13 June 2014
Peter Bogaards
Peter Bogaards

From customer journeys to services and experience

A four-stage CX maturity model

By now, many organizations understand the relevance of a customer focus and try to incorporate customer thinking in their strategy. However, confining a customer experience strategy to only customer services and customer journeys only is missing a trick. While they are both important, a larger opportunity exists by moving into customer-centric services and experiences.

In a recent article, the open marketer introduced a simple four-stage framework for customer experience maturity. The stages of the framework are as follows:

“The first two stages address how the company engages with its customers (with ease and efficiency). They are about how a company can interact more effectively with its customers.

Stage 1: Customer service

This stage is the ‘service is a smile’ stage and its pay-off is greater customer satisfaction, lower costs from less rework, and more satisfied staff and a more positive company culture.

Stage 2: Customer journey

The second stage of maturity involves considering the customer journey(s) end-to-end, from initial investigation of the services through to purchasing, using, and repurchasing. It is a more complex stage than the previous one to address as it involves mapping the customer journey(s) and gathering and analyzing data on pain-points and inconsistencies.

The second two stages are about increasing the value delivered to customers.

Stage 3: Customer-centric services

Companies at this stage have moved from selling generic products and services to selling solutions that solve real problems for individual customers. However, the trick is identifying what the customers’ needs and problems as well as unmet needs actually are. Customer-centric services are now the happy hunting ground of innovators and startups, so incumbents should be alert.

Stage 4: Customer experience

The final maturity stage is about the total customer experience. It’s about delivering emotional and intangible benefits as well as functional benefits. The key is to think of experience broadly as a meta-level of value over and above products and services, but which are relevant and connected to products and services.”

Source: “The Stages of Customer Experience Management” (the open marketer, 11 june 2014)

About the author

Peter Bogaards (a.k.a. @BogieZero) is the editor-in-chief of our blog BiRDS. Peter also works as a curator and coach at Informaat experience design. He has been an online content curator avant-la-lettre in various UX-related fields for almost three decades, choosing what he thinks is interesting, relevant or remarkable to share.

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