“Good customer experience — the perception that people have about their interactions with your company — keeps customers coming back again and again.” - Drive Unified Digital Customer Experiences With Better Technology Strategies, Forrester.
Being a truly customer-focused business is what makes you stand out from the pack. And with customers now interacting mainly with businesses via digital channels, managing their perceptions across all digital channels is critical to your brand strategy.
How do you do this? By managing their Digital Experience (DX).
Personalization and cohesive presentation is at the heart of Digital Experience
The process of Digital Experience (DX) is to bring each user a personalized and cohesive view of (and interactions with) your brand across various digital touchpoints. Much like User Experience relates to user joy and ease of use within one product (e.g. a mobile app), Digital Experience goes beyond this to create joy and ease of use across many products, with a cohesive, personalized experience.
The end goal of Digital Experience? Ensure customers keep returning.
According to CMO, in 2018 “research found that experience-led businesses have 1.6x higher brand awareness, 1.5x higher employee satisfaction, 1.9x higher average order value, 1.7x higher customer retention, 1.9x return on spend, and 1.6x higher customer satisfaction rates.” Forrester Consulting.
But who’s doing it? According to the same study, apparently only 31% of businesses. Here is a chance to really make your mark.
What does good Digital Experience look like?
Take a look at how Spotify have captured the essence of what it means to provide a good Digital Experience. The clean and responsive interface is the same across web, desktop and mobile. Their algorithms provide content the user loves and is tailored to their listening history. Their social media accounts and interactions are infused with main target audience-appropriate personality, and even their billboard advertising is completely tailored to each location-dependant market. Their approach must be working. Monthly Active Users grew by 29% year on year to over 200 million users in Q4 of 2018.
What’s the best way to manage Digital Experience for continuity and personalization? Investing in a Digital Experience Platform.
What is a Digital Experience Platform?
A Digital Experience Platform (DXP) is a software platform that is employed to manage the digital customer experience consistently and cohesively across all digital touchpoints (e.g. responsive websites, mobile, social media, and enterprise content management). It offers a central point of reference for each customer, to increase personalization across mediums, rather than just focusing on one (e.g. a personalized app experience).
When executed correctly, it achieves this more informed personalization by leveraging a central source of customer and business data, which helps increase brand interaction, and boost intelligence surrounding what your target audience really wants, thus making marketing more effective.
It allows you to architect a solution that brings together all of your disparate digital management systems.
Forbes quotes there are 6 building blocks of a DXP: content, customers, analytics, marketing, commerce and customer service.
While DXP is currently focusing a lot on B2B or B2C companies and their customers, you could also revolutionize your internal systems with a DXP, to make work more simplified and cohesive for your team.
You may have already heard of Digital Experience by another name
The Digital Experience sounds a lot like something that you’ve heard about in the past, or are even currently using. This is because the field is still very new - people are only just starting to come around to “Digital Experience” as a title for a one-stop-shop platform strategy.
Other names for Digital Experience include: Digital Customer Experience, or simply Customer Experience. Whereas for the Digital Experience Platform you may have heard the following: User Experience Platform, Customer Experience Platform, Customer Experience Management, Horizontal Portal, and Enterprise Content Management System or Enterprise CMS. There may even be other terms floating around for this concept!
We’d like to converge on the term Digital Experience Platform, as we believe the term best represents the system at hand, and will be the moniker of choice going forward beyond 2020.
1. Digital Experience Trend - Managing all your web-based experiences from one platform
As businesses strive to become more seamless in their digital presence, it makes sense to manage products and digital streams from a more holistic standpoint, if at all possible.
This is where a Digital Experience Platform comes into play, and the market is growing. Often labelled the next big software product, in the same breath as CRM (Customer Relationship Management software) or ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning software), the hype surrounding DX is growing. Google Trends shows the terms “Digital Experience” and “Digital Experience Platform” almost doubling in search volume over the past 3 years (2016-2019)’.
Choosing a partner such as CentricMinds to implement a Digital Experience Platform for your organization may instead be a better solution that doesn’t require extra product expenses.
This leads into our next point...
2. Digital Experience Trend - Solve integration challenges with a DXP
Businesses realize that they have a number of very powerful software products, sources of data and/or management solutions, but are lacking the dataflows and management between these systems to share the power of each amongst a broader set of software.
Current processes may include either manual transfer of data between the systems, or cobbling together workflows in a haphazard fashion using tools like Zapier.
It makes the most sense to solve these integrations using a trusted platform, supporting a central source of data. With a DXP, you have a single source of data, with these software products linking to a main repository.
In the same way ERP can bring together finance, supply chain, payroll, etc., so too can DXP bring together customer experience focused functions and activities, to manage them more holistically and effectively.
3. Digital Experience Trend - DXP uptake accelerates for the enterprise
While McKinsey reports that “more than eight in ten respondents say their organizations have undertaken (digital transformation) efforts in the past five years,” less than 30% say this process has been effective.
Why? Because it is a complex activity that requires change across the organization. Key success factors from the survey included implementation of digital tools to make information more accessible across the organization, digital self-serve technology, and modified standard operating procedures to include new digital technologies.
For enterprise businesses undergoing digital transformation, or those that have been successful so far in their efforts, DX is likely already a focus area, or one that is on the list as a key future business enabler.
Enterprises are likely to implement DXP software as part of their ongoing digital transformation efforts. They already have funds available to explore and implement these solutions, either with an all-in-one provider, or partnering with a company like CentricMinds to build a solution tailored to their existing systems.
4. Digital Experience Trend - Digital Experience helps medium-sized businesses leverage technology to become industry leaders
“Consistently delivering and linking great experiences to operational systems that execute in a fail-safe, customer-centric fashion can make the difference between market leadership, middle-of-the pack status, and significant market share losses.” - Digital Experience Platforms: Buyer Trends, Preferences, and Strategies, DCG.
For medium-sized digitally savvy companies, effective DX management can be what makes customers flock to them instead of the competition.
While businesses could pour thousands and thousands of man-hours into crafting the perfect, personalized user experience for each and every customer (or potential customer), why do that when you can automate it?
Some may lament the fact that human curation of customer experience is going by the wayside, but the fact of the matter is that algorithms can analyze what our customers really like far more effectively than we can (given the right information, of course!).
Medium-sized businesses that are digitally savvy enough to realise the power of DXP, and with support from within the organization to implement such a platform, will be able to roll out this solution, connecting one digital channel at a time. Implemented correctly, this should be invaluable for customer insights, help the sales pipeline, and ensure a desirable level of brand interactions.
Make Digital Experience an integral part of your brand
Businesses like Apple, Google, and Spotify all have a strong brand identity, look and feel across all their digital products, which makes interacting with them intuitive, and encourages customers to stay within their digital ecosystems, enjoying the ongoing experience.
Advances in technology mean that it’s no longer only the world’s richest companies that can implement this type of cohesion across digital touchpoints. However, digital intelligence, strategic architecture and rollout, and change that comes from the C-suite and flows down is critical to a successful DXP implementation.