apple to create media andconsumer buzz that were not commonly employed by other brands.Many companies go to great lengths to preserve confidentiality during the productdevelopment phase, but Apple is a master of the teaser marketing campaign, dragging onthe suspense for as long as possible. For weeks if not months before the release of everyiPhone, the media conversation builds to deafening levels. Apple stokes the buzz byproviding virtually no information.Luxury goods marketers have long realized that scarcity (real or perceived) makes a productmore desirable and in demand. Scarcity not only increases the value of a product, it propelsthe procrastinators and all us who want to be part of the trendy crowd to step up and buy.Thats why it is a favored tactic of designer handbag manufacturers and other luxury goods.Apple has found its own ways to hype the sense of faux scarcity. It did not have enough
phones available when it went on sale. Just one hour after the iPhone 5 went on sale forpreorders on September 14, 2012, the Apple website reported that heavy demand hadnecessitated delayed delivery. Adding to the illusion of scarcity was the fact that you couldonly preorder the phone, and lines were long. The tactic worked. Not only did the iPhone 5set a record for first-day sales, even two weeks after the iPhone went on sale, it was on aback order of three to four weeks, prolonging the difficulty (and desirability) of owning one.Apple products have always been designed to be different, delightful and friendly."Friendly” because the core driver of every Apple product is the removal of complexity infavor of ease of use with innovative features like touchscreen "gestures” for zooming andscrolling or SIRI, their personal assistant. Its history of innovative, "friendly” gadgets createsanticipation about what they will do next to advance the consumer experience. The newiPhone 5 ads capture its new friendly features in one phrase: "4-inch Retina display, ultrafastwireless, iOS 6, in a thinner, lighter design.”While other tech manufacturers see their products as utilitarian, geeky and inexpensive,Apple is the opposite: cool, friendly, and upmarket. Apple has created a brand culture thathas attracted a passionate brand community of followers who identify with the brandsinnovativeness, simplicity, and coolness. They are fans who lock into the entire family ofApple products and must have the latest gadget right when it comes out, even if it meanswaiting in line for hours. Its quite a phenomenon to behold.Once the apple iphone was launched, it had been costing the significant $599. Nevertheless,thousands and thousands of individuals hurried away to find the brand new telephone,shelling out another around they’d have experienced these people anxiously waited anadditional a few months. a few months following the preliminary discharge, Apple companydecreased the buying price of the actual apple iphone in order to $399. This particularangered Apple’s faithful clients as well as customers that bought the brand new telephonesimply several weeks previously. Twelve months later on, Apple company once againdecreased the buying price of the actual apple iphone in order to $199, 66% under the initialcost.Within This summer, 2007, the actual Iphone had been all of the hoopla. Their own item hadbeen probably the most revolutionary away on the market location, Iphone marketingstrategy providing Apple company the actual independence in order to cost the actual appleiphone from whatever these people desired. Numerous thought which Apple companyexperienced reduce the cost following finding less than anticipated apple iphone productsales.Technology items tend to be usually contending towards “the most recent as well asgreatest” whilst sustaining another cost on the market location. Experienced Applecompany not really decreased the buying price of the actual apple iphone, the client bottommight have dwindled rapidly as numerous individuals are not willing to invest $599 on themobile phone, regardless of the number of helpful functions the telephone might have.Since the apple iphone continues to be to become the main smartphone close to, themerchandise keeps growing, growing dimension abilities, growing the amount of programsobtainable, as well as supplying brand new functions which are launched via brand newiterations from the telephone, still give a higher worth towards the apple iphone as theprices continues to be appropriate.
At the moment within the item existence period, Apple company is constantly on thedischarge improved iterations from the apple iphone. Along with the majority of appleiphone customers un-willing to buy a more recent edition from the apple iphone due to cost,the prospective target audience for that more recent era cell phones is actually brand newapple iphone clients. Along with Apple’s set up bottom ongoing to develop, they’vediscovered a means generate reoccurring income using their current clients with theproduct sales of the software downloading. Because increasing numbers of people buy theapple iphone, Apple’s target audience with regard to new clients is constantly on thediminish. Luckily with regard to Apple company, they’ve built-in an additional supply withregard to income which proceeds through the existence I-phone marketing strategy fromthe item.According to the latest research from Strategy Analytics, Apples iPhone 5 overtookSamsungs Galaxy S3 to become the worlds best-selling smartphone model for the firsttime ever in the fourth quarter of 2012. A rich touchscreen, extensive distribution andgenerous operator subsidies have propelled the iPhone 5 to the top spot.As BlackBerry launches the first smartphone from its make-or-break BB10 line in India, one ofits most loyal markets, the company faces new competition from a formidable rival that haslong had a minimal presence in the country.More than four years after it started selling iPhones in India, Apple Inc is now aggressivelypushing the iconic device through installment payment plans that make it more affordable, anew distribution model and heavy marketing blitz."Now your dream phone" at 5,050 rupees , read a recent full front-page ad for an iPhone 5in the Times of India, referring to the initial payment on a phone priced at 45000.The new-found interest in India suggests a subtle strategy shift for Apple, which has movedtentatively in emerging markets and has allowed rivals such as Samsung and Blackberry todominate with more affordable smartphones. With the exception of China, all of its Applestores are in advanced economies.Apple expanded its India sales effort in the latter half of 2012 by adding two distributors.Previously it sold iPhones only through a few carriers and stores it calls premium resellers.The result: iPhone shipments to India between October and December nearly tripled to250,000 units from 90,000 in the previous quarter, according to an estimate.At The Mobile Store, an Indian chain owned by the Essar conglomerate, which says it sells 15percent of iPhones in the country, iPhone sales tripled between December and January,thanks to a monthly payment scheme launched last month.India is the worlds No. 2 cellphone market by users, but most Indians cant afford fancyhandsets. Smartphones account for just a tenth of total phone sales. In India, 95 percent ofcellphone users have prepaid accounts without a fixed contract. Within the smartphonesegment, Apples Indian market share last quarter was just 5 percent, according to Canalys,meaning its overall penetration is tiny.Still, industry research firm IDC expects the Indian smartphone market to grow more thanfive times from about 19 million units last year to 108 million in 2016, which presents a bigopportunity.
Samsung Electronics dominates Indian smartphone sales with a 40 percent share, thanks toits wide portfolio of Android devices priced as low as Rs 5500. The market has also beenflooded by cheaper Android phones from local brands such as Micromax and Lava.Most smartphones sold in India are much cheaper than the iPhone. Apple helped create thesmartphone industry with the iPhone in 2007, but last year lost its lead globally to Samsungwhose free Android software is especially attractive in Asia.The new monthly payment plan in India goes a long way to expanding the potential market.The Apple campaign is not meant for really the regular top-end customer, it is meant toupgrade the 10,000-12,000 handset guy to 45,000 rupees.BlackBerry, which has seen its global market share shrivel to 3.4 percent from 20 percentover the past three years, is making what is seen as a last-ditch effort to save itself with theBB10 series.Until last year, Blackberry was the No. 3 smartphone brand in India with market share ofmore than 10 percent, thanks to a push into the consumer segment with lower-pricedphones. Last quarter its share fell to about 5 percent, putting it in fifth place, according toCanalys. Apple was sixth.Culture, people, training, and motivation must be carefully nurtured. You can’t open a box ofthese attributes, put them in your business and have them just start working. One of Apple’sbest known but least understood innovations is the Apple Store App. This is a downloadableapp for iPhones that lets customers schedule appointments to shop, get help, get training,or get their own project work done. Putting the control in the customers’ hands is central tosuperior customer experience design. This app, and the operational infrastructure thatsupports, is what supplies some of the magic.One of the many ways Apple creates air-tight customer loyalty is by consistently increasingthe value customers get out of their devices. Shortly after iPhone 5 was released, Appleannounced iOS 6. The iOS 6 upgrade gave the users over 200 new features for existingiPhone 4s. All the users had to do was download the software upgrade to turn the camerainto a panoramic camera, get Siri to now make restaurant reservations or give scores forfavorite teams and have a GPS on the iPhone. Apple keeps customers happy with consistentand valuable upgrades; FREE upgrades that enhance the customer experience in relevantways. Enhancing customer value inspires customer loyalty. Customer loyalty inspires biggerprofits.Apple employees execute the recently leaked “A P P L E 5 Steps of Service” model from thesuper secret Apple Customer Service Training.A P P L E stands for: Approach Customers with a Personalized Warm Welcome Probe Politely to Understand All the Customer’s Needs Present a Solution for the Customer to Take Home Today Listen for and Resolve Any Issues or Concerns End with a Fond Farewell
Apple stores are so very profitable and enjoyable because employees approach customerswith a warm welcome, they gently ask questions, there’s a fierce focus on solutions thecustomer can take home that day, concerns are addressed head on and customers leavewith a fond farewell. Study Apple’s 5 Steps of Service and look for ways you can adopt,adapt and apply the steps in your business, be that a retail business, call center or an onlinecustomer experience.LG has an extensive range of microwave ovens that meet the requirement across the entiresegment of consumers. LG microwave oven is the undisputed market leader for the past 3 years.It has a market share of more than 35% in 2012 proving that it has got an unassailable lead overits competitors. LG’s key USPs include highest auto-cook menus; lightwave technology forhealthy and tasty cooking; long-lasting stainless steel cavity; char- coal lighting heater; Indianbread basket; most extensive product range with superior aesthetics; healthy fry; steam chef;three cookery classes free; prompt customer service – 450 service centers – recipe book; andsmart start-up kits. Some of the unique features include auto-cook menus, lightwavetechnology, long-lasting stainless steel cavity, charcoal lighting heater, Indian bread basket,steam chef, and smart start-up kits.With their extensive variety of models and innovations to choose from, LG microwave oven hasdefinitely outdid rivalry in the microwave oven industry with its short period of operations.It comes with a 5 year warranty. Industry leaders are not capable to stopover the show ofexpertise and skill.With state-of-the-art and topnotch technology, constant research and innovations, LGmicrowave oven has definitely set the values / volumes in this industry.