The Customer Experience Challenge

It’s a crowd­ed world out there: if a busi­ness fails to stand out, it will strug­gle. This is not a ques­tion of cor­po­rate size and invest­ment; thanks to the pow­er of dig­i­tal, every com­pa­ny now can achieve glob­al reach. But to suc­ceed, a com­pa­ny has to get the cus­tomer expe­ri­ence (CX) right – by being cre­ative and by mak­ing it appear seam­less across all touch­points. Today’s dig­i­tal tools put this CX ide­al in a mar­keters’ imme­di­ate reach: not only do they pro­vide unique con­sumers insights, they also make it pos­si­ble to engage with cus­tomers like nev­er before.

We at Adobe know how impor­tant it is to under­pin a CX strat­e­gy with data, because the dig­i­tal land­scape is in con­stant flux; the behav­iour and expec­ta­tions of con­sumers are chang­ing rapid­ly all the time.

It’s this relent­less change — along­side huge dig­i­tal trends like big data, social, and con­tent mar­ket­ing — that is shap­ing the world of CX today. The Adobe team cap­tured these shifts in our annu­al glob­al Dig­i­tal Trends 2015 report, pro­duced in part­ner­ship with Econsultancy.

Our lat­est Dig­i­tal Intel­li­gence Brief­ing (DIB) report with Econ­sul­tan­cy shows that many com­pa­nies are strug­gling to pro­vide a coher­ent and seam­less cus­tomer expe­ri­ence. Only a small num­ber of the more than 2,000 respon­dents believe that they have reached “matu­ri­ty” in their approach to CX. It’s worth not­ing that many com­pa­nies stress the impor­tance of design in their CX strat­e­gy. And if you need proof how impor­tant good, well-designed CX is, look no fur­ther than the stock mar­ket. Accord­ing to research by the Design Man­age­ment Insti­tute, design-dri­ven com­pa­nies have out­per­formed the S&P Index by 219% over 10 years.

How­ev­er, this DIB high­lights three oth­er key trends.

First, in order to suc­ceed, deliv­er­ing the Cus­tomer Expe­ri­ence has to be a team effort. Cross func­tion­al col­lab­o­ra­tion that aligns data, sys­tems, strat­e­gy and work­flows is imper­a­tive. In oth­er words, the respon­si­bil­i­ty for deliv­er­ing good CX has to be shoul­dered across the whole com­pa­ny. That’s a must, because today’s con­sumers engage with a busi­ness across many chan­nels; they **expect **a seam­less experience.

Sec­ond, we con­tin­ue to see the rise and rise of mobile as a cus­tomer touch­point. Com­pa­nies should not pon­der whether they need a mobile CX strat­e­gy, but whether they have to adopt a mobile-first approach.

And third, look­ing just a few years into the future, CX man­agers have to put their Inter­net of Things (IoT) strat­e­gy in place. That’s because the IoT is not about “things”, but peo­ple. The smart and con­nect­ed ecosys­tem of both a store and the prod­uct itself is set to com­plete­ly rev­o­lu­tionise our under­stand­ing of what Cus­tomer Expe­ri­ence has to deliver.

But to suc­ceed in today’s dig­i­tal world – with cus­tomer touch­points rang­ing from bricks-and-mor­tar stores to web­sites to mobile, from adver­tis­ing to email to social – com­pa­nies need inte­grat­ed tech­nol­o­gy plat­forms that allow them to have a sin­gle view of the cus­tomer. Only when they have this in place can they start to deliv­er a con­sis­tent and con­tin­u­ous cus­tomer experience.

Down­load the full Quar­ter­ly Dig­i­tal Intel­li­gence Brief­ing: The CX Chal­lenge white paper for free here.