For the past two decades, we have witnessed The Experience Economy phenomena, where amidst market growth, the progression of economic value solely depended on experience; the big differentiator. Just like getting a coffee from Starbucks, whether Colombian medium roast coffee beans or Kenyan cultivated Arabica beans, experience is what keeps you coming back, and now it has become a mandate.
As we are still scratching the surface of the digital era, enterprises are arming themselves with different digital experience capabilities that are vital for success. Different studies show that Customer Experience increases revenue, as most customers prefer experience over price; as the legendary Steve Jobs said “You’ve got to start with the customer experience and work back toward the technology, not all the way around”. In recent years, we have seen a lot of propaganda regarding the importance of customer experience, but without emphasizing that customer experience is part of the core foundation to what we know today as digital transformation.
Yes, Experience matters a lot, however, with the exponential growth and transformation, and as we dig deeper into what we currently know as the digital era, current digital experience trends and best practices will merely let you survive in the coming two to five years. Yet survival is not growth; only those who are able to treat experience as a foundation for growth, are the ones ready to evolve. Digital Experience is not summed up by Customer Satisfaction. Digital Experience is what will drive your enterprise forward; your Steroid for growth.
Our observation is that digital experience is considered to be an external factor, the outer layer or façade. However, as in the coffee business the Digital Experience is only realised if it is built in from end to end. From the farm to the coffee cup and every step and design consideration in between. One approach is to consider how the Digital Experience contributes to each stage of the growth cycle as illustrated below:
Market to Lead
Organisations must be highly conversent with customers needs to draw attention and interest. This implies a far deeper level of customer insight. We need to know who are customers truly are; what are their persona’s; what are their needs down to micro-segment level. We then need to be able to talk with them in a consistent and relevant way. Immediately a holistic approach is implied underpinned by a coherent strategy and experience architecture.
Lead to Order
The digital era requires distinctive capabilities for lead to opportunity and stakeholder onboarding. Common CRM systems would soon enough stop doing the job. In order to derive value from these leads, it is critical for organizations to nurture them and drive them towards an opportunity and finally a sales order; prospect qualification, lead distribution, and personalized offer capabilities are the way to go.
Order to Fulfillment
The modern customer expects fast deliveries, the ability to add to or change orders, and the ability to change their minds. As Omni-channel networks have become complex and customer’s demands have advanced, the speed of fulfillment is increasingly the make-it-or-break-it factor in driving sales. The focus customer interaction and service delivery capabilities is key, as fulfillment is the first milestone of growth.
Fulfillment to Revenue
Effectively managing your billing, invoicing and revenue management can be a daunting task for most organizations. In the Digital age, legacy ERPs and on-premise billing systems seem to be nearing the end of their dominance in the enterprise. As go-to-market speeds accelerate and customer expectations increase, these once “go-to” systems are becoming blockers instead of enablers. A Digital Fulfillment to revenue process can help your business stand out from the competition while improving your bottom line. Integrated billing and payments, payment getaways, and smart carting are just the start of a lasting, easy, secure and improved digital experience.
Revenue to Loyalty
Experience-centric enterprises focus their energies on retaining their customers. In the digital sense this implies the need to again fully understand the customer and to deliver a seamless and meaningful experience. Analytics has a key role to play and we are seeing increased adoption of more advanced approaches such as the use of predictive analytics as a means of measuring Customer Lifetime Value.
A properly experience-centred digital offering requires each stage of the growth cycle to be considered. We have identified twelve key architectural elements that need to be considered. These include the digital service delivery architecture but extend down into the mid and back-office and across the fabric of IT with consideration of integration, security, analytics amongst other domains. A systematic, reference based approach alllows the organisation to optimally enhance its approach leading towards deeper customer insight and an intuitive, tailored and experience-centred service.