The idea that markets are conversations has been around for at least 15 years. However, few companies really understand or actually benefit from the practice of listening to and engaging with their customers. Rigid structures, inability to react and fear of change create a pause in the dialogue. And, although there’s been an increasing attention on user and customer experience, global organizations are failing to fill the gap.
User Experience (UX) and Customer Experience (CX) Is Not Enough
UX has helped global organizations to think and take into consideration how their users and customers interact with brands and companies through interfaces, digital services and the whole ecosystem. UX has also brought users closer to brands by involving user opinions.
However, when UX is in action, brands often leave UX to manage the conversation. UX researchers, consultants and designers often act as the man in the middle, interpreting both the brands’ goals and the users’ expectations. As much as UX accomplishes, global organizations are still not engaged and are still not talking with their customers.
This missing exchange is crucial. It has become clear, in fact, that customers are more focused on the experiential elements of a product and a brand than the product itself. As J. Pine and Gilmore put it, “An experience occurs when a company intentionally uses services as the stage, and goods as props, to engage individual customers in a way that creates a memorable event.”
The key to bridging the conversation gap between Global companies and their customers is “co-creation.”
Co-creation is defined as “an active, creative and social process, based on collaboration between producers and users, that is initiated by the firm to generate value for customers.” The value is in the experience: co-creation as a social, interactive, creative experience brings together brands, designers, and users to reveal what is valuable as well as meaningful. Co-creation results in experiences that create value for everyone.
Combined with UX and CX, co-creation propels the conversation in revolutionary directions.
Finding The Cubed Factor For Customer Experience
The days when a brand created products and simply sold them are over. The product-centric approach has been replaced by a customer experience approach, where users can become partners of the organization. This new perspective changes markets and processes, engaging users who are no longer seen as prey, but are an active part of the innovation process.
By focusing on co-creation, value creation grows exponentially and delivers valuable experiences. Co-creation takes the industrial unidirectional process and changes the rules, generating cubed, holistic experiences and conversations that benefit from all three key actors: the brand, the customers, and the designer.