I lifted this title for the post directly lifted from the book ‘Switch’, because there could not be a better way to start the last part of the three posts on an overview of “Customer Experience Management” I had been writing. The other two parts were :(1) A further step ahead with Customer Experience Management and (2) Challenges to mitigate in the New Age of Customer Experience with ‘connected’ applications.
In this post I wanted to highlight a basic behavior of consumers, which as a matter of fact is completely dependent on economic factors and geography. The reason I speak of geography and economy being two major factors is because the definitions of millionaires, middle-class, and destitute are very different across the geography and that drives to a large extent the customer experience and the expectations from the same. Imagine this, the middle class of Europe is no where comparable to a vast economy like India, because the population distribution in India may be summarized as:
1. The Very Rich = 6 million
2a. The Consuming Class = 150 million
2b. The Climbers = 275 million
2c. The Aspirants = 275 million
3. Destitudes = 210 million
2a, 2b, 2c form the Mythical Middle Class of India. This was never a single sect in India. [The numbers date back some 10-12 year back when the population of India was around 900 million. The numbers have increased but the sects remain primarily the same].
So in this diversity, one of the factors that play significant role is the effect of ‘Status’ in the minds of the consumers. As a matter of fact the same has been seen by the multi-national brands of garments and cosmetics who have swarmed India. Being able to use a potentially costly service/item is almost a status-symbol to large sects of the geography. So, it is very common to “show off” a costly mobile or a 3G data speed connection in a no-so-affluent location. This is one of the traits of the human mind and definitely is tickled by the economy of the region.
This brings me to saying, when Customer Experience Management is measured by the telecom operators or other businesses alike, it is important to understand the ‘sentiments’ (which unfortunately is not a measurable component) of the people who are using the particular ‘service’, and that definitely is based on:
- economy of the region
- geographical conditions (dont expect an African pygmy living in the forests to go ga-ga over a Tommy Hilfiger outfit.
- educational background and the diversity
- (probably) the most important un-measurable component “sentiment of status symbol”
Hence, Customer Experience Management (apart from the quantifiable metrics) would have to take care of these softer aspects for a sustainable business.