Connecting with customers today and meeting their expectations is more challenging than ever. Customer expectations are higher today than they were ten years ago. This is due to the continuous evolution of digital devices and platforms—web, mobile, social, IoT, augmented reality, and more—all of which have made the modern customer journey more complex and unpredictable. Companies can no longer simply deliver content to each channel. Rather, they must deliver a seamless, connected, and continuous experience across all channels that provides the personalization and desired outcomes customers want and expect.
For example, customers don’t want to get an email advertisement for a product they just purchased. Nor would they want to click a link in a promotional email, only to be taken to the company’s homepage instead of the page for the promoted item they were interested in.
The digital ecosystem we use every day —and have become reliant on—is forcing companies to rethink their customer experience strategies and evolve their ability to understand their customers’ behaviors by capturing and analyzing customer data to match experiences to expectations—and deliver them in real time.
According to the 2020 Adobe Digital Trends Survey & Report, “the ability to rapidly analyze and act on customer data defines the ceiling for customer experience which has resulted in the use of automation for data analysis jumping by nearly 20%, rising from 55% to 64%.”
Nearly every company we work with has invested in, and uses, multiple technologies and platforms to identify, engage, and support customer interactions. These include CRM, content management, customer service, e-commerce and analytics—just to name a few. These are all good investments and provide specific functionality for supporting connected experiences, however, the use of these technologies and platforms as one-off tools prevents companies from leveraging the benefits of an integrated suite of tools. These benefits include digitizing business operations, delivering connected experiences, and generating actionable insights across multi-experience customer journeys.
Delivering a seamlessly connected customer experience requires the ability to not only deliver content to websites, mobile apps, email, social platforms, etc., but “connecting” all the experiences together.
So, how do you deliver a connected experience for your customers?
Companies that leading their markets have figured out that delivering connected experiences requires two key things: 1) a well-defined customer experience strategy, and 2) the technical maturity and capabilities to support and execute the strategy.
A customer experience strategy requires understanding your strategic business objectives, who your target customers are, and how those customers interact with you today. Next, you need to review and identify potential gaps in your business processes, resources, and technologies used to support your customer engagements. By understanding where gaps exist, you can identify areas you need to focus on (e.g., process automation, technology enablement) and define and create an actionable plan and roadmap that guides the organizational digital transformation needed to deliver and enhance connected customer experiences.
Once you’ve developed a strategy, it’s important to address any gaps related to technology enablement. As mentioned, we typically see investments made in various tools and platforms to support customer engagements—but in a siloed model. In other words, these platforms fail to provide the level of integration necessary to enable a view of all customer interactions and behaviors across all channels. This results in operational inefficiencies and lower rates of customer satisfaction. This lack of understanding of your customers means your organization won’t be able to deliver personalized services at the moment of need. Today’s organizations solve this through the use of Digital Experience Management platforms, such as Adobe’s Experience Manager, Salesforce, LifeRay, and Acquia. Digital Experience Management platforms enable companies to realize the following benefits:
- Journey Consistency – create and deliver consistent, connected customer journeys.
- Content Flexibility – enable content delivery across all digital channels.
- Experience Customization – deliver personalized customer experiences, informed by a 360-degree view of each customer.
- Data Consolidation – establish an infrastructure for gathering and connecting data from every channel.
- Engagement Metrics – leverage intuitive dashboards and ML-driven insights to generate powerful customer-engagement metrics.
Lastly, if your company is struggling with delivering consistent, connected experiences to your customers, please contact us. We can help. Additionally, in a just a few weeks, our new Digital Experience Management Strategy Kickstart (coming soon to our website!) can help you create and define your strategy and roadmap for delivering great connected experiences—and find the ideal Digital Experience Management platform to get the job done.
Sr. Strategist & Client Partner Manager