Last year, all businesses were put to test but at the same time, the environment created a unique situation wherein customer experience (CX) slowly became the gateway to winning customer trust and loyalty.
As customers demand for care and reassurance along with expectations – in-line with pre-COVID levels in some industries; the already strained function requires a redesign. A quote by podcaster and comic artist comes to mind – “Everything is designed, few things are designed well”; this added to the demand of CX, and the fact that most organizations have gathered ‘experience debt’ over time, it is now time to clear the dues and put emphasis on ‘Design’.
In other words, it’s time to re-design business experiences. Here’s a look at the top 5 considerations to keep in mind when businesses go back to the drawing board:
1. The Time is right
The current business landscape is defining the long-term shift in customer expectations and behaviors along with variation in business models and channels of operations. This unprecedented change warrants for unorthodox techniques and methods. The buck stays with the ones who realize this and act at this opportune time.
The focus needs to be to accelerate the experience velocity – which is how agile businesses complete each iteration of an experience design, prototyping and testing cycle. The time is right to adopt a ‘failing fast’ culture – that’s rooted in experimentation; an approach that recognizes failures as learning experiences.
Keeping in mind the potential brand value creation, HDFC Bank adopted the approach to easily and quickly test new innovations and ideas, measure results, and learn from them. By analyzing real-time interactions, the company was able to respond to changes and trends faster than before in order to drive positive outcomes.
2. Your assumptions need a fresh supply
Well-designed experiences are measurable in every aspect. Businesses thrive on the value generated for their customers and the medium of experiencing that value is driven by the experiences delivered to them.
The pandemic has changed the perceived value by a few notches. The value drivers for end-customers, or satisfaction indexes, needs an overhaul as customers are now at the center of the design process. What’s needed is to merge utilization and customer experience dive index (i.e. how deep a customer dives into the customer journey map), and create hybrid customer experience index that helps address the shift in customer mindset.
3. Your Persona definitions are outdated
A well-designed experience can help identify the personas that work for both a B2B and a B2C business. While the attractors for these personas have dramatically changed since the pandemic, it is essential for businesses to identify this persona basis what the customers expect from the brand – i.e. to protect them, care for them and collaborate with them in the larger interest of the public.
This is the source and the DNA for experiences that would define an organization’s competitive advantage. Personal behavior insights via journey analytics is a good starting point as it helps reveal the true intent versus perceived outcome of organizations.
4. Experiences for all
The fundamental aspect of design is to create joy for everyone – no holds barred. When businesses think of ‘Experience by design’, they aim to create value for the entire ecosystem and not just the end customer.
It is essential to be cognizant about the lack of design elements in the peripheral experiences – whether employee experience, partner experience, public experience or the experience being delivered to key business leaders. It is equally critical to include each of these personas in your experience design process. Business often end up delivering suboptimal experiences – even with a well-defined CX process, if not delivering value to the entire ecosystem.
Inclusion by design is a noble concept and the pandemic should motivate everyone to think about inclusivity and value of empathy to the overall ecosystem.
5. First impressions need a revamp
Well-designed digital experiences shouldn’t require support touches throughout the customer lifecycle – be it acquisition, engagement, conversion, service or renewal.
Organizations must consider what didn’t work for their stakeholders at the start of a new design cycle – with the prototype test results. A well-designed experience loop would not just have acquisition as the first impression portal, but allow brands to identify and revamp each entry touch point, resulting in lasting experiences and trust – the currency for new normal. At the same time, organizations must continue to be open and communicative with all stakeholders.
To conclude, transforming the way businesses design experiences and increase experience velocity are the two pillars that will act as their competitive differentiators in the new normal – where CX takes the front seat. A well-designed experience sparks joy and creates long-term value – while on boarding, using, servicing or renewing; what’s interesting is how brands will apply design-thinking approach to customer experiences for business success!
Views expressed above are the author’s own.
END OF ARTICLE