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Thinking Deeper about Customer Experience

Part 1. Marketing Strategy

  1. Jerry Olson,
  2. Gerald Zaltman

Published Online: 15 DEC 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9781444316568.wiem01013

Wiley International Encyclopedia of Marketing

Wiley International Encyclopedia of Marketing

How to Cite

Olson, J. and Zaltman, G. 2010. Thinking Deeper about Customer Experience. Wiley International Encyclopedia of Marketing. 1.

Author Information

  1. Olson Zaltman Associates, Pittsburgh, PA, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 DEC 2010


We describe three ways that customer experience has been conceptualized and measured. “True experience” is a customer's personal interpretation of “what happened.” Because significant aspects of customers' interpretations are unconscious, they cannot be revealed by traditional measures. The Zaltman Metaphor Elicitation Technique (ZMET) is capable of uncovering the unconscious interpretations of customers. We provide a brief example of the deeper and rich understanding of customer experience that a ZMET analysis can provide.


  • experience;
  • ZMET;
  • metaphor;
  • interpretation;
  • phenomenology;
  • memory;
  • unconscious