Companies realized the value of Customer Experience (CX) more than a decade ago, but so far, success has only been benchmarked against the competition. In the new-age marketplace, they struggle to capture the attention of customers who are enthralled by new entrants revolutionizing the CX standards. Businesses, traditional or not, need to step-up their game, and they need to do it now.
Numerous startups including Uber, Airbnb, and Stripe have proved how an intuitive CX can revolutionize industries win new customers, and rake-in billions of dollars in revenues. Quicken Loans Rocket Mortgage, for example, simplified the customer journey to help finance a home purchase in less than 10 minutes, thereby successfully building a $7 billion loan-book in 2016. These firms were rewarded because they didnt limit their imagination to the industrys norms or the existing technological applications. If your company wasnt born in the digital-first era, competing will be hard unless you realize that your brick-based products need more than a click-first solution.
Here are four key ideas that you must give some thought before you go about designing the perfect CX for your customers:
- Not all customers want the same experience, but all might want a similar outcome: Depending on your brand values, your proposition, and the segment you cater to, your CX will vary. Customers of your luxury yacht rental business, for example, will expect a completely different personalized experience as compared to backpackers who pool together and form groups to charter your yachts to reach remote islands.
- Customers want to acquire products and services as efficiently as possible: Its important to remember that your real world business delivery is as important a component of your CX as is your digital portals, platforms, and solutions. For example, building a sleek online platform to help buy the latest fashion apparels is great but you wont really delight customers if you send the wrong product or fail to stick to promised delivery schedules.
- Customers will only do business with bricks companies that offer a unique, value-laden CX: The future isnt very bright for those who run a brick-and-mortar store unless they can provide compelling value and offer something that a digital solution cant. Retailers, for example, will continue to lose business to e-commerce platforms unless they can find a way to invite clients into their store and give them a unique experience.
- Customers expect the CX to improve continuously: People build their expectations based on what they see in the market. At present, theyre used to being recognized at stores theyve transacted at, and expect to receive insights that add value to their interaction with the brand. Tomorrow, that expectation might change and they might want even more personalization. As brands, unless they constantly improve their CX, they wont be able to attract new customers and retain existing customers. E-commerce suppliers, for example, must keep simplifying their CX to keep their customers coming back.
If you want to win the hearts of your customers, you need to understand their needs first. You can read my article Forget Everything You Know About Bricks and Clicks (Its Wrong, or Soon Will Be) in Perspectives, our management journal, if youd like to get a jumpstart in designing your CX.