By Jill Esterbrook
Is your company ready for the customer experience revolution?
More than ever, consumers and businesses are prioritizing – and sharing with others – exceptional shopping and brand experiences. Whether delivered on the web, on-the-go or in the brick-and-mortar store, customer experience (CX) is the latest buzz word dominating the office watercooler conversation and driving up company revenue – and not just for industry giants like Apple, Amazon, Starbucks, REI, Airbnb and Uber.
According to the research firm Gartner Inc., 89 percent of U.S. companies expect to compete in the global marketplace this year on the strength of their customer experience efforts.
To help regional companies navigate the next phase of this exploding business marketing trend, UC San Diego Extension will host the Customer Experience Revolution, a two-day customer experience workshop on May 4 and 5.
“In recent years there’s been a fundamental change in the very fabric of our modern economy. Ready or not, we’re now in the experience economy,” said Jeofrey Bean, an author and principal of Del Mar Research.
Business customers and consumers are more empowered and more demanding than any other time in history, he noted. The internet, and social media in particular, has provided prospective buyers with the tools to easily research products and services before they buy.
As a result, customer experience is quickly becoming the single most important factor in the buying-decision process.
“Studies show that people will pay 5 percent to 25 percent more for a superior experience, and that’s why successful companies are making CX their biggest competitive advantage,” said Bean.
For business executives and marketing professionals looking to sharpen their focus on customer experience, the workshop title “Customer Experience Revolution” speaks for itself.
This is one of the only customer experience-centric events scheduled in San Diego this year, with two days of roundtables, panels, hands-on activities and guest speakers. Among the featured keynote presenters are Airbnb Customer Experience Design & Improvement Manager Desirree Madison-Biggs and REI Senior Program Manager of Events and Brand Experiences Rachael Minucciani.
According to Bean, every session will explore a distinct facet of the customer experience and offer unique insights from industry experts. Participants also will learn about techniques and tools that help set a brand apart and forge buyer connections that last.
On the opening day of the conference, the emphasis will be on strategy and customer experience design, and key tactics such as journey mapping, diagnostics and human emotion-centered programs.
Day two will highlight powerful examples of leadership culture and exceptional engagement through real CX leadership business examples and panel discussions focused on today’s top experience makers. In addition, attendees will get a glimpse of the future of CX, and the factors expected to drive innovation, and will leave with tools and ideas that can be applied right away.
According to Bean, it will be customer experience that will determine the real winners and losers in the current state and future direction of the economy.
“Customers aren’t just going to be spending their dollars on a product or service; they are buying into a shared purpose with a company and that doesn’t end when they leave the store or log off the computer,” he said. “CX should be a part of every company’s DNA if they want to be better and different for customers and more profitable in the 21st century.”
For more information or to register for the Customer Experience Revolution, visit extension.ucsd.edu/customerexperience or contact Fiona O’Donnell-Lawson at (858)534-8139 or firstname.lastname@example.org.