Companies are thinking a lot about how they treat their customers. They all know it's important to ensure a positive customer experience to build brand loyalty and retain customers.
For long-standing companies, it’s not always so easy to shift perspective and shake the inside-out thinking. When companies do not focus on the end-to-end customer journey the customers often end up with a broken experience. One that is not customer-centric, but instead optimised for the company.
Even when organisations do put customers at the center of their business strategy, they discover that executing those plans is challenging. A flawless customer experience is hard to get right the first time so it’s important to adopt an approach that supports a feedback loop to keep learning and improving. Below you can read how you approach these challenges and build a digital strategy focused on improving the customer experience and setting a strong foundation for competitive customer experience.
Customer experience is the result of every interaction a customer has with your business, from navigating the website to talking to customer service and receiving the product/service they bought from you. A series of touchpoints or interactions make up a customer journey. Understanding the customer journeys your consumers go through and optimizing every touchpoint within these based on the specific objectives and goals will help you create a better overall customer experience.
Delivering a good customer experience has a direct, strong impact on customer retention, which is known to be one of the most important deciding factors for the success of any company or product.
Customer retention refers to the ability of a company or product to retain its customers over some specified period. High customer retention means customers of the product or business tend to return to, continue to buy or in some other way not defect to another product or business, or to non-use entirely.
Therefore, understanding the causality between customer experience, customer retention and a company or product's success will help you set the foundation to achieve growth through these factors.
For a company to become customer-centric on their journey to digital maturity, it needs to have a clearly-defined digital strategy framework that seamlessly integrate into your company’s general strategy goal, and be adopted by everyone that both directly and indirectly services your customers, sharing the same roadmap.
In addition to thinking outside-in and being customer-focused, digital success comes inside-out. Without department-spanning collaboration, it’s hard to execute a digital strategy.
Numbers are falling, customers seem moving away to other suppliers. The CEO is told he needs a digital strategy. Two years later. You did everything right. Nobody read the report, nothing changed at all. What went wrong? There is not merely one way to execute a successful digital strategy. Empowerment and uniting the right people, at the right time and place in a shared mission, step by step, and with persistence is for one essential.
The most common 5 reasons why digital strategies fail to succeed and how you can use this to avoid these pitfalls when developing or updating your digital strategy.
A successful digital strategy framework should seamlessly integrate into your company’s general strategy goal, and be adopted by everyone that both, directly and indirectly, service your customers, while sharing the same roadmap. When it comes down to it, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all digital strategy you can successfully apply, but there are proven digital strategy frameworks that can guide you to results.
People tend to resist change, especially big change. This is a huge blocker when successfully trying to execute a company-wide transformation. So how do you get everybody on board? A proven way to counter resistance to change is by making the required change more easily digestible. A technique called slicing the elephant.
The concept is simple. Break up the problem in smaller parts that are easier to manage, still contribute to your success, and build different layers into your approach. In the strategic and architectural runways, as we call these constructs at SQLI, you monitor the milestones while the teams deliver real value, time and time again.
In the meantime, the added value and feasibility of new initiatives are looped back into the daily execution for validation. This way you can continuously measure the actual results, ensuring the daily business takes ownership of the initiatives, ranging for organizational change to actual product development, by communicating frequently and transparently about what is happening, and why. This is especially important when communicating with your customers.
A one-on-one audit that will uncover your company's readiness to build effective digital experiences that delight your (potential) customers. Assess the performance of your current customer experience strategy and customer journeys and discover together optimization opportunities to drive growth.
Data is the foundation of the competitive advantage of many companies as it provides key actionable insights that have a significant impact in the customer experience.
To ensure you’re asking the right questions we highly recommend you begin with identifying your digital strategy, and how you intend to measure success.
Your digital strategy will give direction to what data is the best measure of progress toward the achievement of business goals.
Seek out measures that provide a good indication whether or not your efforts have improved profit and customer satisfaction. Those are the metrics that really show the impact of your digital investments.
How do we measure if the customer experience has improved? Of course we approach this from a strategic perspective, set the KPI’s, create a clear measurement setup, and start gathering data to capture the actual improvement. Ultimately, there is one straightforward and obvious number that is extremely important; the amount of customers gained over a certain period. This is the main indicator of an improved customer experience design.
Many organizations struggle with the fact that they don’t have enough customer insights. How are their customers behaving? What are their needs? Which jobs do they have to fulfil to purchase or acquire a service of your company?
To have actionable insights, companies need to both track the behaviour of customers and the "why" the behave like they do, on scale. A big challenge for less mature companies.
Combining customer behaviour and satisfaction with operational insights is the key to gathering the right insights that can serve as the foundation for optimization.
During the complete customer experience journey you provide, users will interact with your brand and products through multiple touchpoints. Obviously, it’s essential that the customer experience across all touchpoints is consistent in quality and depth. In addition, a continuous improvement process will help you optimize and iterate based on key data.
More than ever customers are in the driver's seat deciding upon the success or failure of companies and their brands, including yours. As a company, you will have to constantly convey your brand story in a consistent way through all customer touchpoints. Turning your customers into loyal ambassadors loving and sharing their product and services experience with others is key to the growth of your business.
The way consumers experience a brand can be described by three pillars; visibility, communication, and behaviour. In comparison to user or customer experience, brand Experience (BX) is much broader. It captures the overall impression a customer gets when interacting with your company, and how they share this impression with others. It reflects the value they get out of this interaction, your product, and services. How do they talk about the relationship or experience they’ve had with your company? Do they feel you kept your promises, and do they believe the story you told?
Listen to our conversation with Bruce Temkin "The Godfather of CX" on the ROI of CX and the results of his annual report with +10K customers. Listen now.
Why would you need a digital agency and how do you select the right partner to drive your organization forward? Partnering with a digital agency is a key strategic decision for organizations. In an era where digital growth is key and competition is relentless, it is essential to focus on creating value and aiming for measurable outcomes. Budget can only be spent once after all. That’s why we believe selecting the right digital partner is key for your success.
What role does a digital agency fulfil exactly, and how do you select the right partner to drive your organization forward? We believe it mainly comes down to two things; focusing on customer centricity and your digital transformation.
We transformed 25+ years of E-commerce experience in a proven strategic approach to drive your commerce to tangible success through digital strategy and customer experience that is meant to engage and optimize.
We have helped companies like Adidas, Warmeteservice, Sligro or NL Care improve their customer experience through enhanced Digital Strategy or Digital Product Design.Go to our cases →
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