If you’re screaming, “Yeah, Ben, but product and relationship aren’t necessarily different!”, you’re right. For the strongest brands, relationship and product are often indistinguishable. If you ever choose a business because of your relationship with them, that’s a good sign that the relationship has become deeply integrated with the product. This could be anything from “I’m choosing this business because their sales and support teams are the best I’ve ever worked with” to “I’m going to upgrade to the next iPhone because I trust Apple to deliver great products.”
If you have a goal of being the type of business where customers value you in this way, you’ll have to start treating customer experience like a product. This is the essence of customer experience management², where you make prioritization and tradeoff decisions about the customer experience itself, just like you do with the product. When this is tightly aligned with the value the product delivers, the product and relationship often come together to deliver a remarkable experience.
To get there, start looking at your strategic initiatives around customer experience through the lens of product and relationship. How can you can focus on these areas to bring greater focus to the customer in 2021?