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Strategy and Transformation

When Your Competitors Aren’t Even Your Competition

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I was talking with a customer recently and asked them a fairly standard question about which competitors they admire. They are in the auto financing business and we had done some homework on the usual suspects: other auto financers, lenders, and banks. To our surprise, they weren’t satisfied simply leapfrogging the competition. Instead, they want to be compared to Apple and Amazon. We love this think-big mentality, and there are good reasons for it.
As customers become more accustomed to higher levels of attention and the conveniences that come with it, they come to expect it everywhere they go. Browsing and comparing products on a commerce website has never been easier, honed by the experience of literally millions of checkouts over the past 20 years. So it’s natural that a patient finding a doctor would expect the same ability to search, sort, compare, and learn everything possible about potential providers. For consumers, the last best experience they have anywhere becomes the minimum expectation for the experience they want everywhere. No matter the industry.
In the quest to innovate for their customers, companies are looking outside of their traditional industry circles to find out what else is working, borrow those experiences, and adapt completely different business models. And these adaptations and crossovers are becoming a more pervasive part of the customer experience.
Lululemon is not just outfitting yoga practitioners and leading a fashion movement. It  is also at the forefront of a healthy lifestyle movement. Kroger is not just a place to stock up the pantry. It has evolved into a shopping event, complete with sushi and craft beer bars. Insurance companies are now cultivating loyalty with their members by providing wellness services and medical services faster and more thoroughly than the providers in their own networks.
We already know that when companies prioritize CX, they generate 60% higher profits than their competitors. But no matter who the competition is or what industry you’re in, a great CX needs to consider the experiences that are really competing for your customers’ attention.

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Jim Hertzfeld, Principal and Chief Strategist

Jim Hertzfeld is Principal and Chief Strategist for Perficient, and works with clients to make their customers and shareholders happy through insanely great digital experiences.

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