Determining, developing and delivering your customer experience is an Outside-in process. Too many companies make the mistake of thinking that they know what is best for their customers. Oftentimes they may think that by asking their customers for input they will no longer be perceived as being the expert. As the experience leaders know, these are both false assumptions – it is only by engaging your customers in your experience design process will you be able to exceed their expectations and create advocates for your brand.
First, you must engage your customers as early as possible in determining the experience that you are creating for them. The experience leaders are constantly involving their customers in evolving the experiences they create. They use social media like communities to keep a constant dialogue with their customers to inform their experience design process.
Second, you must engage your customers continuously through the process. Involve your customers in iterative reviews to vet concepts, validate experience designs and evaluate the final experience. Experience leaders have labs that simulate real customer environments like living rooms or offices to review and evaluate their experiences. Even better, experience leaders go to where the customers are interacting with their products and services they observe their customers in their homes, offices, car, etc. to see exactly what they are doing.
To learn more, please read The Customer Experience Revolution.