Steve Jobs expressed the importance of digital customer experience in these upright words, “You’ve got to start with the customer experience and work back toward the technology – not the other way round.”
And as we progress towards the digital landscape the need to have a compelling User Experience that doesn’t simply amaze but engages your customers and converts them should be your goal.
89% of companies are expected to contend with Customer Experience as their base by 2016, in comparison to only 36% four years ago, says a survey by Gartner.
Now coming to customer experience (CX), you just can’t help mentioning how many times you have been charging your laptop’s battery every night (we don’t burn midnight oil anymore) in studying the behavioral pattern of your target audience across all devices; gathered data on their economic and social background; studied patterns of their social media usage and then finally using these analytics to come up with solutions that provide the great CX.
What I really appreciate about the digital revolution is the cross-functional teamwork that we get exposure to. You are not working as silos anymore because you are not working for a client or a product; you are working to give a holistic solution which is not simply all-inclusive but also disruptive.
Customer Experience in the Post Digital Era
Considering the time when digital didn’t exist, good customer experience involved gathering customer requirements and creating a solution which might afterwards be tailored according to feedback. However, the reviewing and improvisation part was given priority based on the demand of the product development and competition in the market.
To summarize, if the competition wasn’t much the revamping or updating was not the priority. Even customer feedback wouldn’t be given much consideration. It was as simple as launching a product and then marketing would take care of all the review and lead generation part.
Nevertheless, the beginning of the digital era brought a lot of changes, the transforming factors being:
- More tech-savvy buyers
- Increasing number of smartphone users
- Active use of social media
- Easily available analytics
The dawn of the digital era was a transitional phase in making digital customer experience a critical part of the business process.
How Digital Enhances Customer Journey
One of the biggest advantages of digital in analysing CX is the ease of identifying influence points which lead to the final decision taken by the user. This is done by mapping the customer journey. Although it is understood that digital has made it easy to record the customer experience through analytics and other channels; yet a more in-depth study reveals that buying a product does not mean that the customer is satisfied with it. The more critical part comes later as to whether the buyer will return back to you or not. That is the biggest feedback one can get because nobody has the time to write a review for you or fill-up survey forms no matter how simple they are.
The gusto of digital in understanding and enhancing customer experience is visible in its spirit of innovation. The urge to outdo your competitors and come-up with an engaging Customer Experience is the key to Digital customer experience strategy.
Here are a few success stories where we helped our clients cultivate and in some cases polish their strategies for refined customer experience:
- This client caters training and coaching solutions to customers in the professional services like government, high-technology, pharmaceutical, and financial services sectors by offering unique tools built on latest technologies. In order to renovate their product from scratch and target mobile devices along with changing the architecture to make it more scalable and futureproof, we helped our client don the digital suit. Now the product encompasses Coaching, Recruitment, Action Planning, Customer Satisfaction Surveys and Evaluation tools, offering a turnkey performance development platform for organizations – small businesses to multi-national enterprises alike.
- Another doctor turned healthcare entrepreneur approached us with the concept of a social healthcare development platform, and we devised a solution for him that has become a rendezvous for medical professionals as well as pursuers of the field, to help them share and gain knowledge. Now this healthcare community is highly active in Social Media and medical professionals on a global scale are its users and audience. There’s another advantage photos, videos, PPTs and similar such materials pertaining to medical studies are easily exchanged on this platform for reference purpose.
- Creating an In-app Mobile Survey might not sound like much to you, however for this client we built a product that would give real-time digital experience to its users as they could answer survey questionnaires on the go, that too within minutes. To add to the advantages the graphical representation of the collected data could be done in no time. The application has proved to be a huge hit amongst our client’s customers.
Tools of Digital Customer Experience Strategy
The biggest benefit of CX strategy is the closeness you achieve with your target audience. You are able to connect with them right through the initial touch points and stay with them at every phase of the process.
1. Clearly Stated Analytics and Goals
Digital makes us competitive to make use of data available to us and track and quantity the results of the actions taken.[ Tweet “When focusing on CX remember your Return on Engagement will count more than your ROI “] , hence you need to ideate on approaches that are more engaging for your customers.
Also Big Data and analytics have opened doors to easy collection of information, yet analysing them fruitfully lies a challenge which most digital embracing companies need to work on.
2. Perfect Understanding of Buyer Personas
For a customer-oriented approach that digital lays stress on, it is significant that you study and slip into the boots of your buyers. Researching on buyer personas is a chief part of the CX strategy because you need to understand their socio-digital influence too.
Companies that create buyer personas without a real-time analysis or interaction with their present clients and prospects live under the spell of misunderstanding. As mentioned above mapping the customer journey is a good approach but you also need to gauge the interactivity level of your buyers with the digital world. This will help you understand the channel they are more open to, helping you direct your marketing strategy towards the right path.
3. Application of Iterative Measures
For creating a better CX CMOs and CIOs have come together to disrupt and come out with approaches that can be counted as out of the box ideas. The box is already cramped and as tactics are jumping out the numbers are increasing on the outside too; hence people need to sit as a team and bring together the technical and business perspective so that an innovative, applicable and appreciable solution can be drafted.
4. Working with a Cross-functional Team
In the digital era there are no roles limited to the specifics of your profession. Once on the road to create a great CX product your gabardine has the shades of a marketer, technical architect, a skilled analyst and also a far-sighted CMO. For a commendable Customer Experience you need to build a cross-functional team that connects not only from within for better management, but also builds relationship the user-groups to collect reviews as well as ideas for refurbishing and new product launches.
The era of digital in on the horizon and the early birds will get customer loyalty easily than those waiting for sunrise. Customer Experience (CX) has been a topic of discussion since some time now. However deciphering the best measures to attain optimum ranking in this field has proved to be an equally big challenge. It is a collaboration of your technical expertise (innovativeness) and marketing capabilities (market reach) which can together cause disruption.