Businesses that are able to transform to deliver customer experiences that differentiate and excite are today’s Holy Grail.
Who doesn’t want to delight customers, get kudos for being forward-thinking and innovative and receive press for innovation at the leading edge of customer experience design and implementation?
Well, you can.
Any customer lead transformation process is, well, a process. I have found discussions regarding such transformation to cease quickly without key ingredients in place to drive success. By contrast, if these ingredients are present and sustained, the chances of success do increase. So what are these key ingredients?
Customer Experience Vision
“The purpose of business is to create and keep a customer,” Peter Drucker.
This is so obvious but so fundamental that it is often forgotten. It is also not enough. Without a great story, rich in purpose and emotion that defines what your customer vision is and how your customer vision helps you perform distinctively in the market, you will simply not differentiate or warrant conversation.
Your customer vision must articulate something that customers care deeply about and want to be part of. It’s also got to be aspirational with a balance between incremental and step-change improvements.
Wal-Mart is a good example of balancing the present and the future. In a recent earnings call, CEO Doug McMillon admitted Wal-Mart’s current poor performance resulted from poor customer experience in stores.
This result is largely blamed on a demoralised team of associates (staff) failing to take ownership of the customer experience. Low prices weren’t enough to entice customers in messy, overstocked stores with poor service.
In the digital world, Wal-Mart faces challenges from Amazon and Alibaba, the world’s most valuable e-commerce brands according to BrandZ 2015 report. McMillon also admitted that Wal-Mart has not moved fast enough to win in e-commerce.
Now for the customer vision. Wal-Mart wants to build deeper digital relationships with their customers in an attempt to “be the first to deliver a seamless shopping experience at scale”.
This means customers can start and end any transaction on any platform, from a mobile app to in store checkout, and then opt for home delivery or pick up or a combination of both.
This vision of a seamless customer experience across physical and digital stores, plays to Wal-Mart’s physical store network and attempts to provide customers with a choice of hybrid shopping that they cannot get from Amazon.
Is it guaranteed to work? Not by a long shot…but the likelihood increases if there is an aligned vision.
Customer Experience Platforms
Once the customer experience vision defines the desired experience, a customer experience platform is needed to operationalise the vision.
About a year ago I wrote about the 5 truths of the customer experience vision and I am grateful that those truths remain true. 2 of the 5 relate to platforms that support the creation of a transformative customer experience.
Truth number 4 – The customer journey is integrated (Omni channel)
Customer experience appears at every touch point so marketing has to be interested in every touch point as an opportunity to build or erode brand love.
Truth number 5 – digital is the centre point
Digital is the catalyst for the customer experience revolution. More customers are using digital to interact with brands than ever before and the trend will continue. They are also interacting with brands through different devices and engaging with content about brands, not created by the brand owner.
The customer experience revolution is a complementary strategy that needs a rich and emotive vision, underpinned by customer insights, which can capture the imagination of an organisation and rally leadership and staff to make the needed changes.
It is very likely that a digital platform, like the Adobe Experience Management (AEM) platform for instance, will enable these visionary experiences at every customer touch point.
Need help gearing up your customer experience s for the Digital Age? Contact us today.