Today’s communications market is ever-changing. Technological and regulatory shifts mean successful service providers are adapting to new critical success factors (CSFs) to ensure their success.
For example, in the past, critical success factors for service providers centered on network reliability and organizational efficiency. Differentiating factors lay mainly in pricing, network reliability and product breadth. Today’s environment changes the critical success factors and differentiating factors for a few key reasons:
These factors still count; however today’s critical success factors in the communications industry have evolved to include:
- Differentiating on pricing only exacerbates commoditization
- Product breadth is only an effective strategy against smaller players
- Many networks are "reliable enough," from customers point of view
As a result, CSFs must evolve to differentiate beyond network, price and product differentiation.
- Brand - Manage the transition from push branding to pull branding
- Customer experience - Interpreting lifestyles by redefining and deploying new and better experiences for customers
Successful CSFs will shift their business to emphasize and deliver on-brand and customer-experience promises that will create value in the customer’s view.
The term, the intentional customer experience, is used when organizational goals are reflected within customer experiences. Today, in many cases, the experiences that organizations intend for customers are not the ones they undergo. As such, organizations must adopt policies and mechanisms that ensure the customer experience is delivered as intended by the organization: thus the intentional customer experience.
According to Gartner, "an experience is defined as the sum total of conscious events. As such a supplier cannot avoid creating an experience every time it interacts with a customer"* Since the experience is a key differentiating portion of what the customer is buying, and customer experiences are inevitable, it is crucial for organizations to view their customer’s experiences as assets and manage them as they would any other asset: intentionally.
* From E. Thompson, E. Kolsky "How to Approach Customer Experience Management", Gartner, December 2004