Ask Ian: How do we Combine Digital and Brick-and-Mortar for the Best Customer Experience?

August 2, 20195min

Customer Experience specialist Ian Golding, author of Customer What: The Honest and Practical Guide to Customer Experience, writes for Customer Experience Magazine offering expert insight to help businesses improve their CX offering. 

To ask Ian a question on how to boost the Customer Experience provided by YOUR business, please email your question to The best questions will be featured in future instalments.

Ian also leads the CX Professional Masterclass. Click here for details of upcoming Masterclass dates.

What steps can we take to combine our Digital Experience with our brick and mortar operation to provide the best possible overall Customer Experience?

This is an excellent and very pertinent question!

In a world where organisations across all industries are continuing to evolve their use of technology, determining how to use advances in digital capability for the betterment of the Customer Experience is critical. As I have written and spoken about repeatedly in recent times, too many businesses are implementing digital technology in isolation of the Customer Experience.

In other words, the motivation behind technological implementation may consciously be deemed as improving the Customer Experience, but in reality it is actually being motivated by money – for the benefit of the business, not the customer!

We are wonderfully lucky to live in a world where technology is advancing at such an incredible pace. However, whilst organisations see this advancement as an opportunity to save money by replacing human intervention, customers (human beings) are still most likely to remember an experience as a result of a positive human interaction.

As a result, to answer the question: ‘what steps can we take to combine our Digital Experience with our brick and mortar operation to provide the best possible overall Customer Experience?’, it is important that organisations do not consider ‘digital’ and ‘bricks and mortar’ to be two different journeys.

A customer is a customer – they are not a ‘bricks and mortar customer’, or a ‘digital customer’. A customer may choose to interact with you in multiple ways. This is why we must consider the customer journey as just that – a customer journey (not a digital, bricks and mortar, or even a product journey), where the customer can and will switch between communication methods and channels.

We need to consider this as one journey to determine how they interact with each other – or not as the case may be.

The pace of technological advancement is only going to continue to get faster – those who understand how technology can be used to better enable the customer journey, rather than implementing it in isolation of understanding the customer journey, are the ones who are likely to see their organisations continue to grow sustainably.

Ian Golding

Ian Golding

A highly influential freelance Customer Experience consultant, Ian advises leading companies on Customer Experience strategy, measurement, improvement and employee advocacy techniques and solutions. He has worked across multiple industries including retail, financial services, logistics, telecoms and pharmaceuticals and has deployed Customer Experience tools and methodologies all over the world. Ian is an internationally renowned speaker and blogger on the subject of customer experience who served on the inaugural board of Directors of the CXPA (Customer Experience Professionals Association). In 2014, Ian officially became a Certified Customer Experience Professional, currently being on the UK Board of Ambassadors for the CXPA. Ian is also a regular judge at the UK Customere Experience Awards

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