According to the Harvard Business Review, the seemingly-elusive definition of Customer Experience is “the quality of all of a consumer’s encounters with a company’s products, services, and brand”.
Of course, you want your company to be the best – have the greatest products, most engaged employees and stellar Customer Experience. But many firms get lost in the process of crafting a competitive CX program. It’s not always straightforward, so, how should you start?
Savvy businesses have discovered the need to focus on the new frontier, namely digital Customer Experience – defined as “only (things) experienced through a digital interface, like a computer, tablet, or smartphone”. It’s important to understand that Digital Experience is not a subset of CX, but rather the area where you’ll likely get the most return on your investment in today’s business environment.
Why? Imagine that you’re out shopping and need to ask a question, but the salesperson is helping another customer at the moment. You likely won’t mind waiting a few minutes for your turn. On the other hand, if you’re trying to buy something online and the page is taking forever (more than 10 seconds) to load, you’re immediately outraged.
As a consumer, you already know this: interacting with a firm online is very different from visiting a business in person. The standards for customer service in the digital world are much higher.
Online customers will quickly write a business off if they have to jump through any hoops when requesting help. If your technology doesn’t deliver, if the technical functionality isn’t there, your company loses the opportunity to establish a positive relationship with that customer – and other elements such as quality of the product or the use of creative design won’t make up for that defeat in the long run.
Even businesses with big budgets routinely fail to prioritise the technical functionality of Customer Experience. This brings us to CX tech solutions that facilitate a digital Customer Experience program. Investing in this type of software offers a juicy competitive advantage. The field is wide open.
How many times have you tried to complete a routine digital interaction with a large company and thought “Wow, considering this is an industry leader, it sure is a nightmare booking a vacation / accessing my bank statement/ finishing new hire on-boarding …?” If, as a smaller company with a “shoestring budget”, you focus on really getting the technology solutions that best fit with your industry and target market needs, you’ll already be ahead of the curve.
CX tech is a growing niche. There are lots of available tools, whether it’s mobile platforms, chatbots, online communities, location services (beaconing), and many personalisation strategies. It’s up to you to test these many offerings and select the vendor(s) providing the best partnership for your company.
As you tackle this decision, keep in mind that the greatest bang for your buck could come in the from delivering Digital Experience from a mobile mindset. Here is why:
• A mobile system is accessible anytime, anywhere – both for team members and customers
• Each company is different, and requires the right tools, not all the tools – mobile platforms can be customised through third party integrations
• Fit with the modern business climate – it’s a cliché, but everything changes in an instant today. Mobile apps are constantly being improved upon and updated
• Resonates best with modern customers – people check their phone every 12 minutes on average or around 80 times per day, which means asking them to get on a desktop computer to connect with your company is already poor Digital Experience
But of course, don’t take our word for it. Explore various options while monitoring your own preferences as a consumer. Think about how a seamless experience on mobile influences your habits when choosing one company over another. After all, isn’t that how you ended up with those glow-in-the-dark holiday socks from Amazon?
The same processes are at work in the B2B arena. Quality Customer Experience tech will make it easier to understand your company’s brand, not just for customers, but for partners and employees as well. For instance, many businesses have already established online brand communities where they share news and updates while strengthening their image as industry experts.
Great CX is all about making a connection; having helpful, memorable interactions with customers. For B2B companies, this can encompass everything from sending out personalised notifications to providing turn-by-turn directions inside a convention centre to automating the registration process for guests at the corporate headquarters.
The real value of CX tech is only now beginning to be understood.