Digital Customer Experience
“The best way to control your customer experience is to intentionally create it.” – Elle Robertson
The real value of a powerful digital customer experience (CX) is dawning on most corporations. Simply put, companies that have implemented a successful CX strategy in these digital times have achieved higher customer satisfaction, reduced churn, and increased their revenues. On the other end, 86% of customers are fine with paying more for a better CX. A win-win situation for both.
As the gap between the physical and digital worlds continues to reduce, companies MUST adopt a digital CX strategy to engage with their customers. That said, a digital customer experience is about more than enabling their marketing and customer interaction functions with digital tools or technologies.
Customer experience today demands a more holistic approach or a complete digital strategy enabled by digital solutions. As eCommerce penetration hits a high of 21.3% in 2020 (up from 15.8% in 2019), a powerful digital CX solution is more important than before.
What does it take to build a powerful digital CX solution?
How to build a powerful digital CX solution?
Here are 6 effective steps towards building a powerful digital CX solution for any business:
1. Define your business case
“Every great design begins with an even better story.” – Lorinda Memo
Many CX initiatives fail due to a weak business case. The starting point of any CX strategy should be to identify the business problem that the organization wants to solve and the role of the customer interaction in that. For a successful business case, focus on the metrics (or measurable deliverables) that will have a direct business impact.
As a CX advocate, here is how you can build the best business case to influence other stakeholders:
- Demonstrate the tangible business benefits of the digital CX solutions once it is implemented.
- Demonstrate how a CX investment will help in reducing organizational costs.
- Show the value of how continuous investment can protect the business from external risks.
- Quantify the measurable deliverables and milestones that can measure the progress.
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2. Define the solution architecture
In his 2019 article, Henry Hernandez-Reveron talks about how business strategies have evolved from the “marketing to customer” model to the “customer-centric” model and finally the CX model.
Effectively, customer experience has become an aggregate of user experiences across all aspects of the developed solution. As an eCommerce solution architect, it is important to understand the overall usability of your designed solution architecture in this light. Solution usability is designed around various dimensions including solution components, functional parts, and quality-related properties.
How can solution architects define a complete CX solution architecture? Here are a few tips:
- Focus on implementing end-to-end components that can impact usability holistically.
- Define the principles for a complete customer-focused business.
- Define customer profiles for all CX elements.
3. Use the right technology stack
Digital technologies like headless commerce, artificial intelligence (AI), and progressive web apps (PWA) are transforming CX strategies. Adding to that, there are a host of cloud-powered technologies and SaaS tools, which are now part of the digital CX landscape.
More customer touchpoints in the form of live chats and self-service portals are adding value in the form of enhanced productivity, better collaboration, and simplifying customer-business interactions. Businesses are finding that the right technology can add agility, responsiveness, and resilience to their digital CX strategy.
Hence, the next step in building the right CX solution is to identify the right technology stack that works for a specific business model. Here are a few criteria for designing the right tech stack:
- Type of solution or application
- Development costs
- User behavior and target audience
- Time to market
4. Integrate with third-party tools
Michael Maimaran of Kellogg School says, “when customers give their information to a company, they expect everyone from that company to have that information.” In short, customers have come to expect a unified brand experience, which is the reason why CX must stretch across all business functions.
An effective CX solution must be capable of integrating all organizational “silos”, creating a holistic experience for customers. Which third-party tools are recommended for providing such a holistic CX? Here are a few “worthy” mentions:
- Customer experience management (CEM) tools
- Marketing tools
- Sales and CRM software
- Customer and product analytics
- Customer service tools
5. Choose the right strategic partner
Most business enterprises would find it challenging to develop a digital CX solution using their internal resources, which is why they need a strategic partner to drive design, implementation, and ongoing evolution. CX solution development companies effectively work with companies in defining and implementing an optimized CX.
As a business leader, how can you choose the right CX implementation partner? Here are some deciding factors:
- The type of CX-related competencies that they offer. Most technology vendors offer three types of services namely:
- Strategic guidance (including solution roadmaps, business consulting, and customer journey mapping)
- Technology implementation (focused on implementing core technologies like full-stack development or PWA)
- End-to-end services (includes both strategic and technological services)
- How well do they know and understand your business model including organizational structure, business goals, and challenges?
- The level of resources required to complete the job includes technology expertise, third-party partnerships, and intellectual property.
6. Optimize the customer journey
According to McKinsey‘s research, customer journeys are correlated with business outcomes, more than customer touchpoints. Hence, business enterprises must have a clear understanding of their customer’s “end-to-end” experiences including interactions at each touchpoint.
To optimize their customer journey, organizations need to design a customer journey mapping framework that can outline their needs, opportunities, pain points, and various interaction points.
This CX framework defines 5 key stages of the customer journey represented by the following 5 As:
- Attract (or how customers are informed and are interested in the brand)
- Accept (or how customers start interacting with the brand)
- Adopt (or how customers behave or interact through their brand experience)
- Amplify (or how customers feel at the end of their brand interactions)
- Advance (or how to follow up and extend the customer relationship)
A digital-first approach towards delivering exceptional CX can highlight the value that brands offer to their potential customer base. With rising and changing customer expectations, companies have realized the importance of CX and its impact on brand loyalty, customer retention, and revenues.
As a customer experience agency, Ignitiv has enabled its global clients’ design and develop the right CX solution by offering them end-to-end capabilities right from developing business cases to launching CX initiatives. In addition to providing the right technology stack, our focus areas include solution designing and delivery.
If you are looking to transform your CX the digital way, do talk to us first!