Customer experience positioning – can you be all things to all people?

Customer Experience consulting to help you make customer experience your competitive advantage through strategic customer experience positioning

Customer experience positioning – can you be all things to all people?

Is there such as thing as universally superior client service? In that, if an experience is superior for one customer, will it be superior for another? Or do you need to focus on your customer experience positioning?

Many seem to think so.

  • Books, blogs and consultants tell us about the essential features and principles of every customer experience.
  • There are a million websites offering ‘all’ customers an excellent customer experience
  • Companies are increasingly ranked and rated on the quality of the customer experience – suggesting it is possible to make consistent, objective measures of experience quality


The implicit assumption behind these approaches is that ‘one size fits all;’ that what’s good for one customer will be good for another.

This approach makes sense to an extent:

  • Clean tablecloths are better than dirty tablecloths
  • Being on-hold for one minute is better than being on hold for 25 minutes

But it doesn’t take too much analysis to realise there are limits to this approach.

Different customers have different preferences and buying behaviours – and different experiences will be more or less appealing to different customers.


Some customers:

  • value social interaction and a human touch, some don’t
  • are introverts, some extroverts
  • prefer an informal approach, some formal

Customers have unique:

  • value priorities (see ‘TERMS’ below)
  • prior experiences, demands and expectations
  • cultural backgrounds

Increasingly organisations have a choice to make. In terms of customer experience positioning, should they try to be all things to all people? Or should they be bold and clearly position themselves as delivering one type of client experience over another? Are they willing to risk alienating some customers in return for significantly increasing their appeal to others?

As competition intensifies, more organisations are choosing the latter approach.

They are not merely seeking to differentiate themselves by focussing on the customer experience, they are seeking to more clearly position and differentiate themselves by offering one specific type of customer experience.



Customer experience positioning

Different customers have different preferences. Organisations need to ask which of these customers and preferences they want to appeal to specifically.

In addition to some of the variables mentioned above (human touch, extroversion, formality, culture), organisations should focus on what type of value they hope to create for their clients.


There are many ways of segmenting customer value but CX Training likes the ‘TERMS’ approach:

  • TIME – Can you save or create time for your customers
  • EMOTION – Can you reduce stress and anxiety? Can you bring joy, pride, relief?
  • RISK – Can you better limit risk for your customers?
  • MONEY – Can you help your customers save or make money? Can you help their business?
  • SITUATION – Can you make the customer experience easier / more convenient?


The traditional, instinctive approach of organisations looking to enhance the customer experience is to focus on all areas of value – but is that realistic and achievable?

  • A quick, easy experience might not provide opportunities to limit risk or deliver added value
  • Reducing risk normally needs more time, money or both
  • It can take time to offer reassurance and reduce client anxiety

Can your offering be all things to all people? Or do you need to make a choice; focus, and position the customer experience more clearly?

CX Training helps make customer experience your competitive advantage through tailored training in customer experience, customer service, sales and more.