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Fastcoworks Created for and commissioned by Adobe
Fastcoworks Created for and commissioned by Adobe
How (And Why) Even Local Businesses Are Focused On 'Customer Experience'

There’s a statistic that’s being thrown around a lot this week at Adobe Summit in Las Vegas, the company’s annual marketing conference: 89 percent of companies say they are looking to compete this year primarily on customer experience—whatever that means.

What’s with the remaining 11 percent?

"I want to take you down the rabbit hole, not give you just a few conclusions," Loni Stark told the crowd at a back-to-basics session at Summit.

Stark is a senior director of strategy and product marketing at Adobe, and she sees "customer experience holdouts" as being hampered by an unclear definition of what customer experience actually means.

Stark provided her own definition through the story of a landscaping company she found on Facebook. She clicked on its display ad and went to the company’s site, where she entered her address and contact information to get a quote. To her surprise, the site gave her an estimate while she waited—no in-person walk-around was necessary.

"It blew my mind," Stark admitted.

As she discovered later, on the backend, the company had someone looking at her property on Google Earth and estimating the size of her yard and the number of trees. Based on the satellite view, the company gave her a ballpark quote before a competitor could even schedule a visit.

"I thought, ‘Wow, customer experience is even impacting local landscaping—an area that doesn’t involve much more technology than a leaf blower," Stark said.

Experience-driven business, she said, is something that affects companies regardless of size. It’s the practice of extending your purview to the processes immediately before, during and after consumers use your product or service. You anticipate where your customers are and what they’re doing when (and after) they encounter one of your touchpoints.

"If you haven’t begun the process of considering all this, the war isn’t lost," Stark said. "But if you don’t have a game plan about how you’re going to bring technology to bear to drive these experiences—and organizationally, how to transform your teams to do that—then the competition is going to quickly eat you up."

This article was created for and commissioned by Adobe, and the views expressed are their own.