Sunday, February 21, 2016

Digital customer experience... is not a channel

Working on digital customer experience does not mean looking into how the company is present at various communications channels and pushes information towards the customer. Presence in multiple social media channels does not improve the interaction with the customer more than any other channel unless it truly matches with what the customer is looking for, adds value and is available when needed.

Digitizing customer experience is a customer journey experience that happens across all stages of customer relationship - even before customer is a customer - and engages with the customer when and where needed within numerous digital platforms not limited to communications.

Products and services should generate value throughout the customer journey when provided in digital environments. Often digitizing a product or a service provides more value to the customer via better data, analysis of it and recommendations made based on the analysis.

Digital service experiences that matches customer needs should be planned from customer point of view. These could include eg online services, chat functions, mobile services, and should be available when needed and within platforms preferred by the customer.

Customer communications should take into consideration relationship building before, during and after purchase, and help in choice and decision making, guiding the customer towards final sale. Nowdays customers are more knowledgeable of products and services when they approach the service provider, which changes the focus in communications towards communicating benefits and ensuring ease of purchase.

It could be summarized that digital customer experience is building capabilities within an organization to create way of working with customer, as well as building a way of working internally.

Overall, customer experience generates a brand experience - how the customer interacts with the brand throughout everything she or he does and ultimately builds an image with impact to reputation of the service provider.

Key building blocks thus of planning a digital customer experience may consist of:
- customer understanding - from various viewpoints that guide the generation of services, offering, customer management and delivery capabilities
- interactions throughout customer journey in various digital platforms including products and services
- tools, processes, platforms that support the customer experience
- culture of customer centricity to make sure every individual and every function of the organization generate their share of the experience towards common goals
- and finally follow-up with customer whether services support her or him and in some cases providing opportunities for co-creation or more individual services.