How do we get and keep new customers?
All brands have similar challenges right? “How do we acquire new customers?” and once we have them as customers “how do we make sure they stay with us? “. Traditionally the available tools were blunt and obvious. It’s not so straightforward now is it? The digital and social age has provided touchpoints which are wide, various and fragmented.
Customer Experience is the new marketing.
This makes for new challenges but also plenty of new opportunities.
The Harvard Business Review has it that “Customer Experience has become the new marketing. It influences brand perceptions and impacts business performance just as strongly as traditional marketing such as media advertising and price promotions once did. A good customer experience makes a person five times more likely to recommend a company and more likely to purchase in the future. “ Sentiments echoed by Steve Cannon CEO. Mercedes-Benz. USA when he pronounced “Customer Experience is the new marketing”. They are not wrong !
Nowadays the key differentiator between one brand and another is the level of customer experience they offer - from the initial touchpoint of display advertising on mobile - through to the experience in-store or dealership, and beyond to real world or digital customer care.
Not the least of these is the potential to know those customer of yours better than you ever could before, and thereby to give them enhanced experiences of your brand at every point through the funnel - wherever and whenever is most appropriate. The data we can accumulate across their journey is no less rich and meaningful than all those interactions with your brand should be for them.
And that’s the secret of great customer experience; knowing your consumer through the accumulation of data across the customer journey. But that’s just a part of your successful customer experience design.
Know Your Consumer
Knowing what’s of value to you customer when and where, and delivering that value in ways which enhance the experience of your brand, and making it stand out rather than simply annoying your customer is mission critical. The clear way to do this is of course through customer journey mapping - but taking that map from the screen to action is the tricky bit !
This isn’t simply the owned domain of the disruptors - think Uber, Revolut or even Amazon. But they have all learnt the simple truth that by knowing their consumer, their pain points and priorities, they can deliver better.
But here’s the biggest problem for brands. Many more mature brands, and particularly those in the B2B space, have been slow to come to dinner at the digital table - and when they get there they are surprised to find that rather than a prix fixe they are confronted by a smorgasbord. A smorgasbord where the dishes just keep on coming. They need to get buy in from senior stakeholders before they can even take a first nibble of the deliciousness laid out before them and trying to explain the value of each dish is a complicated task in itself. Their business structure itself is not flexible enough, or to use an overused word, agile enough, to respond to the rapid and changing needs of digital learnings.
If your CTO and CMO are separated by walls of departmental budget scrabbling, or if the information gathered/learnings gained are not clearly of mutual benefit - or if, in short, the very notion of improved customer experience isn’t coursing through the arteries (and veins) of your business, then the digital transformation which drives your improved customer experience will stall. Reorganising your business to maximise the value and the potential of all of your data is going to pay huge dividends. And it’s the only way you will be able to transform at pace.
We have all learnt just how great it is to buy with one click or to get an Uber through a seamless app experience, but those are just the UX learnings.
Good Customer Experience is not just good UX. To get to that simplicity of enhanced experience the structures of those businesses required the ability to use their customer data, to gain useful and actionable insights, and most importantly to share those across their vertical-free businesses in ways which could be rapidly acted upon.
If your business is willing to empower stakeholders, and to break down the verticals, to share data and insights freely across the business in ways which you can turn insights into action, and do it rapidly - then you’ll deliver great customer experiences…... not just UX.