Seeing the business from the outside, from the customer’s perspective, is as relevant and necessary today as it was during the first phase of digital transformation. While the importance of focusing on customers has not radically changed, the elements needed to create engaging experiences have. Today, these are the three key elements in order to build a customer experience:
1. Experience Design
Customer experience has become the ultimate battleground for many companies and brands. While engaging experiences are easy to recognize, they are difficult to design and deliver. That’s because this work requires equal parts empathetic creativity and technological prowess. The former requires tools such as user experience mapping, “day-in-the-life” ethnographic studies and customer profiles, as well as practices such as design thinking. Estas herramientas y prácticas aportan una comprensión íntima de los comportamientos humanos y sacan a la luz conocimientos acerca del cliente a través de una observación atenta, una escucha experta y una experimentación constante. The latter is driven by the ability to digitally redesign customer experiences, integrating front-office technologies and processes with back-office infrastructure to deliver a seamless and instantaneous service experience, for example.
Sephora transformed the long-standing pain points in the customer experience, namely those related to testing and purchasing cosmetics, into an engaging experience thanks to digital technology. By using artificial intelligence to match a customer’s skin tones with the most appropriate products, and virtual reality to test those products, the company created a comfortable at-home shopping experience comparable, in terms of personalization, to the experience one would have in a store. Sephora’s approach, translated into an app, attracted 8.5 million users between 2016 and 2018, and has been a boon to the company as the pandemic disrupted the in-store shopping experience.
2. Customer Intelligence
The integration of customer data spanning different services and the analysis of customer behavior (all this was already done in the first phase of digital transformation) are now seen as the starting point.
(all this was already done in the first phase of digital transformation) are now considered the minimum starting point in customer experience management.
in customer experience management. Now, as machine learning has begun to deliver on its initial promise, real-time customer intelligence is enabling highly personalized interactions and providing proactive and accurate services, such as purchase predictions.
Stitch Fix is an online styling service that selects customized collections of clothing, shoes and accessories for each of its subscribers. The selection is initially based on an extensive survey to learn about the customer’s style, which is then enhanced and personalized using data such as returns, preferences and a feature called Style Shuffle, which invites subscribers to rate images of clothing each day. Some one hundred and twenty data analysts support the stylists at Stitch Fix, which has grown to $1.6 billion in annual sales and $37 million in net revenue since its founding in 2011.
3. Emotional Link
Emotional connections with customers are as essential as technology in creating engaging experiences. In one study, emotionally engaged customers were shown to be 52% more valuable than highly satisfied customers6. This is why companies are using digital technology to solicit and enable customer engagement throughout their value chain: in R&D and product development (e.g.,
Starbucks’ MyStarbucksidea. com), content creation (LinkedIn profiles), logistics (UPS My Choice) and services (iStockphoto inspectors). Giffgaff, a UK virtual cell phone operator owned by Telefonica, has a business model driven by its community of members (its customers). With a workforce of less than two hundred and fifty people, this company has no call center platform and no customer service department. Basically, customer care has been outsourced to its more than three million members, and it works well.