To talk about Customer Experience (CX), let’s first define it: CX represents the interaction between a business and customer over the course of a relationship, however long. This field has grown in leaps and bounds recently – from massive enterprises to small retailers, there is a race to determine how CX should be defined and implemented in the industry. Leading the race is the idea of CX as a product, rather than a general notion. But what’s that mean?
It’s simple, in theory. Viewing CX as a product means understanding fundamental concepts of corporate strategies – products should be customer-driven and built specifically to address needs that have yet to be met, and continuing the enhance the features that provide value.
This is where the theoretical becomes more complex – creating a data-driven, high-value customer experience means championing a dramatic shift in culture. First, as with any new directive, a passionate executive is needed to position the core elements of adopting a new product or service: infrastructure, resources, and the charter to deliver. These requirements apply directly to the product as well; though the immediate differentiator becomes the size of the company using the product. If the product is, say, the ocean, then the size of the company determines the type of sailing vessels populating that ocean – it’s far more difficult and time-consuming to steer a cruise ship (like a Fortune 100 company), then it is to steer a jet ski (like a new startup). In fact, digitally native startups often consider designing CX before the company is even launched! Both boats are en route to their destination, but at different speeds, using different methods to get there safely, and in style.
Small and large companies alike are both vying for customer attention and loyalty but have to go about earning it in vastly different ways.
Some of the world’s top companies are riding the crest of the CX wave – integrating and utilizing detailed analytics to change how enterprises collaborate. The effectiveness is apparent, as businesses are combining daily, easy-to-use analytics while simultaneously keeping a watchful eye on customer interactions. All in a quest to discover, simply, what works, and why. To determine this, businesses must be able to ask the right questions in order to quickly locate and deal with inefficiencies. There’s simply no faster way to get things done. We’ve witnessed a radical change in momentous speed since this notion has been put into play – once a company or business jumps down the CX rabbit hole, results are shared among employees and momentum, as well as adoption rates, spread like wildfire through each and every department.
In today’s digital economy, seamlessness is a keyword that drives businesses forward. Think about it. How often have you added items to your digital cart, only to abandon the purchase? How many times have you abandoned an app because of glitches or imperfections, in search of a new one? The customer experience must be seamless – the smallest misstep or source of confusion on the customer end is enough to end the experience altogether.
To illustrate the importance of this concept, think about your favorite mobile application. There’s got to be a myriad of factors that make you return and engage with it repeatedly – familiarity, ease of use, intuitive interface, trust in secure payments – the list goes on and on. What’s great about software in this new digital age is that all applications are iterative – developers are working on improving the product as you continue to use it.
This is why, in 2018, CX is everyone’s job. From design to development, from marketing to sales, from support to finance – it’s vital that everyone understands what their customers do, how they act, what they buy, engage in, and share. This has never been more critical.
This is also why products that help achieve this are more necessary than ever. They’re built to target discrepancies and definable issues faster than ever before – all you’ve got to do is ask questions! What if there’s a downturn in sales in a particular region? Adversely, what if there’s a spike in sales on a specific SKU that needs to be leveraged? They know businesses have these questions about their customers, and these products help answer those questions and fast. You’d be amazed what you can learn in just a matter of minutes – you could learn, for example, that your check-out button on your mobile app is hidden or unclear on specific devices (we’ve seen this happen in real cases!). When businesses can simply focus on knowing more, they can then transition that focus to solving problems, fixing inefficiencies, improving experiences, and making the CX intent crystal clear to customers.
Find out what your customers did before and after they made a purchase. Find out where your customers went upon leaving your application, and why. You can specifically get an answer to any series of questions while keeping context intact as follow up questions start to pile on. By learning more about the behaviors of customers, businesses can then compare those actions to past behaviors and decisions. This means making rapid, data-driven choices faster than ever before, without having to depend on data science teams or platform constraints. All in the never-ending effort to eliminate issues, streamline the processes, make actionable decisions, and strengthen the customer experience.
Industry leaders are transforming their businesses for better and for always – it just takes the right mindset, a commitment to cultural change, a team of focused individuals, and, arguably most importantly, the right platform.
by Kelly Brieger