Customers are the backbone of every thriving business. Improving customer experience has a direct positive impact on the growth of any business. The idea secret behind the success of firms lies in the ability to enhance customer experiences. Therefore, business affiliates should embrace existing technology to enhance the operations of the business and maximize their returns through improved customer relations. This paper gives a synopsis of the article and comments on the authors’ views on customer experience.
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Customer Experience as an Entity
Lemon and Verhoef argue that “what people really desire are not products but satisfying experiences” (2016, p. 70). This is a true affirmation because customers are keen on their expenditure. Most often, what matters is the experience and pleasure derived from the goods and services purchased. The authors also think that the holistic experiences of a customer with the business affect their social and spiritual responses as well as sensory elements and hence have an effect on all interactions between the customer and the business.
However, many scholars think that customer experience is a multidimensional concept that entails cognitive, emotional, behavioral, and sensorial components. The authors do not fully subscribe to this idea but have a divergent view that customers’ ideas are mainly affected by specific attributes of the goods or services, for instance, technology and brand. This notion, however, may not be true since many customers may not be conversant with these attributes. Instead, other factors such as the economic state and availability of the products may affect the customer experience.
The Progress of Customer Experience
The authors have reviewed the roots of customer experience since the 1960s and reveal various models and theories that have been used to explain customer experience. The roots discussed in the paper have gone through seven generations and considered factors such as the customers’ buying behavior, process models, customer satisfaction, loyalty, service quality, relationship marketing, customer relationship management, customer centricity, customer focus, and customer engagement (Lemon & Verhoef, 2016). The latest development is customer engagement, which involves recognizing the role of the customer in the experience. I support this model because it attempts to centralize the customers’ role in the overall experience.
Experience as a Discrete Concept
The authors summarize the customer’s journey and experience into three processes: pre-purchase, purchase, and post-purchase. Pre-purchase involves the customer’s initial interaction with the product, whereas purchase covers all exchanges during business transactions. On the other hand, the post-purchase journey entails actions following the purchase, for example, consumption of the product. The dynamics of events that transpire during the three processes define the final destiny of the customer. The authors are skeptical of such events, and they believe that technology has changed the customer experience construct.
The idea that the three processes are the ultimate factors that affect the customer’s purchasing ability could be a biased ideology, which is not true with certain services whose experiences cannot be assessed. For example, it is difficult to assess experiences on products such as food. The initial interaction with a particular type of food does not define the final taste of the food.
The authors believe that measuring customer experience can be achieved through customer touchpoints. These points create a network between different spheres of business and paths to satisfy customer’s needs through experiences that influence their behavior. The author’s general views do not stand out explicitly. It is important to understand that customer experience is dependent on complex factors that encompass internal and external facets. However, I support their final remark that there should be additional research to explore ways of improving customer experience throughout the journey.
Lemon, K. N., & Verhoef, P. C. (2016). Understanding customer experience throughout the customer journey. Journal of Marketing, 80(6), 69-96.