Digital Business starts with people, and it follows with developing the right engagement that delivers a delightful experience, in order for the desired business outcome to be reached.
As described in my previous blog, a consequence of the pandemic has been a rise in more social behavior as a result of living socially distant. The situation has also inspired us to rethink approaches to Customer Experience (CX), which is revealing the potential to bring about positive and lasting changes for companies that are transforming to Digital Business.
The Customer Experience
When we develop the Customer Experience (CX), we are trying to optimize for human behaviors of the “people” we want to engage. We consider their personas, pain points, needs and any characteristic that helps us better understand how to reach, engage and delight them. That’s what CX is all about. We say “Customer”, but in reality, the “people” could be from any role, including, customers, employees, users or citizens.
Getting CX right means being obsessed with everything that drives the person’s role; and in times of great change, like our current COVID-19 reality, we see all around us inspirational new ways to deliver a great experience that improves upon classical best practices.
Creating New Experiences is Driven by Your Customers’ Journey
Examples of new engagement models are everywhere as businesses evolve to overcome the impact of this pandemic—digital autonomous demo environments, digital ordering, same day service, curbside pick-up, free “contactless” delivery. Every idea is meant to keep the customer coming back and accommodating their need to acquire products while remaining socially distant.
"Remember my first statement—Digital Business starts with people, and it follows with developing the right engagement that delivers a delightful experience, in order for the desired business outcome to be reached."
From the enterprise to SMB’s, making your business digital is fundamental to any growth strategy. After all, when roughly ‘67% of a buyer’s journey is now completed digitally’ (SiriusDecisions-a Forrester company), it becomes paramount that capturing that business means obsessing over the customer journey and perfecting the experience from the point of initial ‘awareness’ onward.
Not only do we think of the customer journey outcome as leading to a purchase, but we recognize that with the right digital engagements, we can drive repeat sales, automated up-selling, and move customers to becoming our advocate. This is how a Digital Business thinks—from inside the customer journey outward by building the right experiences based on digital technology.
Technology’s Role as Enabler to Becoming a Digital Business
In addition to understanding your customer’s journey, building the right experience is enabled by key technologies that help companies transform their processes and infrastructures into modern digital operations. This is more than just replacing a manual process with digital technologies, it’s done to realize better customer experiences that underpin growth in tangible, quantifiable business outcomes.
"I believe this concept is very important. Digital transformation should be driven around the customer experience and culminate in the company’s digital operation producing business growth."
Yet, without technology, Digital Business would not be feasible. From APIs that let us seamlessly connect devices, information and data into frictionless experiences; to modern architectures that are event-driven to better track how the customer interactions progress with a company; and automated virtual assistants (chatbots) that help answer questions or escalate service while learning over time—technology has steadily improved to meet the growing needs of Digital Transformation.
Adoption of open source, Agile methods and advances in Low Code/No Code software are all enabling Digital Businesses to accelerate delivering better features and rich CX at the speed customers expect. These are the technology building blocks enabling companies to evolve digitally.
"Thinking about the impact of this pandemic, imagine where the Customer Experience would be without digital technologies? I believe it is the confluence of technology and new social behaviors driving the evolution of Digital Business and greater Customer Experience—and we’ve only just begun."
New Technologies Like Virtual Reality Emerge to Offer Potential Unique CX Solutions
Overcoming social distancing to create unique experiences may be finding answers in the virtual realm as well. Some companies are leveraging platforms like Forge of Empires, Sine Wave Entertainment Ltd, or even hiring developers to build their own immersive office experience for employees that are remote working.
WSJ May 2020 – Miss Your Office? | Photo by: SINE WAVE ENTERTAINMENT LTD.
A recent WSJ article speculated on whether there would be increasing demand for simulated office space in light of the pandemic. Companies like We Transfer have created immersive experiences for their employees by replicating their Amsterdam office. The 3D room is finding the most use for casual group meetings and “happy hour” socialization, whereas important meetings remain in Google Hangouts.
Could the next wave of Immersive VR Innovations extend to better engage throughout the customer journey—bringing CX to a whole new level? Quite possibly, but like any emerging technology, implementation and adoption can be complex. Time will tell as lessons are learned in the employee use case.
More Than a “New Normal”, the Changes Happening Now are Important, Transformative Steps to the Continued Growth of Digital Business
The pandemic has been a dramatic upheaval to our lives, and collectively I believe, we are experiencing a permanent change in classic business interactions that will continue to evolve after the pandemic subsides. It was an unfortunate catalyst that combined with mature digital technology to force transformation for how business gets done. So, we are changing behaviors and learning as we go forward together; and in the process, finding new inspiration to deliver an even better digital experience.
This topic is especially important to Encora and I enjoy any opportunity to discuss it in greater detail, even elaborating on unique use cases I’ve seen that exemplify the benefit of great CX on Digital Business. If you are planning or have active initiatives along these lines, please feel free to contact me and let’s talk further.