The current landscape of Customer Experience Management (CXM) is vastly unchartered—and brands are getting lost.
This problem isn’t derived from a lack of knowledge on the subject, rather a misperception on how organizations can apply CXM in a way that affects real business value and in fact delivers on the customer’s expectations.
In the past, CX was thought to revolve around the website—who is visiting, where they came from, how they are behaving. While this still remains important, it is a limited, perhaps misleading, view on how consumers truly interact with a brand and its content.
In reality, CX goes far beyond your website. It involves an integrated set of components such as an analytics framework, content management systems, marketing automation and data management platforms, just to name a few. In order to effectively manage customer experience, organizations must first understand that building true customer affinity requires being involved in every touchpoint of the consumer lifecycle.
Shaping Customer Experience Through Brand Environments
There is a laundry list of brands today that are creating exceptional customer experiences—from industry old guards such as Mercedes and Amazon to relative rel="noopener noreferrer" newcomers like Uber and Spotify. Part of the reason these organizations have succeeded is in part because of the products and services they are selling as well as the content they are creating.
But don’t be fooled. While “content may be king,” Mercedes-Benz rel="noopener noreferrer" USA CEO Steve Cannon suggests customer loyalty is won and lost in the experience.
"Customer experience is the new marketing," Cannon states. "If you take customer experience seriously, it should be the guiding light of your strategy and operations."
For that reason, the real takeaway for marketers isn’t to imitate another brand’s content or UX features, but rather to emulate the model these organizations have installed that gives them the ability to consistently shape customer interactions within each of their brand environments.
Let’s use an example. Say you are a consumer tech company specializing in 3D printing manufacturing. A potential customer sees one of your display ads online and decides to click. What happens next? What experience does that customer receive? More importantly, how does that experience relate and integrate with the rest of your marketing channels and brand story?
The above illustration is an example of mapping the customer's experience across channels. If done correctly, that display ad will have already been personalized to the unique customer using a centralized analytics tool such as a data management platform which has cataloged any and all interactions that user has previously had with your company, including your website. Once clicked, that ad will then navigate the customer to a branded landing page based on that user’s immediate needs and offer a solution.
At this point, that customer has the choice to either convert or abandon the experience altogether. Whichever the case may be, by connecting an analytics system to these digital touchpoints, organizations can understand which messages are working, which ones aren’t, and continuously optimize the program accordingly.
The complete customer journey will continue, likely in a cyclical fashion, bringing your brand and content into the customer's experience mix across devices and touchpoints, online and offline, until you reach a point of true loyal advocacy or abandonment all together.
Regardless of the product or service you’re selling, whether you’re B2B or B2C, the key principle to understand in the CXM process is that it relies on a full understanding of your brand and its customers, the best messages to motivate these audiences, and a total integration of your marketing technology to capitalize on past, present, and future opportunities.