“The answers you get depend on the questions you ask.” Thomas S. Kuhn
What was your last bad customer experience? What was the best one you have ever had? Everyone is able to come up with at least one brand in response to these questions. In a company’s perspective, asking questions becomes critical to understand what is working and what is not.
Since the digital customer experience is a two-way communication, some questions should be asked to your customers, some others you should ask them to yourself. Now that 2016 is approaching, you have the chance to evaluate your latest efforts and plan a better digital strategy for the year to come.
We can define the customer experience as the perception people have of their relationship with your brand and products. The overall value of this experience is the result of any interaction that customers have with your company, across all steps of the customer journey, on every device and technology. Customer experience is not just customer service!
Some interactions have a deeper impact on your digital strategy, the ones we call ‘moments of truth.’ They are measurable and help you to understand what customers think about you, what kind of action they take based on their perception of you, and what you should do to engage and delight them.
With the spread of mobile devices and connected technologies - that have fragmented our daily life into micro moments - it is inevitable that the smartphone and its brothers become the key to delivering the most amazing customer experience possible.
So far, we have defined the big picture. The scenario might be common to all organizations, but every single company thinks different and acts different, just like every single customer has unique behaviors. This uniqueness means that your strategy must respond to peculiar pain points, ambitions, history, and needs.
The evolution of business, guided by the transformation of digital technology, unveils huge opportunities (for those who can catch them) but also brings doubts and uncertainty (for those who need to rebuild their identity). Customer experience management should be treated as a science, and science is constantly nourished by questions.
Questions about what you do and what you should do. The path is clear: digital customers will have an increasingly important role on how you define and measure business metrics (brand equity, loyalty, revenue, efficiency and savings). Only and excellent digital customer experience will conquer their heart and keep them coming back.
If customers have a positive emotional outlook towards the experience delivered, especially when compared to a competitor, they are more likely to choose that brand and share the positive vibes. Thus, the customer experience is your most critical differentiator, when it is innovative, contextual and enjoyable.
Now let’s go back to the questions. What kind of questions should you ask? Too many marketers still think that the only ones that really matter are asked to customers. They surely are crucial, but no standard questionnaire can help you today. Ask critical questions to yourself: this is the only way to drive engagement and pave the way to loyalty.
Moving towards 2016, these are five customer experience questions to drive your digital transformation.
WHAT KIND OF EXPERIENCE DO YOU PROVIDE?
This is the most basic question, yet many brands lack a clear description of their ideal and actual experience. When thinking about the kind of experience you want to provide, it is wise to assume your customer’s point of view, so you can outline the experience you are delivering right now.
This is your starting point for future improvements. Remember that the experience includes not only what you do but also what you are, in terms of brand identity, promise, digital vision, storytelling, technologies and distinctive features.
ARE YOU INNOVATING TO BE DIFFERENT?
Evolve to meet expectations, and never feel like you have done the best you can and there is nothing more you can do. In some aspects, dissatisfaction is the key to moving on and improving.
Behaviors have changed; customers have gone from passive consumers to empowered digital customers. The customer journey has changed, replacing traditional funnels with a circular (looping) path that does not start with ‘attraction’ and not necessarily end with loyalty. Are you evolving to meet expectations?
WHY ARE YOU ADDING TECHNOLOGY?
The rules of customer engagement are not now and forever. Loyalty is not carved in stone. The main catalyst for disruption is technology, and you can understand the new logic that drives the world only through it.
Evolve to meet expectations, we have said, but why are you doing it? Are you adding a shiny device to your new customer journey map just because everyone else is doing it? Or because it makes life easier for customers? Remember that customers can feel when you are genuine about innovation and when you are just pretending.
CAN YOU SUSTAIN REAL INNOVATION?
True change is not about showing to the others that we could be different; it is about showing to ourselves that we can really be better. Company culture is the cornerstone of a successful customer experience.
If you want to be sure to plan and deliver consistent experiences, start with your organization and employee engagement. Your employees are your first customers; if they feel engaged and involved, so will be your clients. Shared culture, values, and practices pave the way to consistency, and consistency ultimately supports the foundations of your brand image.
HOW WILL YOU MEASURE EFFORTS?
Your customer behaviors, of course, but also your efforts (actions and contents) at every touch point of the customer journey. Measurement is the key to adapt your strategy. How can you measure, then? Set up the proper metrics and implement the right technology to make sense of the noise and translate data into smart data.
Are you ready to find the right answers? Do not be scared to work on developing yourself in a positive way. The only fool question is the one you are afraid to ask.
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To help you provide a strategic advantage to your organization, Neosperience has crafted the first DCX 7-Steps Checklist, with requirements and insights for a successful digital transformation. Download the free guide here: