The Most Important Things (Are Nobody’s Job)

Customers are looking for meaningful experiences. Brands need to connect the dots.

It’s not news that we are living in a new era. The Knowledge Era, the Information Age, the Digital Age — call it what you will — the evidence of change is all around us. From technology innovations to globalization, social change and political unrest, some believe we are in one of the most significant periods of change in human history.

This post-industrial economy has new rules.

The focus has shifted from transactions to transformation. It’s early in the 21st Century, but new patterns are emerging. There are two critical needs for any business to remain vital today: Customer Meaning and Customer Experience. Too often, these two critical strategic needs are nobody’s job. Some organizations are evolving, but others aren’t changing fast enough. Too often, these critical issues can only be addressed by the CEO — which isn’t enough. It takes a team.

Customer Meaning is about staying relevant in today’s marketplace. It’s a question involving your brand, value propositions, company purpose, and communications. What do you want clients to think? This discussion can be prompted by a brand team, but branding is too often seen as merely a cosmetic exercise, and the brand team isn’t empowered to affect enough change become more relevant to the customer.

Customer Experience is often discussed but usually too narrowly defined. Yes, it includes customer visits and the showroom, and yes, digital delivery and UX, but it’s more than that. It’s also what customer service says, what salespeople do, and how you tell your story. It’s how you answer the phone, design your website and your lobby. Once you’re clear about what you want customers to think, then consider what you need to do differently to fulfill that promise. It’s about physical and digital interactions. It’s about tactics, training, and tools. It’s about planning, measuring, learning, and adapting to create a coherent experience that delivers.

Leaders decide which problems to solve.

At Peopledesign, we help chart the course of transformation in the post-industrial economy. These two critical issues — Customer Meaning and Customer Experience — are among the most important problems for leaders today. We’re building our business to address them.

Next article: The Creator Lever