Why An Empathetic Digital Experience Matters More Now Than Ever

Image of people holding up stars.

When Kris Groulx joined Canadian telecom provider TELUS as manager of analytics and insights in late 2018, he joked about how the analytics implementation he was given was like “inheriting a baby with 15 toes.”

“It was so complicated and complex for no reason,” he said during a LinkedIn Live conversation with Adam Greco, board advisor at analytics company Decibel and senior director of technology solutions at search discovery, and Ivy Portwood, principal partner marketing manager of Adobe.

In light of the pandemic, it quickly became clear that such complexity wouldn’t fly—and that wasn’t just the case at TELUS.

“[With] many clients I work with, for years we’ve been talking about how important digital is, but a lot of it was just lip service, and we knew it. They knew it,” Greco said. “Now people are finally saying, ‘We have to care about this.‘”

A sense of caring also has to be communicated to customers. At TELUS, providing an empathetic digital experience took on heightened importance amid COVID-19-mandated store and call-center closings.

“Digital became our main way of communications with customers,” Groulx said. “We had to move quickly with updating our website and our digital experience, making sure stability was the No. 1 priority on all of our roadmaps so that we had a fully functioning website and mobile app that was always ready for the customer to do whatever they needed to do.”

It also meant changing from a “sales perspective on our site and turn our key entry pages into more of an empathetic, ‘Hey, here’s the situation. Here’s what we’re going to do to help you. Here’s what you can do to contact us,” he added. “A lot of pivoting had to happen operationally and from the tone of how we’re interacting with customers.”

Analytics became ever-more crucial to gauging website effectiveness and guiding changes. However, many companies came to realize they weren’t as advanced as they could have been.

“Companies have had analytics implementations, but a lot of times they end up stagnating,” Decibel’s Greco said. “They said, ‘OK, we did it. We have our martech stack. We’re happy with it. But then [the pandemic] has really put a microscope on it and people are like, ‘Holy crap, we don’t have as good of an analytics implementation [as we thought].”

TELUS’ Groulx sprung into action from the start, creating an analytics dashboard fed by Adobe Analytics and Decibel data—which analyzes the “why” behind customer behavior—that went straight up to TELUS’ chief digital officer and above.

“Analytics allowed us to pivot where we were falling down on some of those click activities on our key landing pages,” Groulx said. “We had assumptions of where people would click and learned otherwise.”

While the notion of data-driven decision-making isn’t new, “now is the most important time to be thinking about the experiences of your customers and being empathetic,” Greco emphasized. “Your website is more important now than ever, so give it the love and attention it needs right now.”

Greco also talked about how Search Discovery is giving back to the community with a new initiative that offer free education about analytics and related tools, aimed at those who might have been furloughed because of COVID-19 and are looking for a new job.

“We just really want to help people get back on their feet in this crazy time and band together,” Greco said.

For more details about the importance of innovative and empathetic customer experiences in a digital-only era, view our LinkedIn Live session, embedded above or here.

Other resources

Adam Greco and Search Discovery are offering free education on Adobe Analytics and other digital marketing topics.

Decibel’s Launch extension.

Decibel Adobe Summit session.