The father of Management thinking, Peter Drucker said: “The purpose of business is to create and keep a customer”.

No matter if you are in B2B, B2C or government organisation, the goal is to sustain and grow your business by providing an everlasting experience through superior product and services provided to your beneficiaries whether if they are your customers, guests, stakeholders, investors, or employees.

  • What if your beneficiaries are much broader?
  • What if your stakeholders are out of your reach and you have limited control?
  • What if you could cover a larger scale of possibilities that matter?
  • What if customers’ interaction with your brand continue 24/7, non-stop?

As we all know, CX is a competitive differentiator and ultimately helps organisations increase retention, acquisition, and generates top and bottom-line economic growth.

However, can you apply traditional CX efforts to any organisation, regardless of the scale of customer experience? Are they the same? Let’s first understand what “Meta Customer Experience (MCX)” is.

The meta customer experience (MCX) is a large-scale customer experience effort that is more complex and sophisticated than traditional CX. It involves multiple customer experience efforts into one meta-level customer experience.

It encapsulates broader segments, brand promises, values, experience principles, infinitive touchpoints, diverse offerings, and an extended duration of customer interactions compared to the traditional customer experience.

The MCX is a discipline rather than a program. Think about customer experience in a shopping mall, an airport, residential or commercial development projects, a city, even an entire country.

For example, think of a visitor that comes to your residential development community and experience the offerings provided by your company and decides to stay a few days in the hotel managed by your organisation. After a couple of months, he/she purchased an apartment and started to settle in the community. He/she was a visitor first, became an investor, and is now a resident – interacting with the community through retailers, mobility offerings, housing, community activities, public spaces, hospitals, regulators, etc. It became a life journey now. They have plenty of time to uncover flaws within your community to unsatisfying them and be vocal about it. This is different than the case of just buying a coffee at a shop where most aspects can be well controlled, influenced, or prevented.

Even companies with well-defined CX strategy, mature customer understanding, systematic customer understanding, measurement, customer growth-related KPIs, accountability, and customer-centric culture struggle to manage and sustain the CX efforts, can you imagine how the meta-level can be executed? It is not easy, takes a lot of time, but not impossible. Let’s dive deeper into the top 3 differences between traditional CX and MCX.

1. Culture

Picture yourself as a meta CX leader working in city-level tourist experience program.

It is a diversified culture that involves various people from government agencies, vendors, partners, authorities, and businesses across the ecosystem. Each of them has responsibility throughout the tourist journey and each has a different cultural mindset, behaviours, values, practices, awarding, and recognition mechanism when it comes to the tourist experience.

One organisation awards customer-centricity and the KPIs are linked to CX metrics, others may only focus on financial growth and awards accordingly. How do you unify and build a customer-centric culture based on what principles? How do you orchestrate the delivery of the culture strategy, working with stakeholders across the ecosystem in a nurtured way?

The magnitude of countless culture-related topics that should be addressed is considerable in the MTX, which requires a central cultural integration office containing representatives from each player in the ecosystem.

These representatives should orchestrate the cultural part of CX efforts such as training, hiring practices, stories, rituals, formal and informal awards to ensure people in the ecosystem deliver the desired customer experience because they want to, not because they are forced to.

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2. Data & Insights & Measurement

Imagine that you are a CX leader in the Dubai Mall, responsible for capturing and generating customer insights.

Annually 80 million visitors on average visit the Dubai Mall and have experience with over 1,300 retail vendors and 200+ food and beverage outlets. How do you capture and cluster the insights from visitors? How do you prioritise the data and enable relevant business units to take action to improve the experience on time? What kind of measurement metrics do you use? How often do you distribute insights across the ecosystem?

Besides the need for alignment with the leadership team to build and invest in data insights and centralised measurement mechanism in the MCX, you also need to take huge advantage of AI technologies that prioritise what matters the most for your target customers.

As Jeanne Bliss, a CX author said: “You cannot boil the ocean”. Once you know what matters the most, you can detect, prevent, generate insights, and empower the team on the ground to act on time to improve your customers’ experience with your brand. Otherwise, each business acts separately to collect unified visitor feedback and drive actions in silos, preventing to deliver one shared experience and fulfil the brand promise. 

3. Governance

Imagine that you are a CX leader responsible for driving a country level investor experience effort. Could you picture the number of people, organizations, partners in the governance? What could be the role of CX governance and its structure? How do you communicate with each of them in governance? How do you unite the leadership behaviours, connect the silos, and enable people to act and deliver? Establishing an MCX governance model requires an iterative and holistic approach to mobilize the ecosystem. Besides the top-down approach with senior leadership support, you also need a bottom-up approach with a commitment across the ecosystem. The governance should be layered and must be like a Swiss watch that encapsulates different parts and functionality that serves into one unified goal – improve the life of your target customers.

As Otto Lilienthal, a German pioneer of Aviation said: “To invent the airplane is nothing. To build one is something. But to fly is everything”.

To design a meta-level customer experience discipline (MCX) is easy, to implement it across the ecosystem is something, but make it to improve your customer’s life is everything.

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