This Wednesday, I was in NYC for a brief workshop on CEM (customer experience management) and walked away with a big thought: customer experience is the new product.
When I was at Disney 4 years ago (I can’t believe that’s true), I remember talking with some of the people there about how people don’t care as much about the product anymore. They care more about the delivery method. Can I watch this TV show on demand? What about on my iPod? Or (now) my iPhone? Can I share it with other people?
Of course, they want original and unique content. If you’re not offering that, then people can find better content, for free, online. But even with original content, people want to interact with that content in a variety of ways. So if this is no longer a product-oriented market, then how should a company orient itself?
If people are more concerned with delivery methods, then they are telling you they are more interested in their interaction with you than the product or content that you are making. Instead of thinking of the ways that you can change the product, it is up to us as marketers to think about the user experience with the product. Instead of worrying about content protection, we need to worry about content interaction. Content is everywhere–so why will someone choose yours over a competitor’s? It’s going to be the experience that’s going to create loyal customers.
Customer experience is the new product. Good customer service and company interfaces will be what sets you apart from competitors. Content is rather easily mimicked–a good customer experience is almost impossible to copy.