How do we know where to invest our time and resources to become more digitally engaging with our customers? Well, it’s simple, the answer lies with your customers themselves! But, every business is different, so therefore all businesses have different customers or clientele. Often times, it is difficult to put yourself in your customers shoes when making costly, impactful business decisions such as digital transformation. But once you do, you’ve just unlocked the clarity needed to create that vision, the vision tailored for your customers and their digital experience.
“the vision tailored for your customers and their digital experience”
What do your customers need?
If you are in enterprise software sales, then automated Mobile Texting probably isn’t a desired form of communication for your clients. However, restaurant goers may want text notifications to be informed of Table Availability and/or Take-Out Order Status. Taken a step further, that same restaurant may explore interactive texting that will allow their customers to confirm reservations by replying with a “Y” to a Confirmation text rather than expecting them return to a phone call.
Digital solutions are a direct result of what your customer needs and ways to make it easier for them to “do something” with your business. While you may already know some answers, capturing these ideas across the digital channels of email correspondence, web applications, mobile devices, social platforms, streaming media and other smart devices or things will give you a holistic viewpoint of where you should aspire to be. Understand your customer, understand how they want to engage, and understand their processes. Let a user-centered design philosophy guide you to where you need to go for each digital channel. Your best strategy may not be going all-in across all the different areas, but a varying combination based on how your customers or clients interact with you!
How good is your engagement today?
Now that you know where you’re headed, assess and inventory the digital capabilities and efforts you already have and are currently undertaking. It will be eye-opening when you see where you are on the Maturity model. It is equally important to evaluate the quality of each of your capabilities for Quality of User Experience, Quality of Content, Level of Integration and Level of Data Capture.
Your customers may not be seeing any value from a customer portal just because you have one. If the portal has a poorly designed user interface, then it is probably marginally better than not having one at all. Similarly, just having a website that shows up on mobile devices is no longer good enough, it must be responsive and just as beautiful as everything else on your mobile device(s).
Everyone expects the same level of design and function that we see everyday in consumer-level applications in applications that we use for business. By combining your Digital Vision and your Current Digital Footprint, you will be able to clearly see the gaps that exist between where you are today and where you want to be in the future. If doing them all isn’t an option (and it usually isn’t), then you must perform the balancing act of prioritization, investment and value to determine which areas to focus on first.
Make it easy… for them, not you.
It is important to include the need for an ambient user experience across all of your users’ devices and your digital solutions when considering the projects you will undertake to achieve your digital vision. An ambient user experience preserves the continuity of user interaction across all devices, platforms, time and location. Simply put, it allows your customers to continue their transaction or interaction, regardless of where it was initiated, wherever they left off from wherever, whenever. This includes interactions beyond digital, such as customer service via phone or at a physical location through the use of CRM tools. If you are phasing your deployment of the various capabilities, then your architecture and design must take this into account beforehand. This way you will avoid substantial re-work down the road.
Bringing the comprehensive design and architecture supporting the ambient user experience to the forefront also provides you the opportunity to consistently capture your user and user activity data for use in reporting and analytics. This provides you with the solid information foundation necessary to identify user trends and other ways to improve your business without having to build complex data integrations after the fact.
Your customers will remember your business based on their personal experience interacting with you. Again, put yourself in their shoes, then strategize and execute on that digital vision. There are so many available options out there to choose from, so don’t limit your creativity simply by cost – rather ideate on “what” you need to deliver the best customer experience, weigh the options after.
Regardless of your plan, never lose sight of the WHY – your Customers! Bringing your customers & the digitization of your business together benefits all. Isn’t it time to enhance your digital presence so your customers can engage with your business at their convenience? Then, with that, you too can realize rewards through increased revenues/profits, reduced costs, high customer satisfaction and strong brand recognition!!
Interested to hear your comments and thoughts below!
Anexinet works with our clients to strategize on, implement and sustain digital solutions through the best combination of industry-leading cloud and vendor products.
Chris Young, Strategy Solutions, Chris’s LinkedIn Profile, firstname.lastname@example.org
Steve Tranchida, Digital Solutions, Steve’s LinkedIn Profile, email@example.com