The four essentials need to be built into the culture of the company. The desire—and the ability—to offer reliability, relevance, responsiveness, and convenience has to be pervasive across every department in the company, not just something that marketing and sales cares about. Product developers, engineering, finance, legal, the shipping department, and even store associates have to care about creating trust, too. We have determined that a cultural change is often required to change the attitudes of everyone within the organization when it comes to how the customer is viewed.

Gain to sustain

These survey results show how difficult it is for companies to continuously deliver great customer experience. In addition, there is the question of sustainable results.

Without trust, companies cannot hope for loyalty, advocacy, engagement, or participation.

Some companies achieve excellent customer service but struggle to achieve profitable outcome. To help companies to gain and sustain a customer experience edge, we analyzed numerous case studies, industry surveys and talked to leading practitioners.

One focus of our conversations was the concept of trust. Without trust, companies cannot hope for loyalty, advocacy, engagement, or participation. It is only when trust develops that customers will be inclined to, say, provide feedback on how they would like to see a product evolve. Based on our research, we determined four building blocks of trust. We call these the essentials of the customer experience edge. These four customer experience essentials are reliability, convenience, responsiveness, and relevance.

The importance of the four customer experience essentials – the four building blocks of trust—was validated in the North American survey by Bloomberg Businessweek Research Services (BBRS). Respondents named the most important elements of a positive experience: reliable products and services, relevance of interactions, responsiveness of the company, and ease (or convenience) of doing business with the company.

Companies can develop a profitable customer experience program by using the framework of the four customer experience essentials as a blueprint.

The four essentials need to be built into the culture of the company. The desire—and the ability—to offer convenience, responsiveness, relevance, and reliability has to be pervasive across every department in the company, not just something that marketing and sales cares about. Product developers, engineering, finance, legal, the shipping department, and even store associates have to care about creating trust, too. We have determined that a cultural change is often required to change the attitudes of everyone within the organization when it comes to how the customer is viewed.

Technology matters

Last but not least, one of the secret ingredients in achieving the customer experience edge is the smart use of technology. Technology enables companies to create a strong customer experience on a large scale and at lower cost. After all, it’s not just about delivering a great customer experience—it’s about doing so in a sustainable and ultimately profitable way.