In today’s experience economy, whether B2C or B2B, to differentiate your company you need to build frictionless, memorable, exceptional customer experiences. This has become a top priority for businesses when it comes to making a difference in their market.
Associating the experience of a customer to a specific part (or parts) of any organization is wrong, and too many companies make that mistake. They need to think holistically. There isn’t any one team, leader, discipline, language or box that you can simply replace, fix or transform. Almost every part of your organization contributes to your customer experience.
Marketing and sales is customer experience
A customer journey starts with the brand. The experience at every touchpoint with the organization will set up the customer experience over the long run. It is crucial that this phase – beyond just making it a good experience – helps you set the right expectations with your customer for all future touchpoints in their journey: from product and services to order management and fulfillment.
Product and services are customer experience
If a product or a service does not deliver on its promise; if the value derived from it by the customer doesn’t materialize, or if the value is inferior to other options on the market, it leaves the door wide open to a negative customer experience. Conversely, when a product exceeds expectations, it can be the beginning of a memorable experience. But that’s just the start.
Order management is customer experience
Order management is traditionally all things that happen after a customer makes an order be it digitally on an app or a website, or more traditionally via phone or email, right up to the point that the order is fulfilled. And that’s when the customer is particularly attentive to what he is getting in return. If any issues arise at this crucial stage – on product, availability, payment and invoicing, or fulfillment, that‘s when a customer experience can quickly turn into a bad one. Order management processes should pay special attention so that errors, issues or edge cases can be dealt with thoroughly and leave the customer experience unaffected or even, enhanced.
Supply chain is customer experience
Supply chain encompasses the planning and management of all activities involved in sourcing and procurement (generally of physical goods), conversion, as well as logistic management activities that cover the production of fulfillment of a product ordered by a customer, to that customer. It also encompasses all intermediaries involved – suppliers, resellers, third party service providers etc.
Modern supply chain management is the key to streamlining the supply process and providing visibility to the customer which has become an imperative as we move into highly dynamic and customized products. You can‘t bet on no-issues in your supply chain but the way you deal with any supply chain issues will be critical in achieving a good customer experience, or not.
Support is customer experience
Support is another domain of your organization that shapes a good – or bad –customer experience. It has evolved over the past few years, in particular with the emergence of ‘customer success’ as a discipline. On the one hand, it is very ‘human’ yet, on the other, it is an obvious target for digitalization and can benefit significantly from digital experience technology – from rich, easily discoverable content to interactive bot-based conversations and more conventional support portals.
Brand is customer experience
Building a strong brand builds customer expectations and attachments. Take Tesla as an example: while its cars have been notorious, at least in the early years, for lagging behind in terms of quality compared to their high-end competitors such as Audi, Volvo, Mercedes, Lexus and others, their customers, because of the brand effect, do not acknowledge this as a negative but as a positive. They relate to it as ‘being part of the revolution‘. A clearly negative touchpoint hadn’t eroded the customer experience and has even contributed to improving it.
Now what? Breaking silos is customer experience
As discussed, customer experience is the result of all parts of your organization. Changing and transforming it for the better becomes a huge challenge as it will impact all functions of the organization, as well as on how they collaborate and align with each other.
Modern digital experience platforms like ours, API-driven and modular (not a monolith), have been created for this purpose and help break down the silos in your organization at the technology level. This experience layer is the glue that connects many business systems used by the different part of the organization – ERPs, CRMs, CDPs, Support systems etc. However, technology is only one part of the equation.
It likely requires reorganization and change, and that depends on the maturity, agility and readiness of your organization to take that transformative journey. Organizations need also to overhaul themselves strategically and culturally to break out of their silos and mature so they can build rich, memorable customer experiences that will make their digital transformation a success.
If you are interested to learning more, we at Ibexa would love to help. We provide technology to enables you to build such experiences. Please feel free to reach out to us or to explore more by reading our latest ebook on the topic.