Faced with increasing competition in the marketplace and rapidly changing customer demands and expectations, firms are trying to create and deliver better value for their customers in the form of ‘customer experience’. However, these efforts have often been limited to providing entertainment or being engagingly creative, which is not a complete picture about what the customer expects or appreciates. Hence, it is not surprising to see marketers being disappointed with the inadequate response from their customers due to the absence of well-conceived, comprehensive strategies to create, manage and leverage superior customer experiences. Such experiences need to be capable of attracting, building and maintaining long term customer relationships, and therefore should be central to the firms’ activities.
Marketers need to begin with a clear understanding of their customers’ expectations, perceptions about the firm’s offerings and their evaluations of the same. Next, they need to design their products, services and processes to match or exceed the expectations of their customers, and manage the experience these customers receive at every level. Finally, every employee of the firm and all other stakeholders such as agents, distributors, franchisees and everyone else involved in the value chain, should be aware, involved and fully engaged in the process of formulating and managing the customer experience.
The customer experience research group (CERG) will address all the above issues by leveraging the collective research experience and expertise of the group members. CERG works closely with private, public and third sector organisations to help them solve their real world problems and identify opportunities related to enhancing their customers’ experiences. CERG is actively seeking funding for its research from government and non-government sources. CERG recruits and trains Higher Degree by Research (HDR) and Honours students interested in specialising in the critical marketing domain of customer experience. Moreover, as part of that training relates to building and maintaining an international scholarly reputation for its students in the marketing discipline, CERG aims to publish its research, and that of its students in top-tier international journals.