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Creating remarkable customer experiences

What makes an interaction, a communication, a purchase, or any other kind of customer experience we have in our daily lives, a remarkable one? I can recall some of my more interesting personal experiences; a car rental employee went out of his way to make sure I got to my destination or from a digital perspective, when I was alerted to a change in my flight on my mobile app and found out that I was already re-booked with a transfer waiting at the arrival gate. While these are consumer examples, there are many business ones that rise to the top as well.

So what does it take to deliver a digital customer experience that is engaging, optimized and, even better, connected across interactions with a level of personalization that makes it memorable? I propose that remarkable experiences can only happen when the individual in an organization has a sense of empowerment and when the right tools are easily available to deliver on the company’s customer-centric vision. They can communicate effectively with their audiences, gain insight into each interaction and optimize each activity to promote loyalty and satisfaction.

But even with the right tools, something is still missing.

Creating remarkable digital experiences involves more than just producing an HTML version of a document with rows and columns of data. Did your last electronic statement from your bank, health provider, insurer or utility provider resemble a fancy spreadsheet? Great experiences should be seamless, effortless in a sense, that no matter what channel I want to receive information, be it print, mobile, my car or on the phone, information is intelligently delivered and personalized to me. Organizations that are prepared to meet the customer’s expectations across each channel in real-time, or even before they know they have the need, will likely see an increase in brand loyalty.

Let’s look back at the two examples I gave earlier – the rental car and airline scenarios. What is common between both is the elusive and hard to replicate emotional aspect in delivering a satisfied and happy experience. According to Forrester’s US Customer Experience Index for 2016, emotion is the key to customer experience fueled loyalty: “The way an experience makes customers feel has a bigger influence on their loyalty to a brand than the effectiveness or ease of the experience.” The article makes two important points:

  • Making customers feel valued, appreciated, and confident drives loyalty.
  • Annoyance, disappointment, and frustration weaken loyalty.

An interesting read in the Harvard Business Review on How A More Emotional Customer Experience Can Transform Loyalty, cites that “on a lifetime value basis, emotionally connected customers are more than twice as valuable as highly satisfied customers. For that reason, it’s absolutely crucial that brands offer a more emotional customer experience.”

So, the real challenge is to incorporate an emotional aspect into our communications and interactions. One easy way to do that is to personalize the communication based on known, or even predictive attributes. Amazon and Netflix do this well in their tailored product recommendations. A more advanced way is to incorporate imagery or video into your correspondence that elicits a reaction – value, appreciation, confidence, humor, loyalty. In some cases, simple transparency of information is the key to a great experience. Think back to the last time you traveled by air. How much of your stress could have been avoided with a simple update on your mobile app to the shortest security queue or turn-by-turn directions to your gate with pictures of terminal landmarks – turn left in 50 ft at the Starbucks, picture included.

The key is to be genuine and personal in all interactions with your audiences. Marketing and communication teams can now use real-time engagement, contextual data and intelligent automation to deliver dynamic experiences that build deeper connections with their audiences. Challenge yourself to turn digital experiences into moments that are memorable.

Customer Experience Management (CEM) is the set of processes used to track customer interactions throughout the customer journey, from acquisition to purchase to the contact center and advocacy. Check out these quick views on how OpenText can help you to create remarkable experiences.

To learn more, join us for an exciting webinar on creating remarkable experiences on April 11th, 2018 at 12 pm EST / 9:00 am PST.

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Tami May

Tami has over 20 years of marketing experience at Fortune 500 companies like IBM and Hewlett-Packard, and start-ups such as DataBeam and Digital Freight. Her experience includes a wide range of strategic marketing and communications initiatives. Follow her blog on customer engagement trends, CX, and the impact of millennials in business.

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