Thursday 2 February 2023

Customer DT

In digital transformation there are four primary pillars of value:

  • Customer expectations
  • Operations
  • Employee experience
  • Business models
The fundamental pillar of any business is the customer, without them, it is impossible to operate, for they exchange their money for an organizations product and/or service. Without customers any organization large or small, this is why generally the greatest opportunity to add value through a digital transformation is through the customer experience.

Attracting and retaining customers is at the heart of any business and hence at the heart of any digital transformation. Customers are expecting more digital offerings with each year, customers no longer expect a business to have website, and a social media presence, customers now expect virtual agents to answer simple queries, customers expect contactless payment and delivery of their purchase within the same business day if not the next.

Businesses in the coming years will either embrace digital, or be eclipsed by those who do. To remain relative, organizations must apply the principles of customer experience design, similar in principle to user experience design but much broader in scope. Where user experience design focuses on user experience of a particular service or product, Customer experience design focuses on the customers experience with the organization as a whole, each touchpoint, each product, each service must have a consistent and delightful experience, with continuality, if a customer begins a journey with one product as the move between channels their identity and progress must move with them.

To map a customer journey a customer experience designer needs to leverage the same soft skills that a UX designer needs, empathy and creativity to map out the customers journey. The customer journey map is a complex representation of how a potential customer transitions to a loyal customer, it is far too complex and unique to each organisation to create a generic one-size fits all solution. However at macro level, there are five main stages, Awareness, consideration, acquisition, service, loyalty.

These stages are unique to each individual channel, however each channels experience must be as consistent between channels as possible. Each potential and loyal customer must feel that regardless of channel their journey is familiar, simple, and most importantly delightful. Acquiring new customers is valuable, however retaining customers is priceless. 

Each channel touches multiple departments sometimes differently per leg of the customer journey, per channel, understanding these touch points and which department is responsible per channel per leg is essential to providing the maximum customer care, satisfaction and conversion from potential to loyal customer.

Before an organisation can convert a potential customer to a loyal one, it must fist identify the potentials ones, not every person or business is a potential customer. Expending resources on unlikely customers, is a waste which could be better utilised on potential customers. Customer experience designers leverage various experience research techniques to identify and model potential customers to best understand, who they are? where they are? what they want? and any potential pain points that the customer journey needs to address and relieve to successfully acquire a loyal customer.