18 Jan 2019
The age of the customer is upon us. It is now clear that what differentiates top performing organizations in 2019 won’t be price or functionality – it will be customer experience. To some, customer experience (CX) is the ease in which customers access information, conduct transactions, or engage with a brand online. According to Forrester, however, it is much more than that. Customer experience impacts more than what is offered or sold online, it is omnichannel and must encompass all customer touchpoints before, during, and after a purchase.
“This new world requires leaders to think and act differently.” Forrester
How to build a better customer experience in 2019?
Start with the customer – Delivering or creating an exceptional customer experience needs to be viewed as a catalyst or gateway to innovation focused around the customer. This means building processes internally and externally to support customer needs and aligning resources accordingly.
Why? Without this innovation and commitment, the customer experience won’t be meaningful enough to matter. You’ll lose the engagement and with that the revenue, but you might also lose the customer entirely.
Context is everything – Building great experiences starts with context. Without context, the customer is not engaged, the experience is not personalized, and you’ve lost the opportunity to build a relationship.
“Context is your cue, but you need to use that context to deliver individual experiences, and that means rethinking your entire content supply chain,” according to a recent CMO.com article.
Consistency matters – Seamless engagement across channels – whether online, in-store, or another scenario like social commerce, is core to a great customer experience. Consistent access to the same content, imagery, product descriptions, or pricing information helps to build consumer trust. When data is inconsistent, brand trust, and customers seek alternative sources for information.
The competition for attention, and ultimately, conversions are higher than ever as traditional methods for securing customer preference, and loyalty have changed. Price matching is standard practice today and loyalty needs to be earned via positive experiences, not just positive purchases.
The only way to compete in this omnichannel world is to deliver an exceptional customer experience from the beginning of an engagement through the post-purchase experience. It starts and ends with innovation and a commitment to exceeding customer expectations. Focus on context and consistency across all channels and keep evolving as customer expectations do. Don’t be afraid to experiment, after all, innovation sometimes needs some bold moves to leapfrog the competition.
Want to learn more about customer experience? Tune in to the PIMtalk podcast, “How to Deliver a Great Customer Experience” featuring Carlos Hidalgo.
About the Author
Johan Boström is Co-founder and Evangelist at inRiver. Johan is a senior business leader with over 20 years of experience leading international technology companies and is one of the founders of inRiver. Follow Johan on Twitter here @dendarbostrom.