Keep up with customer perceived value

To thrive in today’s hyper-competitive and hyper-connected customer-focused world, you must not only deliver a positive Customer Experience every time you interact with a customer, but also create, deliver and refresh value, as perceived by customers, on a continuous basis.

The Kano Model (theory of product development and customer satisfaction developed back in the 80’s) classifies customer requirements into categories, and can be used in experience management to help us understand how customers perceive the value they get.

  • Must-be or the unspoken customer requirements are so obvious that the customer doesn’t expect to have to spell them out. They’re the absolute minimum, and the customer won’t even notice if you meet them. But if you don’t, it will be so crucial that you should be prepared to lose a customer.
  • One-dimensional requirements are related to product features or elements of service delivery. The more of those you meet, the better the Customer Experience, and the highest the customer will think of you. If you fail to deliver them the customer will certainly be disappointed and open up to competition.
  • Delighter requirements are the ones that surprise the customer and will delight or even wow, having an extremely positive impact on the Customer Experience, leading to word-of-mouth and advocacy. But no harm is done if these aren’t there, as they are not expected anyway.

The interesting thing is that with time Delighter requirements become One-Dimensional, and One-Dimensional requirements become Must-be. And that is one of the reasons you need to continuously update your understanding of the customer, and their perception of value.

There is only a limited number of ways to increase your knowledge of the customer. Look into solicited and unsolicited feedback – two good examples of that are the voice-of-the-customer (VoC) from surveys, or the interaction and buying information from CRM systems.

But the challenge is: how quickly and effectively can you collect, gather, aggregate or analyse data, and find actionable insights that will allow you to enhance an individual’s Customer Experience with your company and its products or services?

You will definitely need to assemble a cross-functional team. As OVUM says “the twin engines of growth – Customer Experience and continuous innovation – are not departmental challenges, as they have implications for the entire enterprise, its ecosystem of partners and suppliers”.

And you will undoubtedly need technology to enable and support you. An agile technology platform, focused on experience management, which allows you to collect valuable information and data at every customer journey stage, and from every touch-point or channel.

A technology platform that allows you to incorporate customer knowledge and feedback into every decision, by offering powerful capabilities to analyse, prioritise and predict based on statistical, text or sentiment analysis. As well as allow tracking of progress and immediate action.

So, if you are trying to keep up with your customer’s perceived value make sure you surround yourself with the right people, gear yourself up with the right tools, and put in place a continuous improvement plan, that will certainly have a start date but no end date.

8 attributes of customer-adaptive enterprise

Ovum, the London-based independent analyst and consultancy firm, which specialises in global IT and telecomms, recently published a study on D+M Group.

On that study Ovum tags D+M as a “customer-adaptive enterprise“, identifies and examines the 8 attributes that “create the right conditions for rapid adaptation to ensure persistent customer relevance“.

I recommend you to read the study, which you can find here (PDF), and to open your appetite I share below some of the more interesting statements, as well as the info-graphic with the 8 attributes.


“New CEO and turnaround specialist, Jim Caudill, who had been instrumental at Black & Decker (…) hired a team of largely former B&D executives to get the much-needed transformation under way with the aim to grow the company profitably“.

Ovum argues that to thrive in an age of rapid and accelerating change and in a global economic environment where growth is hard to come by, firms must develop the ability to sense, respond to, and adapt to change, particularly that which impacts customers and their buying behaviours, expectations, wants, and needs. As cycle times for adaptation continue to shorten, it puts enormous stress on enterprises often held back by legacy systems, processes, and departmental silos. These companies will fail to adapt at the right speed“.

The core question behind Ovum’s customer-adaptive enterprise research over the last four years has been to determine what it takes for any enterprise to remain persistently relevant to its customers. The term customer relevance was barely mentioned four years ago, but the message that customer relevance must be at the heart of any growth strategy is finally beginning to cut through management thinking“.

“Our research has shown that flying a business on one engine can be fatal. What happened to Nokia and BlackBerry when Apple entered and dramatically changed the smartphone industry, followed rapidly by Samsung, should provide a salutary lesson“.

Other business leaders have focused attention on shareholder value, but to paraphrase Jack Welch, former CEO of GE, that is one of the dumbest ideas, as shareholder value is an effect, not a cause, of growth”.

“To thrive and maintain customer relevance, any firm must not only deliver a positive customer experience at every opportunity but also create, deliver, and refresh value as perceived by customers on a continuous basis. This demands the ability to understand customers deeply and innovate on a continuous basis“.

“The twin engines of growth – customer experience and continuous innovation – are not departmental challenges, as they have implications for the entire enterprise, its ecosystem of partners, suppliers, and most of all its customers. It’s the CEO’s job to create the conditions where both engines are firing on all cylinders, something that Caudill, aided by his leadership team, has managed to do“.

Good to notice that D+M chose Oracle CX Cloud Suite as their foundation customer engagement platform – including Oracle Customer Data Management (CDM), Oracle Sales Cloud, Oracle Social Cloud, Oracle Marketing Cloud, and of course Oracle Service Cloud “to provide an integrated environment to support teamwork across each functional area and meet all the criteria necessary to create a unified foundation for a more modern and customer-oriented cross-channel engagement capability“.

You can also watch D+M CIO, Scott Strickland, sharing how the company leveraged Oracle CX Cloud products globally to transform the customer experience.