Digital touch points drive business revenues in the applications era. They serve as branding and customer service mediums for increasing customer loyalty. These statements don’t sound new anymore. Numbers suggest 70% of online buying experiences are based on how the customer feels about being treated on digital channels. The annual total estimated cost of customers switching due to poor service is $1.6 trillion in the U.S. alone. This makes optimizing Digital Customer Experience (CX) a top priority for organizations. At Qentelli, we hear it from our clients repeatedly that improving digital customer experience is the most strategic priority.
Our goal with this article is to outline the 10 most critical things businesses should do NOW to make sure they are delivering value in every customer interaction across all touch points. This article will be split into two parts. The first part will brief about first five things in achieving world-class digital customer experience starting from defining customer experience aspirations, organizing right team, building modern apps, delivering fast and measuring the activities to administer continuous feedback loop. We will also explore how these things contribute to digital customer experience. The second part will outline the next five things in achieving world-class customer experience that includes defining right digital customer experience metrics, continuous improvement in current practices, using automation, investing in right talent and acting on employee feedback.
1. Define Digital Customer Experience Aspirations–The type of CX an organization wants to provide depends on the industry, customers’ digital presence and business aspirations. For some, providing better CX limits to one digital channel, while others look at transforming complete traditional business model to digital ones. Amazon is a well-known example where traditional business model is transformed to digital using technologies. There can be more scenarios how an organization is looking at redefining customer-experience. In any of the scenarios, defining CX aspirations should govern business vision to create new digital models.
2. Build Digital Customer Experience Team–Organizations are building dedicated and well-balanced Digital Experience teams. They have realized mere online presence is no longer enough; they have to improve digital dialogs with customers. A report, Defining Digital Experience by Clicktale says more than 48 percent of brands have a Digital Experience team in place to oversee their digital strategy.
Digital Customer Experience team owns the responsibility of constantly improving the digital experience as per the brand’s aspirations.
At Qentelli, we encourage clients to find Digital Champion Leader from the existing team–someone who understands business and customers to the core.
3. Build Modern, HyperAgile Apps–Enterprises need to re-think application building strategies for existing and in-progress applications. Organizations should adopt Rehost, Retire, Refactor, Reinterface and Rearchitect strategies. Leading enterprises are employing DevOps, DevSecOps, Multi-Cloud approaches, Microservices, Container Deployment to gain agility plus scalability. These approaches help organizations build minimal viable digital products in weeks, instead the old approach of waterfall culture with specifications taking years. As per IDC, by 2022, 90% of all apps will feature microservices architectures that improve the ability to design, debug, update, and leverage third-party code; 35% of all production apps will be cloud native.
Enterprises can only deliver seamless and faster solutions for customers if they combine agile/DevOps approaches and leverage cloud-technologies such as containers and serverless computing. This makes building modern apps with cloud-native technologies a must-do for enhancing CX.
4. Adopt DevOps and DevSecOps– In experience economy, customers are always looking for more features to make their purchase easier. For example, an application with limited sign-in options can hinder experience of signing in, whether they use it or not they want options of signing in with Facebook, Google, etc. Technology accessibility has given them a lot of options to choose from. This requires organizations to release features faster than ever.
Releasing new digital experience with secured customer journeys is a rising focus for aspiring-digital and digital-forward organizations. With the rise of sophisticated cyberattacks, organizations want to ‘release fast and secure’. According to 2017 statistics, the U.S. faced over 130 large scale, targeted breaches with that number growing by 27 percent per year. 41 percent of companies have over 1,000 sensitive files having credit card numbers and health records left unprotected.
Matured DevOps teams can win at integrating security by abiding security principles and practices. DevSecOps requires shifting security in the early stages of software development, peer-code reviews and automation of the build processes. DevSecOps teams have also achieved success by securing applications by design.
5. Administer Continuous Feedback Loop– Competing in experience economy requires a proactive approach to listen and respond to customers’ feedback. This requires real-time monitoring of all the digital channels–social media, play store reviews, reviews websites, in-app surveys, customer service tickets and salespeople. Real-time data can reveal opportunities to improve CX strategy. This distinguishes high performing areas from the low-performing, making it clear to act on high-priority areas for CX.
A large US retail giant used text analytics to reveal insights from customer comments as part of the company’s regular planning exercise. The results prompted cross-functional discussion to identify root-cause analysis of the significant problems. With the analysis of customer feedback, they discovered the coordination gaps between product development, sales and marketing team. Armed with the new insights, they changed the reporting structure of two departments under one leader fostering better communication among teams.
Digital Customer Experience Management has three main competencies that help them in closing the feedback loop for creating greater customer value:
- Capturing customer sentiments across all the channels
- Using digital intelligence to improve experience on systems of engagements
- Customer-centric alignment to act rapidly on customer feedback to close the loop
While organizations are continuously evolving in their ways of listening to customers, we believe convergence of systems will help in achieving new efficiencies. These are-Systems of engagements, systems of records, systems of intelligence and systems of things.
At Qentelli, we consider three things for feedback loops–Capturing real-time data, identify and improve metrics, and closing the loop keeping end-user in mind.
That concludes first five things about building right customer experience in digital era. In the next part of this article, we will look the next five must-dos for organizations to build the superior digital customer experience.