The current pandemic has greatly impacted perspectives on brands, products, and channels, and made sweeping changes to customer expectations and behavior. For customers today, product/service availability, digital enablement, safety, care, and inclusion are some of the key considerations for engaging and interacting with brands and companies.
Organizations and brands that had carefully crafted digital strategies or digital transformation programs to create valuable customer engagement and experience initiatives have had to throw out their playbooks, improvise, and be fluid to keep pace.
As companies prepare for a sustainable yet unknown future, the path to compelling customer experience will need agility and creative approaches. And at the heart of this new customer experience will be a coming together of Customer, Brand, and Employee experience management, where the entire organization – not just the marketing or customer care departments – is oriented towards customer experience goals.
Here are some attributes of the Integrated Experience (IX) management approach:
Brands and organizations have focused on these three practices as individual streams to date – Brand Experience (BX), Customer Experience (CX) and Employee Experience (EX). The future of all three would be an Integrated Experience (IX) management approach where executives involved with each of these streams would drive holistic experience management programs within the organization. This way the entire organization would be aligned towards the essential intent of delivering the best customer experience, whether it’s through business strategy, operational decisions, technology capability, marketing outreach, or human resources management.
The current pandemic has traumatized societies at large. Many customer decisions or engagements are driven emotionally, based on who they can trust. Organizations need to demonstrate empathy towards customers and keep reinforcing why they should trust them with their time and money.
Digital transformation agendas are now at the forefront within organizations, and customers are engaging more digitally. Organizations are gaining the ability to identify and enable services and solutions to interact with and engage consumers more meaningfully. Growing data availability and new technologies at every stage of interaction and engagement would allow organizations to shift their focus from ‘personalize to sell‘ to ‘personalize to enhance the experience‘, driving deeper customer engagement and brand loyalty.
The data availability, along with engagement and interaction capabilities, would enable brands and organizations to anticipate experience drops before even the customer expresses it, thereby enhancing the scope of feedback. Further, IX professionals in the future would be able to run a query on the information that they would like deep-dive on, especially the “Why” rather than the “What”, “When”, “Where” and “How”.
The last five years have accelerated the adoption of digital workers (RPA/IPA BOTS) within the customer journey or engagement channels. Typically, organizations have treated these as technologies rather than as critical engagement and experience channels. Forward-looking organizations have already started focusing on enhancing the quality of human interaction with digital workers. The growing need for immediacy and real-time response would compel Experience executives to include digital workers as part of measurement programs.
Marketing technology (Martech) has been a critical area of focus for the last decade. The new decade will have organizations broaden their focus from Martech to a more comprehensive Digital Experience Stack (DXTech) and prioritize DXTech over Martech. The areas of Martech and DXTech will see massive consolidation and the emergence of new technologies and start-ups.
Integrated Experience is about a bold new organization-wide mission and orientation to reassure, reengage, and win back, over and over again, the shaken customer in fast-changing times.
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