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Key trends for experience transformation

Smart businesses are redefining their customer experience (CX) from transactional to transformational. Doing so depends on smart, effective use of emerging technologies. As a result, technology and marketing are becoming inextricably entwined.

Key trends for experience transformation #cxreimagine

Customer experience is at the top of the CEO agenda. And no wonder, when the statistics are so compelling: 86 per cent of buyers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience; 73 per cent point to the customer experience as an important factor in purchasing decisions; and 65 per cent of buyers find a positive experience with a brand to be more influential than great advertising.

The customer as the anchor point

Many organisations have come to realise that simple access to the right tools isn’t the differentiator they thought it would be. It’s important but not enough to deliver a strong competitive advantage. It will streamline processes but not transform them. Organisations, therefore, need to find a new anchor point.

The best anchor point is the customer. Businesses must view the customer as the boss and look at the customer as a single individual as opposed to an amorphous mass. They must then realign the structure of the business to put the customer at the centre, as the anchor point will require different skills sets.

Organisations that are struggling to restructure with this new world view will need the right tools and skills sets. This requires deep research into how best to restructure the organisation, considering journey mapping and how to cut across silos all through the lens of the customer. Transformation will only succeed where the business is strategically pushed in that direction.

A change in mindset must start from the top

Even as more people within and outside of organisations push for this kind of change, businesses tend to find it difficult to decide exactly how to proceed. It requires a significant change in mindset that can only start from the top of the organisation.

From there, it’s equally crucial for mid-level leaders to take the ball and run with it. To truly affect the customer experience, businesses need employees to deliver on the front line. Motivating employees to do what it takes to affect the customer experience is in the purview of mid-level managers who must deeply embrace the organisation’s customer-first philosophy and pass that down to their teams.

Timing is important

Similar to the e-Commerce wave in retail, many organisations will wait until they absolutely have to before making this shift. It’s currently unknown territory for them, and most risk-averse organisations are reluctant to spend money on digital technologies without knowing exactly what return they’ll see.

However, organisations also know that, to be the best in their industry, customer experience has to be in their mindset and in their DNA because customers will judge them on the experiences they provide. Businesses that fail to communicate effectively with their target audience will struggle to compete.

It’s important for businesses to understand that it’s acceptable to transform over time. While it’s natural for ambitious organisations to want to get there right now, it’s important to manage change so that it delivers positive results instead of disrupting the organisation without benefit.

Businesses should start by investing in technology and related skills that will power this transformation. For example, artificial intelligence will help to automate the customer experience, so it’s essential to seek out talented team members with skills in this emerging area.

It’s also important for B2B organisations to realise that the need to transform the customer experience applies to them just as much as it does to consumer-facing organisations. Changing how they engage customers with a focus on B2C methods can help B2B organisations transform their customer experience and find more success.

Businesses should start with a roadmap to transformation, understand the tangible, measurable changes they want to achieve, then begin prototyping new solutions and processes to help them achieve these goals.

Using technology to go from transactional to transformative

Businesses are facing continuous foundational problems including how to make disparate systems talk and how to work more effectively with data that currently sits in silos, making it difficult to move that data into better systems.

Customers interact with businesses via a multitude of touchpoints. While this can increase convenience for customers, it can cause stubborn issues for businesses looking to streamline and standardise the customer experience.

Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) know what they want from technology to help lift their organisations’ ability to deliver an outstanding customer experience. However, as non-IT professionals, they don’t necessarily know how to deliver it. Businesses therefore need to create a new role for a professional that can bridge the gap between marketing and IT. In this new role, the executive can own the customer and the outcome.

One way in which businesses have had some success in improving the customer experience is to develop customer advocates. This helps organisations move from broadcasting marketing messages to a more individualised, one-to-one dialogue for a more engaging experience during the buying cycle. This is more efficient, agile, and reduces the cost to deliver when organisations invest in marketing automation.

However, a focus on automated solutions that depend on data for decision-making can result in a lack of focus on qualitative feedback. While organisations definitely need to measure quantitative data, many are leaving this important task to Google Analytics, then failing to use any of the information it yields.

Furthermore, it’s important to understand how to quantify tricky-to-measure aspects such as design and the user experience. Putting KPIs in place for this is difficult.

Clever use of technology, whether it’s advanced analytics or an integrated customer experience platform, lets organisations move beyond simple quantitative analysis towards more comprehensive, qualitative insights. Doing this will let organisations move from a transactional approach to a transformational one.


This blog is part of the #cxreimagine series. For more experts' insights, clients' experiences and to download the whitepaper, click the banner.

For more experts' insights, clients' experience and to download the whitepaper, click the banner #cxreimagine

Posted by: Kevin Miller, Head of Digital & Experience Design | 26 February 2019

Tags: Digital Transformation, customer experience, #CXreimagine

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