Gone are the days when a relationship alone can overcome shortfalls in performance. Once upon a time, having a long term relationship with a client meant that the occasional stumble could be forgiven. Now, the relationship that develops between a client and a business is all about the experience that continues day in and day out.
In today's world, a business is only as valuable as the experience it is providing its clients each day. In our world of evolving social media, constant contact, new technologies and available analytics to digest and derive meaningful data, the marketplace has a multitude of solutions that can accomplish any task and provide any number of services at the touch of a screen. No longer does a relationship brush over shortfalls -- the expectation now is that the relationship further enhances the experience.
So, how does a company differentiate itself from the multitude of competitors in their respective market space? Services now are evolving and standardizing for economies of scale and efficiency -- what differentiates Company A from Company B? The answer is integrating the relationship into an enriching and rewarding client experience that continues to meet and exceed the clients needs each day. Instead of relying on the relationship to continue to do business, the company continues to provide its service experience through an enrichment of the relationship. It's the "wow" factor that reminds the client why the relationship is so vital to the client's success.
When you picture a positive business relationship, you see a relationship built on trust, confidence and engagement. The Customer Experience is exactly that - experiencing trust for the company's brand and the products and services it offers with a confidence that those products and services will continue to meet the client's needs now and going forward. Combine that with an enjoyable experience that engages the client with the product or service provider and each interaction further enhances the relationship. Even in the digital world, a good customer experience is about the trust in the brand, the confidence in the products and services and the amount of satisfaction realized by the client during the interaction.
Mark Hurd, CEO of Oracle said it best above. It is vitally important to realize that the company is only as good as the last positive engagement it provided its client. No company is irreplaceable and with the tremendous amount of options in our over-saturated marketplace, a company's main differentiation may very well be in the Customer Experience provided. It is this Customer Experience that defines the relationship and enables it to continue.
This new age of instant gratification and shortened patience for anything less than perfect has collaterally created opportunities for companies to develop niche markets supported by a superior customer experience. Smart companies are constantly looking at ways to enhance their customer experience and shape their corporate culture to support those experiences as the defacto expectation. Every opportunity to land a new customer is met with the expectation that keeping the customer will be wholly determined by the experience garnered and the ongoing relationship further shaping the experience in the future.