True product exclusivity has become rare, so customer experience is one remaining sustainable differentiator and a proven path to stronger competitive positioning. Business leaders must stay in touch with their well-informed and often price-sensitive customer base, which extends across multiple channels and digital touchpoints.
In a number of industries, in particular, airlines, financial services and retail, it is not uncommon for over 90 per cent of customer transactions to begin through digital platforms. Organisations have clued on that this early influence is pivotal to the start of the customer journey and imperative to get right to push consumers down the conversion funnel to capitalise on returns. As interactions between customers and organisations on digital platforms occur more frequently, these will form the foundation of the consumer’s relationships with brands and become a key pillar in establishing customer loyalty.
While there are seemingly endless streams of operational data that elude to consumer behaviour, underpinning consumers decision-making is the challenge. Business leaders are often left unsure about the “why” of shopping cart abandonment rates or “how” to go about fixing an unexpected drop-off rate. This is where human feedback makes the difference for companies that prioritise digital.
There are three pillars of digital customer experience to help organisations deliver to customer expectations:
1. Be personal
Digital voices of customers and prospects are becoming louder and more pervasive. Therefore, organisations must always prioritise the human consumer on the other side of the data point. Organisations must learn what matters to their customers and think about the digital experience for their customer when interacting with their brand. This means integrating into the experience wherever possible and through whichever channel is ideal for the consumer, and not simply layering on top and forcing consumers to engage in ways that are inconvenient. This is why we are seeing such a huge surge in feedback collection through new digital channels such as voice and chat integrations. The challenge for organisations is to integrate their brand’s experience and messaging into their customers’ lives in a meaningful and cohesive way to foster a lasting relationship.
2. Be predictive
Organisations need to remove roadblocks to insight. Operational and experience data can combine to give business leaders a holistic view of consumers engaging through their digital platforms. These are the necessary foundations that pave the way for organisations to take advantage of predictive capabilities. When organisations start to predict what their customers will want and when, they can begin to deliver customer experiences at the right moments of truth and also detect customers and accounts likely to churn and provide the visibility to know what is driving that behaviour. An organisation can thus create a true sense of loyalty and stronger relationships.
3. Be embedded
Embedded activation requires a platform that can guide the organisation towards action to deliver comprehensive digital customer experience. Action is the key to improving the customer experience. It’s one thing to collect and analyse data but to make a customer experience program come to life, it’s essential to take the right actions based on those insights. A best in class closed-loop feedback program is no longer optional. It is crucial to implement the infrastructure that can identify and facilitate those actions at scale for the business.
With these three pillars in mind, businesses can start to leverage the vast wealth of information and insights available to them via digital interactions. This can have highly lucrative returns, as organisations begin to deliver the type of truly individualised experiences that make customers keep coming back for more.
Adam Marks, CX Subject Matter Expert and Principal Consultant, Qualtrics