UX - Customer Experience
Customer centricity is the core of a business success, and no reasonable individual argues its validity. The companies implement strategies to make their customers fulfilled by using their products and services. Over the last couple of years, more and more companies have been trying to fundamentally reshape the way in which they interact with their customers — a trend that has been accelerated by the recent Covid-19 pandemic. Perhaps the biggest change firms have made is that, rather than having a few episodic interactions, they are trying to create a continuous relationship with their customers. Customers feedbacks are critically important to capture their experience when it comes to a product or services. Companies across all industries are putting personalization at the center of their enterprise strategies. We are now at the point where competitive advantage will derive from the ability to capture, analyze, and utilize personalized customer data at scale and from the use of AI to understand, shape, customize, and optimize the customer journey. Digital-advantage supremacy has gone well beyond the boundaries of traditional marketing to become a much broader C-suite issue. The obvious winners have been the big tech companies, which have embedded these capabilities in their business models. But there are SMEs that have designed transformative customer experiences based on first-party data.
Companies have used different approaches such as Net Promoter Index (NPI) for years to identify promoters and detractors. This measure is usually completed by surveys and questionnaires following delivering a project or rendering a service. However, there are emerging strategies that can be more effective source of competitive advantage. Terwiesch and Siggelkow (2021) identified four connected customer experiences that firms can create. Each of these experiences can help turn episodic interactions into continuous relationships.
Response-to-desire journeys- A customer knows precisely what she plans to buy and wants to press a “button” that makes the rest of her customer journey (ordering, paying, delivery) as easy as possible. For example, buying a book and having it instantly delivered onto a Kindle would be a respond-to-desire experience.
Curated offerings- A curated offering helps the customer understand all the available options and find the best option that would fulfill her particular, current need best. A good movie suggestion by Netflix, or the creation of a personalized retirement portfolio by a financial advisor would fall under this category.
Coach behaviors- A coach behavior enables a customer to become aware of her needs at more efficient times. A digitally-enabled asthma inhaler that can provide real-time feedback and lead to greater adherence would create a coach behavior experience.
Automatic execution- A firm is able to detect and resolve a customer need before the customer has even notices it. For instance, a printer that reorders a cartridge whenever it is about to run out of toner creates an automatic execution experience.
Right now, many firms are in the process of implementing connected strategies. Decisions need to be made about how to execute these strategies, which customer segments they should target, and what operational capabilities have to be developed — and making these decisions correctly is paramount to reaping the full benefits of connected strategies.
Connected technologies have greatly advanced over the recent past. Moreover, customers and employees are increasingly expecting well designed digital experiences, a trend that certainly has further accelerated during the pandemic. Consequently, the question companies face currently is not a matter of “whether they should implement a connected strategy,” but a matter of “how.” When designing a successful connected strategy, as so often in management, the technological innovation is only one piece of the puzzle. In order to create a lasting competitive advantage, companies need to match the right technological solutions with the right customer needs.
Terwiesch, C., & Siggelkow, N. (2021). Designing a Seamless Digital Experience for Customers. HBR.
HCM Sales, Marketing & Alliance Excellence presented by HR.com, JANUARY 7, 2023