Most-downloaded Paper Offers Framework to Understand and Manage Customer Experience

"A Framework for Understanding and Managing the Customer Experience" by Arne De Keyser, Katherine Lemon, Philipp Klaus, and Timothy Keiningham earned the 2016 MSI Top Download Award as the MSI working paper most downloaded by marketers and academics in its first year of publication.

In their 2015 report, the authors describe CX as the "driving force of all customers’ value reflections and engagement behaviors." They develop a holistic framework to capture the complexity of CX, building on insights from marketing, philosophy, psychology, and sociology. CX is viewed as fundamentally embedded in a multi-layered system that continuously and dynamically impacts the way customers experience their interactions with firms.

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Importantly, De Keyser, Lemon, Klaus, and  Keiningham examine the relationship of CX with customer value and customer engagement, establishing a link between three of marketing’s most-discussed concepts. A three-stage cyclical model describes this interrelationship, highlighting how all three actively co-shape consumer buying and consumption processes.

Their theoretical foundation is intended to help address current business challenges in developing CX strategies, the authors write. They offer four guidelines to help firms better manage customer experience:

1.  CX-driven practice should be centered on the individual customer applying a “jobs-to-be-done” mindset. Companies must examine how their customers integrate products and services within their daily lives in order to improve their relevance to these customers.

2.  The scope of CX programs should extend beyond the dyadic customer-firm relationship and take a service ecosystem perspective. 

3. The long-term, dynamic nature of CX should become a key focus of marketers. Rather than solely focusing on specific moments-of-truth, management should take account of all consecutive touchpoints of the customer-firm relationship. 

4. Accurate CX measurement requires a multi-method approach and cannot be centered around one single measure such as satisfaction or NPS.

They conclude: "Managers armed with the knowledge about the key role of CX will be able to design offerings in accord with experiences their customers desire, ultimately driving firm performance. Our framework provides a specific mindset to assist top-level management in thinking about and discussing CX."

Download full report at no charge

Related links

Understanding Customer Experience Throughout the Customer Journey
Kay Lemon and Peter Verhoef (2017) [Webinar video]

MSI Top Download Award


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