Designing a Digital Customer Experience
By Amit Keswani Manghnani, Vice President, E-Commerce & CRM, Pt. Mitra Adiperkasa TBK
With over 100 retail concepts, MAP has been a Anchor Tenant in major mall in Indonesia.
Customers in today’s marketplace are much more discriminate than they have been historically. Gone are the days in which a purchase was a simple, straightforward transaction. Now, consumers truly want to patronize a company that can engage them on multiple levels, even when their interactions occur online. Their decision to purchase from one company over another usually hinges on their customer experience (CX).
A CX is defined by interactions between a customer and an organization throughout their business relationship and common interactions include awareness, discovery, advocacy and ultimately, the purchase of goods or services. When these interactions occur online it is a part of the customer’s digital experience. Devices that allow for this are near ubiquitous—smartphones, laptops, tablets, and the Internet of Things. As technology continues to advance, there is exponential potential for companies to develop sophisticated digital experiences that facilitate a deeper, enriching relationship with brands.
Examples of interactions that consumers commonly experience include everything from researching a product online, searching for a location using an app, searching for information or technical support and even interactions that occur with wearable devices. When people have a strong customer experience, it drives significant results in customer acquisition, higher sales, and higher loyalty. Despite the importance of this, many companies still struggle with developing and executing an action plan that will enrich their customers’ experiences.
There are four key principles in designing a great CX. The first is to create a clear customer experience vision. This includes defining your brand and customer value proposition (CVP) precisely and having a clear customer communication strategy. There must also be consistency across all branded material and any customer touch points, including all channels of interaction such as telephone, email, text, IM, social media, and website communication.
Measuring how customers feel about a product or service experience will highlight the areas in which there is room for improvement
The second principle in the CX design is to understand who your customers are. This can be done by first building the types of personas that interact with customer support. The customer support team understands the problem points that customers deal with more than any other group as they are interacting with them on a regular basis. Having a firm grasp of these issues will help you to better connect and empathize with their concerns. This inevitably leads to a better customer experience for them. You must also realize the huge value in the amount of data and metrics that are available. These should not be ignored or overlooked. This data can give you key insights into how people are experiencing your online presence. Routinely analyzing metrics such as the amount of time people spend on the site, the number of pages visited, and the ultimate path to purchasing a product will allow you gauge of what is working effectively and what may not be. These are the vital signs that work to define your business.
The third key principle is to capture customer feedback in real time. This means that you must create a proper platform to receive feedback in a non-intrusive way and that is a process for analyzing this feedback internally. Measuring how customers feel about a product or service experience will highlight the areas in which there is room for improvement and the regular use of these opinion-gathering tools will help to improve the CX over time. Many companies think that if there are any issues, the customer will alert them directly but that isn’t the case most of the time. Taking a proactive approach and seeking the information will lead to much better data over time.
The final CX principle is to measure the ROI for delivering great customer experience. Measuring the customer experience is one of the biggest challenges faced by many organizations. To do this effectively, you must consider the essential key performance indicators of your business, whether they be GMV (Gross Merchandise Value), conversion, time spent on the site or the number of page visits, and begin to measure them. You should also be developing an NPS (Net Promoter Score), which is a simple survey that asks whether a customer would recommend your company or services. Tracking your RFM (Recency, Frequency, Monetary), or customer value, will also provide insight into your business’s CX ability to successfully develop a relationship with its customer base.
While the implementation of an effective digital CX strategy is challenging, and often fraught with lessons to be learned, reviewing these four principles on a regular basis can make the challenge a little less daunting and run the process smoothly.