CX: 9 learnings on what 2021 and later will hold
Our understanding of Customer Experience is fundamentally changing. Blame the enduring effects of Covid-19, the changes brought by sustained digital engagement, and the information overload that every person goes through every day. All of these are contributing to a new future in which the customer must be central.
Here are my key takeouts from our DeepCrawl Live virtual event, where delegates gained insights on navigating a digital-first landscape and reimagining their approach to customer experience.
1. We are ‘Generation Connected’
Brian Solis, the digital analyst, anthropologist and best-selling author, defined Generation C – where the C stands for Connected. Generation C think differently, thanks to the effect of constant digital engagement.
As Solis puts it, “Generation C have different demands. They want a choice, but not just a bunch of choices – they want relevant choices. They want immediacy, convenience, accuracy, they want everything to be integrated.”
2. Move to a Customer-centric model
Nancy Rademaker, an expert in customer centricity, digital transformation, technology and culture, pointed out that customer centricity is crucial to business survival in the new normal. Indeed, it is the leading digital imperative: we must put the customer at the centre of everything we do. Remember what Jeff Bezos said: “Obsess about customers, not competitors”.
3. Move from Customer Experience to ‘customers’ experiences’
We need a radical rethink of Customer Experience to focus instead on what customers are actually doing, feeling, liking and disliking.
As Solis said, “What are their favourite brand experiences? What are their favourite journeys? Let's learn, let's take that data and plug it in so that we are investing in each of these individual elements.”
Brands need to move from merely optimising existing customer journeys to truly putting the customer first.
4. Customer expectation will be the number one disruptor
High expectations from the customer will be one of the key sources of disruption in the future, a shift that has been massively accelerated by the pandemic. The last year has already caused the biggest digital transformation to ever take place. There is more to come, and it will all be driven by aggressive customer demand.
5. Create ‘ignite moments’
Solis encourages CX leaders to try to create ‘ignite moments’. “An ignite moment is when I have your attention, and I know your intention. Then I can actually create magic,” he said. “That’s when I know what you're searching for, and I know where you're searching, and I can create the things that are going to make you move along the way because they feel fantastic or they're intuitive, or they're incredible, or they're seamless.”
6. Become curators of information to simplify the customer experience
Technology needs to help brands to improve their customers’ experiences in a time of information overload.
With just too many choices for the average consumer to make, the big challenge is to make it very, very simple. In other words, we need to act as the curator of information, with the aim of reducing the stress of choice.
7. If you want to know what a customer wants – don’t ask them
By asking customers about their preferences, we ignore the fact that most decisions are made at an intuitive level instead of a rational one. “When you do a survey, you ask people a question that they answer with their rational brain. But actually, when they are displaying their behaviour, they do so with their intuitive brain,” said Rademaker.
8. Personalise everything
The customer expects everything to be tailored, so every experience should be highly personalised.
We need to find ways to distinguish between the communication preferences of customers to gain a deeper understanding of how they perceive new information. Then we need to tailor our messages to these different types of information perceptions.
Think about semantics, design, tone of voice, narrative, language, images and general moods that will best resonate with every individual customer.
9. And finally… remember we are dealing with humans
I think this comment from Brian Solis at DeepCrawl Live is a great sentiment to close on:
“Remember, we are dealing with humans, and technology can help us. But it's still the human aspect that will eventually help you make the difference in the last mile.”