I have often written how digital disruption has completely changed the way that customers engage with brands. The customer journey used to be defined and controlled by companies, yet the mobile Internet and social networking platforms have now handed control to the customers to determine how and when they seek information or try engaging with companies.
Forbes magazine recently listed the top ten issues and trends related to digital disruption that executives need to be aware of in 2017 and number two on the list was the customer experience (CX). Number one was the fact that change is always happening, which could probably apply in any year, but I’m interested to see CX placed so high up on the digital disruption priority list.
Specific issues around digital disruption and the CX include:
- Use data to learn where your customers are coming from; if you want to personalise your offer so you have recommendations and deals designed for the individual customer then you need data and you need to be able to analyse that data.
- Create a consistent experience across many channels; it’s not acceptable to offer great service on a voice call and awful service on Twitter – omnichannel expectations mean that you need to be consistent across all channels.
- Every touch point between the brand and customer matters; internally you might think of different types of customer touchpoints – marketing, advertising, sales, PR, service – however to the customer it doesn’t matter. All they know of is their interaction with your brand.
- Removing friction from the overall experience; simplicity is the key to keeping the customer happy. Make their life easy and you will win supporters.
- Enhance the experience compared to what the customer is used to; can you service stand out when compared to the competition? If not then why not? Aim to be better than others offering similar services.
The Forbes feature says:
“The customer experience (including employees) is the ultimate goal of any digital transformation. Customers are more cautious than ever; they’ll turn away from brands that don’t align with their values and needs. A top-notch user experience is a fantastic way to keep customers involved and engaged with your brand.”
We are only a quarter of the way into 2017 and yet it is clear that digital disruption will be one of the key themes for business strategy this year. It’s clear to me that managing the customer experience in 2017 will be a challenge for many companies as interactions between customers and brands are being disrupted in many ways, but awareness and planning can help to mitigate the risks ahead.
What do you think are the leading areas of digitial disruption that will affect CX in the year ahead? Leave a comment here or tweet me on @markhillary. Photo by Masha Krasnova-Shabaeva licensed under Creative Commons.