Monopolizing the Customer Experience

I’m kind of thinking out loud (typing out loud?) here, but a blog post by Sav Rodrigues of at InfoWorld got me thinking.

Savio’s post is about the experience factor of the Linux desktop OS: people tend to pay the extra $50 for a Windows Netbook he argues because they simply know what to expect from Windows.

But what about in nascent areas where there is no commonly perceived notion of what “good” or “bad” customer experiences are? Savio makes a good point with the Kindle comment – e-readers are new, so its really up to the best marketing and design teams to offer up an experience that becomes the touch stone for a “good” product experience.

Look at Apple – it killed two birds by essentially changing the MP3 player game and the user definition of a strong experience by debuting the iPod and iTunes together. Users got a superior device, but also a network of songs, shows, and a like-minded community; in short, a total immersion experience.

How can we take these very gadget-centric concepts into the realm of B2B selling?

I’m not 100% sure. But I do think that for the most part, we are really only at the beginning of seeing strong multi-channel, interactive sales approaches in B2B. I think when e-commerce first showed up – people thought: “Ok this will be my unassisted, standalone web store that hopefully will increase top line revenue somehow.”

Now, B2B sales organizations are starting to understand that e-commerce and traditional sales-assisted deals must be merged. Multi-channel, multi-touch point sales cycles are becoming the norm.

So, if you are in an industry that is not yet fully converted to hybrid online and offline sales processes, with smart and nimble sales teams that create a superior buying experience – then I would say you have a great opportunity before you. By mixing a little technology with a lot of customer-centric thought and strong sales efforts, you can monopolize the customer experience mindshare in your respective industry.