My name is Lou Carbone. I’m the founder and CEO of a company in Minneapolis called Experience Engineering and I’m also the author of Clued In: How to Keep Customers Coming Back Again and Again, published by Prentice Hall.
This is my first time as a blog host and I’m really looking forward to the experience and spending some time with you, sharing thoughts and insights with one another.
It’s indeed an honor to be hosting this blog and I have to admit I’ve really been looking forward to this interactive forum because of the distinguished audience Fast Company has and because of the excitement I and an ever growing number of other people and companies have around the design and management of experience as the value proposition.
Because customer data is so prevalent and we have the ability to look at customer data from numerous perspectives, there’s a tendency to view customer value from the company’s perspective and frame “customer value” conversations around the value of the customer to the business vs. the value created for the customer.
It’s apparent that some businesses are beginning to have a “balanced value perspective” realizing a focus on the value created for the customer will result in customers inherently become more valuable to the company building shareholder value with deeper passion, loyalty and willingness to pay.
I worked with Progressive Insurance in the introduction and market testing of providing potential customers with multiple insurance rate quotes that included competitors’ rates in addition to Progressive’s. More than a decade ago they realized if their customer experience created more value for a customer it would result in greater value created for the company by customers.
Today, Progressive is one of the fastest growing and most profitable auto insurers. Although it seems simple and very basic, many companies especially airlines, cellular phone companies and financial institutions seem to lose sight of focusing on the value created by the total experience for customers and become obsessed by the value of customers.
In the past couple of weeks we’ve seen a great deal of press around Apple and the value created by their retail presence and in particular the Genius Bar. The Genius Bar is Apple’s tech support that is “given away” while others view tech support as a revenue stream (An unparalleled experience complete with the challenge of talking with someone in a call center on the other side of the world who I experience frustration communicating with for a fee.).
Why do you feel many companies have trouble moving from paying lip service to creating value for customers to really doing it? What would be some other examples youre aware of where the value created for the customer is less about the immediate value to the company and more about creating compelling value for customers that bring them back again and again?