Many buzzwords going around, two of them are Customer Experience and Customer Centric which had been on top of any digital marketing conference in 2016.
There are many ideas and approaches I have listened. All of them are interesting and sometimes impressive. Two things I missed all the time:
1) Having the right vision
Most companies start with a strategy, but don’t have a vision in mind. The strategy is what will be reached at the end of the project, but the vision is something far away in the future which will be the final goal in theory. We know that a vision will never reached exactly but it gives us the drive to align our strategies always in this direction. If a company has a vision and everyone understand this vision you will see that there are coming up great ideas from employees to align the strategy over time.
2) Step zero before a Customer Experience or Customer Centric project
This is aligning the individual goals everyone in a company. Targets needs to focus on the customer and move away from focusing on company targets. Often a company is starting the digital transformation and has a great program how to get customer centric. Everyone within the company understand this direction (which is great, and not common) and tries to follow this direction… but at the end of the day he / she will only do so if the individual goals from the own manager are solved. This goals needs to be changed and also be flexible for the employee.
Now, if step 1 and 2 are done, you are ready to start your project. Think about your customers needs. Which information & services does he needs at which time on which place. Build a trusted relationship and give him the possibility to decide which is his way to you. In a B2C case this can be getting product information on your website and buying product in your or another store… but it can also be the other way around that the customer is in your store taking the product in his hands and wants to sleep a night before buying it. Then he will buy it in your online store.
We are talking about “Cross-Channel Marketing” or “Customer Journey”… let’s put this view beside and don’t focus on the typical journey. Every customer is different and everyone is acting different in different situations / moments. Let’s build up user profiles, match them through all channels, online and offline, and start thinking what could be the next step of every single user. Don’t do marketing in direction advertising, do marketing in direction communication. Setup a 1:1 communication cross all channels and be able to do it in near-time if needed. Real-time advertising / communication is great, but do we need it really? There are many technical issues and cost if we want to real-time, often near-time is enough. We do not want to give the user the feeling to be traced, we want t give him the feeling to have the right when he needs it.