8Designing Your Customer Experience

Many professionals and researchers have tried to define customer experience. Doing so is a challenge because, after almost 40 years of use, the word is used to cover different realities and points of view. First, with Holbrook and Hirscham’s studies in 1982 [HOL 82], consumer experience was used to define interaction time between an individual and a product; then came the time for research on buying experiences with the emergence of new sales channels, especially the online market. At the same time, the research is focused on the extraordinary experiences of customers in stores, and then, because of digital innovations, with virtual reality for example. Finally, for less than 10 years, the managerial dimension of experience has been explored because the arrival of new places and new forms of interaction complicate the creation of omnichannel experiences [AND 16].

Finally, the experience is a moment of interaction(s) defined in time and space, between an individual and a material environment shaped by the company beforehand. This creates a memory and expectations for a customer’s future experiences of it. Thus, the experience has three dimensions, depending on the point of view adopted:

  • – the experience imagined by the company, called here the desired experience;
  • – the moment of interaction or interactions with the environment, referred to here as lived experience;
  • – the memory of the individual’s experience, referred to here as the perceived ...

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