The Six Elements of an Experience Business

by Jamie Brighton

Posted on 12-06-2017

Today, every suc­cess­ful busi­ness must put cus­tomer expe­ri­ence above all else. Brands across the globe are find­ing this out for them­selves, as small dis­rup­tors that pro­vide per­son­alised, con­nect­ed expe­ri­ences are steadi­ly cap­tur­ing mar­ket share away from large, well-estab­lished com­peti­tors, while lag­gards in the expe­ri­ence busi­ness are watch­ing their cus­tomer loy­al­ty shrink.

Water­mark Consulting’s 2015 Cus­tomer Expe­ri­ence ROI study found that com­pa­nies that empha­sise cus­tomer expe­ri­ence con­sis­tent­ly out­per­form their less expe­ri­ence-ori­ent­ed com­peti­tors in terms of stock mar­ket returns. Addi­tion­al­ly, a study from NewVoice­Me­dia reports that com­pa­nies lose more than $62 bil­lion every year due to poor cus­tomer service.

In light of these facts, it’s no sur­prise that more cor­po­rate lead­ers are tak­ing con­crete steps to build cus­tomer expe­ri­ence into their com­pa­ny cul­ture. In 2017, a full 50 per­cent of prod­uct invest­ment projects have been redi­rect­ed to cus­tomer expe­ri­ence inno­va­tions, and all signs point to fur­ther increas­es in the com­ing year. In fact, an Amer­i­can Express sur­vey found that 74 per­cent of cus­tomers spend more mon­ey with com­pa­nies known for pro­vid­ing great cus­tomer experiences.

The trans­for­ma­tion to an expe­ri­ence busi­ness looks dif­fer­ent for every organ­i­sa­tion. Even so, some com­mon themes have emerged across indus­tries. Here’s the shape the over­all process typ­i­cal­ly takes.

The road to becoming an experience business

Most com­pa­nies, espe­cial­ly large ones with long pedi­grees, entered the 2010s in a state of total dis­con­nect in terms of cus­tomer view. Each depart­ment col­lect­ed its own inde­pen­dent data on each cus­tomer inter­ac­tion, stored it in a file for­mat that few (if any) oth­er depart­ments used, and assigned chan­nels like web, mobile, and phone sup­port to sep­a­rate teams who rarely coor­di­nat­ed their efforts.

If your organ­i­sa­tion still looks some­thing like this, even in 2017, then it’s high time for a change.

To pro­vide con­nect­ed, per­son­alised cus­tomer expe­ri­ences, your organ­i­sa­tion needs to start by bring­ing every department’s cus­tomer data togeth­er onto a sin­gle plat­form, so every team can get a sin­gle view of the cus­tomer, and share insights across the busi­ness. Sec­ond, you need to per­form research to under­stand your cus­tomers and what they expect, as well as be aware of applic­a­ble leg­is­la­tion, such as the EU’s Gen­er­al Data Pro­tec­tion Reg­u­la­tion (GDPR), which restricts how cus­tomers’ per­son­al data can be shared and used.

Once you’ve gained a clear under­stand­ing of your cus­tomers and the reg­u­la­to­ry space, you need to deliv­er the expe­ri­ence your cus­tomers want and expect—no mat­ter where they are or what device they’re using. As you gain feed­back from these inter­ac­tions, ana­lyt­ics can help you use the data to dis­cov­er new audi­ences and serve even more per­son­alised expe­ri­ences to them.

Along the way, you need to con­tin­ue to stream­line your inter­nal process­es and dig­i­tal work­flows, allow­ing your teams to act on new data, adapt to trends, and keep your cus­tomer expe­ri­ences agile in the face of emerg­ing competition.

This may sound like a tall order. It is. But it boils down to just six key capabilities.

The six elements of an experience business

Adobe’s research has zeroed in on six ele­ments that are cru­cial to cre­at­ing and main­tain­ing a suc­cess­ful expe­ri­ence business:

  1. Great design. Expe­ri­ence busi­ness­es lever­age cus­tomer insights to build web­sites and apps that proac­tive­ly antic­i­pate their cus­tomers’ top interests.
  2. 360-degree view of cus­tomer. Inte­grat­ing data from all touch­points lets busi­ness­es achieve a com­plete view of every customer.
  3. Per­son­alised inter­ac­tions across devices. Records of cus­tomers’ pre­vi­ous inter­ac­tions “fol­low” them onto new touch­points and devices, so they’re always recognised.
  4. Con­tent that’s always rel­e­vant. Per­sis­tent cus­tomer pro­files enable each touch­point to deliv­er unique con­tent tai­lored around cus­tomers’ needs.
  5. Data sci­ence and deci­sion-mak­ing algo­rithms. Data from all these touch­points feeds back into the ana­lyt­ics sys­tem, dri­ving improved insights and decisions.
  6. Dig­i­tal work­flows. Through­out the organ­i­sa­tion, all teams use the same dig­i­tal plat­form to share insights and col­lab­o­rate on new initiatives.

Before you know what kinds of changes you’ll need to make to stay ahead of your com­peti­tors, you need to deter­mine where your busi­ness stands on this matu­ri­ty curve. Start by tak­ing Adobe’s Dig­i­tal Mar­ket­ing Matu­ri­ty Self-Assess­ment Tool for a spin. When you’re ready to take the next step, the Adobe Cloud plat­form has all the tools your organ­i­sa­tion needs to become an expe­ri­ence busi­ness, and dri­ve brand loy­al­ty, engage­ment, and growth.

Topics: Digital Transformation, Automation, customer experience, customer journey, experience management, personalisation, UK, UK Exclusive, Digital EMEA