What is your ultimate plan for your brand? If you ask any single marketer out there, they will tell you they want to become digital rock stars. Still, so many are still thinking and acting like support bands or - even worse - they simply stand in the crowd watching.
The long way to the top (if you want to rock and roll) starts with the awareness that best-in-class experiences are the key factor if you wish to top the bill. The first step to creating a rocking brand, thus, is to rock your customer experience strategy.
This constant reference to the music business is not accidental: whatever the industry, the bridge that you build to connect your company to your (actual and potential) customers closely resembles the emotional relationship between celebrities and fans.
Just think about it. Today, social media dictate the agenda and digital technologies rewrite the rules of engagement. Celebrities become brands and brands aim at becoming celebrities.
The smartphone and other mobile devices provide you with the ability to be there and everywhere, but success is more than just new tools. To cut it short, if you think that technology can create the magic by itself, you are on the wrong path.
A meaningful experience comes from the perfect blending of rational and emotional elements. The digital transformation involves both aspects: ignore the intellect and you will be sidelined as ‘old’; ignore the emotions and you will be considered ‘cold’.
To conquer the heart and mind of your customers, you must give your whole self, deliver a top quality performance and involve both brain and emotions. This is the only way to engage and understand customers. This is where loyalty comes from.
If you pretend to be what you are not, your customers will soon find out, and they will immediately abandon you for a better choice. Now you see why we insist that product or price are not the main differentiators in digital markets: people - not brands - fill the core of every marketing strategy.
Your company lives in a global, hyper-competitive environment where the next potential competitor could come from the depths of a basement far away from your market. Tradition and the ‘name’ that you have created over the years will not help you if you keep on focusing on the wrong priorities.
The only way to grow your business, embrace the healthy effects of transformation and stay top of mind is to stop being self-referential and start focusing on your customers and their experience. Sales pass, loyalty stays (potentially) forever.
Quoting the new 2016 Digital Trends Report by Adobe, “It is official. Customer experience is in charge. In 2014, it emerged as a top priority for marketers. In 2015, it gained momentum. Now, in 2016, it is so important, it pulls other priorities into its orbit.”
What should you do to rock your digital customer experience? Here are few suggestions that draw attention to the trends shaping the way we live, communicate, share and buy.
BE QUICK OR BE DEAD
The spread of mobile devices has caused a steady evolution in customer behaviors. Using their smartphone, today they take in a few hours decisions that needed days (or even weeks) only five years ago. We have witnessed the emergence of what Google has called ‘Micro Moments’, fragmented interactions driven by a specific intent.
Customers move fast and act even faster. It is your duty to develop the ability to reach and engage them when and where it matters most, delivering useful and contextual content (in a word, a meaningful digital customer experience).
ATOM APP MOTHER
When we use desktop computers, browsers are the main entrance to the Internet. When we use the smartphone, browsers are replaced by mobile apps. Now that mobile searches have surpassed desktop searches, we are facing an epochal change: we own the entire world in our hands, and applications become the primary way to explore it.
The importance of mobile technology is strictly linked to the evolution of mobile apps. They have gone from plain web views to technologically advanced tools, which you can use to deliver the best message at the right time. Right-time personalization and contextual contents are the direct results of this evolution.
HEALTH IS THE NEW BLACK
Long gone are the days when technology was considered something that had harmful effects on our life (improving efficiency to the detriment of health). Despite the never-ending debate about the danger of Wi-Fi and other connections, it is now evident that innovation is trying to find an answer to the eternal question: “How can we use technology to improve our life?”
If you think that self-tracking is just the name of the usual trend destined to fade away, think again. The urge of a quantified self is, in fact, the signal of a clear shift in perspective: mobile devices (and the so-called wearable technology first of all) can be used to improve the quality of life, becoming healthy lifestyle icons. Just check the EU Pegaso - Fit For Future project as a perfect example.
EMPLOYEES WILL BE FRIENDS
What is the hidden ingredient of a successful customer experience? Company culture, that is the answer. You can invest all your money in new technologies; you can build the most beautiful brand image but if you do not have a shared customer-centric culture in your company, every action you put in place will probably fail.
Genuine customer engagement always lies on genuine employee engagement. Your employees are - and will always be - your best friends. If you do not treat them like that, their discontent will ultimately have implication for your customer experience. You have no choice but to share your business purpose and empower your people. Involvement, commitment, productivity: these are the key takeaways of a well-designed employee engagement
THINGS, BRAIN, AND HEART
The customer journey in the digital era moves across a multitude of touch points, both in the physical and the digital worlds. One single device (the smartphone) connects us to an expanded net of technologies (the smartwatch, wearables, beacons, cloud services, the Internet of Things, virtual reality platforms).
These objects and machines are able to communicate with each other, even without human intervention. The can study our behavior, trace our movements, learn from what we do and like, and act consequently. Technology knows your customers better than you do; it is a fact. The way you can exploit their capabilities to create immersive experience will make all the difference in the world.
Digital customers are ready to love (or hate) you. The dividing line is your willingness to invest and work hard to deliver a memorable digital customer experience. Today, the race for success has become a competition for relevance.
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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: