The roots of customer experience management date all the way back to the 1960s. Kotler, Howard and Sheth developed the first theories about marketing and consumer behavior and researched the decision-making behavior of customers during the purchase process.

Today, in the era of digitalization, eroding business models and the search for the right answer to changing customer behavior, the active management of the customer experience is more important than ever before. The goal is to create positive customer experiences that build up an emotional connection between the brand and the customer. Only in this manner can customers be excited again and again and long-term loyalty be built up.

So far, so good. But where to start? Customer experience management must first be culturally embedded at the top management level. “Putting the customer at the center” must be more than just an empty statement, rather it requires thinking in customer journeys and touchpoint sequences. This entails far-reaching organizational, procedural and technological changes. Once these foundations are laid, individual customer needs must be anticipated and translated into valuable experiences. Last but not least, these must be continuously measured and optimized. This can also mean that an entire customer journey or individual elements must be re-thought, before the customer threatens to fall into the background. Despite all the emotionalization, “experiences” must ultimately be valued monetarily and must contribute positively to the company’s bottom line.

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Janine Hagen
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