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How do you teach Customer Experience?

From Customer Experience To Student Experience

Just like a brand cannot fulfil the desires and expectations of all consumers, knowledge providers cannot adapt their pedagogy to the learning capabilities of all individuals. This is a known fact. Teachers (or Lecturers), should they be experienced or young customeracademics, consultants or peers, communication professionals or caring friends, always witness perception differences among their audiences. And those differences are not only consequences of Laswell’s coding issues between emission and reception.

 

Doubling Knowledge Through Sharing

Transferring knowledge does not limit to the great Chinese philosophy, which defends the idea that if X has one dollar and gives it to Y in exchange of another dollar, they both end up with having one dollar; but if X has an idea and gives it to Y in exchange of another idea, they both end up with two ideas.

The question there is not only to share ideas. The challenge of learning goes beyond this paradigm. This of course requires sharing, explaining, understanding, assessing, but also eventually anchoring in minds what shall become the fundamentals of culture and knowledge. As the French writer and politician Edouard Herriot once said, “Culture is what remains after we have forgotten everything”. Teachers have then many ways to assess the degrees of both knowledge understanding and memorization.

 

Using Marketing To Sustain What You Teach

But the key question is eventually not to know if students understand and remember what they are taught. The real issue is to determine to what extent this knowledge will be useful to them, and remain as such when necessary, i.e. sustainable. And such a challenge appears to be extremely close to what marketers try to develop through cognition techniques when speaking to their targets in order to anchor brand loyalty. Making people know a brand and buy it once is not that complicated.

For marketers, the real challenge lies in increasing consumers’ addiction to the brand, ideally observing a mutation from being a consumer to being a prescriptor, mainly thanks to the support of social media. C2C comes complete the B2B and B2C identities. And beyond the techniques issued from shape and colour psychology, subliminal manipulation, suggestion through sensation, subconscious invitations, or irresistible marketing offers, marketers have now understood that the success of a brand is confidentially and intimately linked to the experience customers will be able to make of it before making any purchase decision.

This discovery opens wide perspectives especially in terms of importance for one of our least performing sense: touch. Moreover, it also opens the door to new pedagogical techniques based on experience, a teaching revolution that impacts students’ knowledge with a flavor of sustainability, which shall surely become dominant in academic fields where physical manipulations are yet to be tested.

 

What Do Consumers Expect Today?

We have to admit that consumers no longer need to receive advertising messages for conviction purposes; they rather expect to be offered the possibility to be direct actors of their consumer life, mainly through solutions inviting them to experience what they are going to buy, should it be on an emotional or an intellectual basis, and regardless of their level of financial involvement. This shows that the knowledge-based economy is a reality.

Consumers are more and more aware and able to understand what they are buying and how to make accurate and relevant selections of the best offers for them. This is probably mainly due to the exponential development of social media, with the possibility to share virtual opinions in situ, and benefit from the advice of professionals or experienced consumers to make sustainable purchase decisions.

Now, if consumers’ knowledge is increasing, proving we have definitely entered a knowledge-based economy, how about the mutation of the first ones who are theoretically concerned by knowledge, students? Marketing instructors observe a series of delays that knowledge should soon be tackled. If PhD students can have the opportunity to perform experiential researches, bachelor and master students can rarely benefit from such a freedom. They do not conduct research; they acquire their knowledge by listening to their instructors. It is then the responsibility of the latter to start up a mutation in teaching techniques to make students benefit from the same environments than the ones they have integrated as consumers.

 

Applying Experiential Marketing Techniques

Experiential marketing techniques and tendencies should now be applied to market academic programmes, as well as modify teaching solutions for students to be able to make sure about their knowledge decisions, and make it a sustainable tool. University booths should then provide potential students with problem-based situations for them to start thinking and feeling their study field atmosphere.

 

The author is Dr. Philippe Mouillot, AFWCI, Ph.D., who is currently a Councilor of World Certification Institute (WCI)

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