Today, every successful business must put customer experience above all else. Brands across the globe are finding this out for themselves, as small disruptors that provide personalised, connected experiences are steadily capturing market share away from large, well-established competitors, while laggards in the experience business are watching their customer loyalty shrink.
Watermark Consulting’s 2015 Customer Experience ROI study found that companies that emphasise customer experience consistently outperform their less experience-oriented competitors in terms of stock market returns. Additionally, a study from NewVoiceMedia reports that companies lose more than $62 billion every year due to poor customer service.
In light of these facts, it’s no surprise that more corporate leaders are taking concrete steps to build customer experience into their company culture. In 2017, a full 50 percent of product investment projects have been redirected to customer experience innovations, and all signs point to further increases in the coming year. In fact, an American Express survey found that 74 percent of customers spend more money with companies known for providing great customer experiences.
The transformation to an experience business looks different for every organisation. Even so, some common themes have emerged across industries. Here’s the shape the overall process typically takes.
The road to becoming an experience business
Most companies, especially large ones with long pedigrees, entered the 2010s in a state of total disconnect in terms of customer view. Each department collected its own independent data on each customer interaction, stored it in a file format that few (if any) other departments used, and assigned channels like web, mobile, and phone support to separate teams who rarely coordinated their efforts.
If your organisation still looks something like this, even in 2017, then it’s high time for a change.
To provide connected, personalised customer experiences, your organisation needs to start by bringing every department’s customer data together onto a single platform, so every team can get a single view of the customer, and share insights across the business. Second, you need to perform research to understand your customers and what they expect, as well as be aware of applicable legislation, such as the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which restricts how customers’ personal data can be shared and used.
Once you’ve gained a clear understanding of your customers and the regulatory space, you need to deliver the experience your customers want and expect—no matter where they are or what device they’re using. As you gain feedback from these interactions, analytics can help you use the data to discover new audiences and serve even more personalised experiences to them.
Along the way, you need to continue to streamline your internal processes and digital workflows, allowing your teams to act on new data, adapt to trends, and keep your customer experiences agile in the face of emerging competition.
This may sound like a tall order. It is. But it boils down to just six key capabilities.
The six elements of an experience business
Adobe’s research has zeroed in on six elements that are crucial to creating and maintaining a successful experience business:
- Great design. Experience businesses leverage customer insights to build websites and apps that proactively anticipate their customers’ top interests.
- 360-degree view of customer. Integrating data from all touchpoints lets businesses achieve a complete view of every customer.
- Personalised interactions across devices. Records of customers’ previous interactions “follow” them onto new touchpoints and devices, so they’re always recognised.
- Content that’s always relevant. Persistent customer profiles enable each touchpoint to deliver unique content tailored around customers’ needs.
- Data science and decision-making algorithms. Data from all these touchpoints feeds back into the analytics system, driving improved insights and decisions.
- Digital workflows. Throughout the organisation, all teams use the same digital platform to share insights and collaborate on new initiatives.
Before you know what kinds of changes you’ll need to make to stay ahead of your competitors, you need to determine where your business stands on this maturity curve. Start by taking Adobe’s Digital Marketing Maturity Self-Assessment Tool for a spin. When you’re ready to take the next step, the Adobe Cloud platform has all the tools your organisation needs to become an experience business, and drive brand loyalty, engagement, and growth.