Customer centricity and experience is a still growing topic. Start with the customer and work backwards is important…. but how to start with the customer? What sounds easy in the first second can be difficult in the second.
Purpose and business model
I like the view from Simon Sinek. What is our purpose as a company? Is it to make money or to build great products and services to enhance someone? Money is a key element for a company but shouldn’t be the purpose. With this, the purpose is the first point which guides us in the right direction to think as the customer and work backwards. I recommend having a look into the short video from Simon Sinek “Businesses Do NOT Exist to Make Money” at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ACZhpCdfEdY
If we are in B2C, then we think about the end-customer. If we are in B2B we have the customer of our customer which means we are talking about B2B2C. C means for me in this case consumer. At the end of the day every one of us is a consumer, doesn’t matter if it is in business or private. Personally, I focus on B2E (Business 2 Everyone) as my approach.
The mechanism behind B2B and B2C are very similar, it is about trust and the right relationship as well as delivering value. Do we really deliver the right value at the right time?
Data and value
Let’s assume you are within the media industry. Maybe you are in TV, in print or radio… you have different channels to reach out to your audience. Often within media, we are talking about media networks with several publishing houses, TV stations, etc. This is an amazing potential. Why? Let’s step back and have a look what the most value companies in the world are…
The answer is often: Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft. What makes them that big? Facebook makes it most clear… It is the access to user and the understanding about them, so it is about data.
With this understanding we can delivering the right value at the moment of time… which is the key element of a great CX. This can be a gambling if we act on a one-to-many base (instead of a 1:1 base) and if we fail in listening because we do it superficial, just to answer (instead of understanding) or without the right data.
Companies have a huge amount of data which is fantastic. Each system communicates with the other while data will be duplicated and many APIs are in place. Technical difficult and error-prone with a huge workload and costs behind. This can be solved with a central data storage.
Let’s do a quick digression. Front-end systems are getting bigger and bigger and AI is coming up more and more. The speed of growth is giant. This makes us walk – in some cases – very fast, maybe too fast. Why? With these new possibilities, we can build new business models while others are going away.
If we are in media, content is most important… but is the user willing to pay for the content any longer? If we deliver value for him, he is willing to share his data. This data enables us to build up entire new business models.
While we have this possible new business models, we often use new systems for the old business models. Also, we are implementing AI systems while using just 20% of the data sources we have. With this a Non-AI system could be much more successful and much more intelligent than the AI system if the Non-AI system is using 80% or more of all data sources.
Measuring CX and understanding
Coming to measuring CX. Every one of us know Net Promoter Score (NPS), Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) and Customer Effort Score (CES). This are great tools for their use case. They are questioning a user about his experience which is great for a long-term view to see how it is progressing. This helps us to understand if we are doing things right… right, it helps us in the first place and – only maybe – customer in the second place.
Much more important than measuring the results of our acting in direction of the Customer’s Experience is, to listen to understand that we can act in the right way. This listening we need to do cross-channel, cross-device and in real- or near-time to customer to act at the moment of time. Therefore, we need to combine all data which are possible in one place (instead of syncing them between many systems). Here we then have the base which enables us to truly understand the customer and understand possibilities of buying a product within a timeframe for example
Understanding 1.0 (sorry for this numbering, normally I hate it) was, that someone is interested in a washing machine because he once clicked on one on a website. From this time, he sees washing machines everywhere for weeks.
What do we know here about the user / customer? Very less! Has the user just an interest in a new one because having a very old one? Has he a need because the loading volume is to small? Or is he having he a pain because his current one is broken? Each of this phase has a different content which is needed and requires a different speed for the customer but also for a brand in acting.
If we are able to understand this interest / need / pain phase someone is in with a topic, we are able to act entirely different. We can calculate his next step(s) (next best action), his probability to buy a premium washing machine or book an expensive travel to Africa within the next 2 months. This is understanding 4.0 (sorry again). This understanding enables us to only reach out if we have something which is delivering value. Also, we can develop the right content / products / services to deliver this value much better. At the end of the day, this generates respect of the user / customers time and generates with this trust. Example. Most newsletter we receive we do not really read, but if we know that one newsletter has always a high value, we read everyone.
The base for this is in most cases a Customer Data Platform (CDP) which combines all data and delivers everything what I described. A CDP enables us to sharpen our acting with the customer cross departments like sales, marketing, services, etc.
If you are interested in more about such a CDP read this article: “Customer data management simplified: 9 Ways CDP can help” at https://www.the-future-of-commerce.com/2021/05/13/simplify-data-management-with-cdp/
Call to action
Your engagement channels are not any longer business channels. Re-think how you want to differentiate against your competitors in future. Build a business model around the customer value and transform your self to understand this at every moment and be able to act the right way. This is not a technology transformation in the first place. it is more a transformation about mindset and corporate structures.