I was thumbing through the most recent Brooks Brothers Holiday catalog last night and something stood out that I had never seen before. No, not a zoot suit or a Pee Wee Herman style guide. They were selling clothes (not surprising), accessories (not surprising) and what they called "experiences" (surprising). The two I noticed were a night of Jazz and a trip to Chorus Line (currently in revival on Broadway). Not TOTALLY what a customer experience is all about but it was notable.
I then picked up the newest edition of Electronic House and read the editorial that precedes the rest of the magazine in every issue. It was all about "customer service" but from the standpoint of the experience that a customer has at consumer electronic stores and how many, especially Tweeters, are redesigning and revamping their stores to provide a room by room unique electronics "experience" for each customer.
Couple that with my entry of a few days ago on the "revamp" of NBC and there is somethin' a goin' on that is becoming clearer and clearer.
The tsunami of the social customer and the so-called 2.0 changes (I wish I could figure out a better term that you'd all love and adopt and replace 2.0 with. I wish.) are hitting so hard that even the more conservative mainstream/traditional businesses are beginning to have to respond - even if its in that awkward way that those not figuring it out often do respond. "Sure, I know what that experience thing is. Ummm....yup....sure.....yeah...."
Not where I'd be looking for a first responder. But the social pressure to provide those experiences a la Joe Pine's mass customization are powerful indeed and no longer able to be ignored.
This is remarkably short for me because I'm heading out to San Antonio to do some training on Applied CRM Strategy for BPT and just finished a webinar on 21st C.customer strategies for SAP with Pat Bakey, who is SAP's Senior VP for CRM Solutions for North America and an all around good guy.
Off to Dulles.