Sometimes we are so focused on what we need to do today that we barely realize that our efforts could be vain in the near future. This principle is even truer when it comes to the experience of your clients.
Today, everybody is well aware of the importance of the customer experience, and it can hardly be called a buzzword anymore. While we talk about the principles of the experience, however, they have already moved one step forward.
The discussion about the customer experience is always a discussion about the future of people, technology, and brands.
We are aware that the DCX is a top strategic priority for any business across the globe. We know that it is at the heart of every business decision that is made, from product development to advertising and customer service.
We know all this, and yet sometimes we lack a sense of perspective. The next generation customer experience is around the corner, maybe is already here; too many brands, however, still rely on outdated thinking patterns, and marketing truths that are not so true anymore.
“What is the secret to engaging customers and foster their loyalty?” How many times we have heard this question! Every time we provide the same answer: To engage digital customers you have to be there when they need you; and you need to be useful, offering valuable contents on any channel.
“It is less important for a shopper to be present in-store than for the store to be present wherever and whenever a shopper needs them.” (Google)
In an era shaped by digital screens and mobile devices, you will never be able to create memorable experiences if you do not recognize the importance of the micro moments, and the essence of the customer journey.
Being inseparably linked to the technology that permeates the environment in which we live and communicate, the customer experience is not to be considered an established fact. Its rules also evolve along with anthropological, economic and technological changes.
That is why, year after year, the digital leaders need to question their certainties and to find new answers to old problems
Few quick examples will get the idea of how easily you can alienate customer’s support:
- When your customer tries to find information about your brand online, but you do not have a consistent presence, and this research becomes useless.
- When you try to build a loyalty program but you do not have a mobile app, so you still employ the old techniques that no digital customer will use.
- When your customers open your web page using the smartphone only to find out that it is not optimized for the mobile experience, and it is basically unreadable.
- When someone looks for you on social networks but you do not believe in Facebook & Co. because you cannot control them and you do not want people to talk about you.
All these worst cases translate into wasted opportunities. Opportunities to build a high customer engagement and conquer your client's heart. The engagement is the pillar of the experience, and the experience is the cornerstone of retention.
The next generation customer experience knows no boundaries. It unravels at the same time online and offline. It demands that you acknowledge the uniqueness of every single customer, in terms of behaviors, pain points, ambitions, history, and needs.
This introduction leads us to the first, probably the most important question on the future of customer experience.
WHAT ARE THE MAIN TRAITS OF YOUR CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE?
Many traits qualify a successful experience. If we had to choose the two most critical elements, we would say ‘personalization’ and ‘omnichannel’. Personalization is the keyword to understand the digital age (just ask to Netflix, Spotify or Amazon).
The spread of technology generates an enormous amount of customer data, but the client’s experience is more than cold numbers. It depends on the ability to leverage data to personalize the interactions across the entire customer journey.
Here is why you need to ‘think fourth-dimensionally’ (cit.) and exceed expectations across channels. The DCX is not something that only one department should think about. It is a strategic priority that requires an integrated omnichannel approach to the design and delivery of the experience.
HOW DO YOU PERSONALIZE THE CUSTOMER JOURNEY?
Since analysts have marked the birth of ‘Me-Commerce’ it has become clear that customers love the personalization. The good news is that they are willing to pay more to get it: 64% of customers think that the overall experience is more important than price when planning purchases.
How can you leverage this fact to improve the engagement and ultimately sell more? Marketing automation software increases your capability to gather and process the information about your customers, but the heart of the question is what you do with all the data.
Technology is a powerful means of engagement (just think about customer-facing apps). Use it to personalize the shopping experience, offering tailored, contextual contents that match your customer’s interest, behaviors and preferences.
HOW DO YOU MEASURE THE EXPERIENCE YOU DELIVER?
Measurement is a sensitive topic for so many companies. Customer experience management, just as any other business activity, requires investment in terms of people and budgets. The problem, then, is how you measure your return on investment.
Even before that, there is another question: Do you measure at all? Executing your strategy without measuring the results is like walking blindly in the fog. You do not know where you are going nor if you are on the right path.
Today you have all the data you need, but even the most useful information becomes useless when it is not mined, scanned and readily accessed and shared in the organization. Determine the relevant KPIs, track and measure your metrics, and adapt accordingly.
You can find on the market lots of analytics platforms, and also data aggregators so that you do not feel overwhelmed. You have no excuses. The next generation customer experience is awaiting!
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