Matthew Yuen (lead image), is head of experience design at Switch. In this guest post, he says the next generation will be much more demanding of CX and brands need to be readying for the change now…
Customer experience is the new battleground for companies, and millions of dollars are being spent as firms across all sectors attempt to undertake digital transformation.
It’s not all plain sailing though, as working out what is required, or what the problem is, can be more than half the battle, for any brand. At the business level, CX is still slow to be adopted, and board buy-in is tough to secure. Many companies are struggling with the shift to true customer focus.
CX is more than a digital storefront, a slick website, or a shiny new campaign. It is the whole company experience, moving in concert to retain and acquire new customers, and appear consistent and reliable in all of its digital touchpoints.
Today customers are less than responsive to slick advertising campaigns. The banner blindness problem is real. More paid media, or brilliant ads, don’t necessarily lead to a bottom-line benefit. But executing a solid CX plan can achieve that and can underpin a growth strategy.
However, it can be tough to bring together all of the moving parts in a business. A key part of any CX strategic sell process is to help the internal digital team to sell an initiative to their CEO or management team. We often need to work with the technology team and marketing to understand their level of digital maturity. Our view is the user comes first, then the application.
Sometimes we cannot get the answers from a business about what their biggest challenges are.
Often CEOs don’t look at CX the way we do. We are not there just to make your website look pretty or nice to use. We need to know what the over-arching goal is, and we need to identify the overall goal or aspiration.
Most of the problems inside organisations stem from businesses not focused on a bigger plan.
The key is really taking the time to understand who your customers are, and what their full customer journey is. Data analysis is important – use it to identify patterns and refine a strategy and be responsive and agile.
Personally, I believe this era of new app-based digital consumer services will drag the business world of B2B into a new era of B2C like offerings.
I am often asked what is going to happen in the experience design world in the next five years. In the consumer (app-based) economy, people are getting used to seamless experiences. That’s what we need in the business branding and experience world.
The big breakthrough is coming over the horizon, and it’s going to be led by the next generation coming through. These new young digital natives will move into positions of influence in the next five years.
This new generation has higher standards and expectations of how any kind of platform or system should look, feel, and operate. They have iPhones in front of their faces all day, and applications that remember who they are. Businesses will have to jump on the digital train because if the new generation are blocked at work from making real change, they will simply move to another employer.
When a consumer interacts with a bank, they use a nicely designed transaction app, and that is the level of service they expect. The standard of experience has been raised by the B2C players, and the CX experience needs to be of the same quality.
Younger generations who have grown up with seamless digital experience will expect the same when entering the workforce. They are also more likely to expect their own employer to have great branding, digital interfaces, and web systems.
After having worked in CX for more than ten years, I believe the tipping point has now been reached. Brands need to move quickly on CX, or they risk being flamed online for poor service, or becoming irrelevant to their customers. Businesses have run out of excuses to make their digital experience relational, and not merely transactional.
One thing is for sure, putting a bigger buy now, or subscribe now buttons on the front of your website does not solve all your problems. Relevant marketing campaigns, personalised services and content, and seamless digital experiences, will be the defining factors for every company in the next decade.
CX today is so all-encompassing, it can be quite overwhelming. There’s a lot to do if you’re going to navigate and pin down the new customer experience. The bigger risk is to not do anything and slowly, or quickly, watch your business decline.
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