Tuesday, July 10, 2018

CX Overhaul: How to Make it to the Next Frontier

Design / Strategy

You hear over and over again that this is the Experience Economy – customers are now demanding seamless experiences with your digital properties. They expect your site and apps to immediately know who they are and what they are looking for. The customer experience needs to be intuitive and powerful, but it can’t involve more than two clicks or show even the slightest delay when loading a page, regardless of how much processing power is behind that page load. 

It can feel overwhelming to be standing at the precipice, about to dive headfirst into transforming your customer experience. A CX overhaul is a worthwhile project to tackle, but daunting nevertheless. To help make it a little less daunting, I’ve compiled my favorite four pieces of advice to help keep you sane when overhauling your customer experience: 

1. Crawl -> walk -> run.

Keep your expectations realistic. A newborn isn’t ready to run for a few years, and your experience doesn’t have to be either. I’m not saying aim low, I’m saying be realistic. Be realistic with your team, with your stakeholders, and with your partners in this effort. Rather than try to get it all done at once, aim for a very solid foundation upon which to iteratively build in the future.

The best way to enact this is with a roadmap. Get your team, stakeholders, and partners together. Start by listing out everything you want this transformation to accomplish – experientially, operationally, technically, all of it. Lay it all out there. Then, prioritize. What needs to be done first? What can wait? This will become a key step in organizing yourself and keeping from burning out and will help define natural break points and measures of success for each. 

2. Reduce, reuse, recycle.

I know it seems counter-intuitive for a project that typically includes words like “overhaul”, “redesign,” or “transformation” in the title, but this little piece of wisdom can save you time and money if implemented correctly.

When designing your new experience, think about reusable components or functionality. Design systems, like IBM’s Carbon Design System, can help not only reduce the total number of components to design and build, but also create consistency and reusability across the entire experience. 

At a higher level as well, think multi-purpose with your software overall. For example, when designing a POS, usually the first interface to be designed is the employee kiosk – where transactions happen. But can it be designed and architected in a way that makes it multi-purpose? With a few minor updates, can it be repurposed as a customer-facing self-order kiosk? Approaching your transformation with these types of system and reusability-based approaches in mind can ultimately reduce your costs, both short and long term. 

3. Don’t forget about data!

Data is arguably the number one benefit of a modern and organized customer experience approach. Data can be collected for almost every interaction a user has on your site and with your overall experience. It can be behavioral, transactional, operational, technical, anything really. Include your measurement plans and KPIs during this entire process.

Transactional and operational data can tell you about the efficiency gained from this new and improved experience. KPIs typically include average order size, average transaction time (especially in the food industry), COGS, and inventory management. Use this data to look for even further efficiency with your team!

Behavioral data is a wealth of information about your customers – you’ll start to see patterns and use that data to segment your customers and start to personalize how you speak to groups of customers more directly. Once you’ve set this foundation, start to test! Most platforms today include a suite of tools to test and personalize – don’t be afraid to use them. Try different messaging, upsell offers, and even images to see what resonates best.

4. Change from the inside out.

This has to be the most cliché phrase out there, but when you are deciding to completely revamp your customer experience it matters whether or not the organization is behind you. 

There are many more aspects to customer experience than just the digital presence: customer service, in-store interactions, distribution/logistics, etc. All of these other touch points have to be on board with the new experience. For a customer, it doesn’t matter which part of your organization they are interacting with – to them, you are one brand and their expectations are the same across all points of their journey with you. 

This list is far from comprehensive, but even just these tips can make the process of transforming your customer experience smoother. I’ve helped numerous clients with projects like this and every experience is different. We’d always love to take this on with you. See these ideas in action by reading our new case study for Toppers Pizza.

Camille Sharrow-Blaum is an Account Supervisor at Rightpoint. You can connect with her on LinkedIn.