The data and analytics talk that must stop
The other day I asked someone to describe their company’s approach to data and analytics — their strategy. They said, “I don’t know, but we are focused on providing an excellent experience for our customers.”
The silent thought bubble over my head read, respectfully: “That is what every company is trying to do.”
I then asked, “Can you describe how you deliver an excellent customer experience?”
They said, “We apply what we know about our customers to ensure that their experience is personalized, contextual and relevant.”
I then asked, “What do you understand about your customers? How do you know the experience is excellent? How do you improve both understanding and the experience?”
They said, “We segment customers in a few ways based on a few factors. At the end of the day it’s all about engagement, campaign performance and effect on sales.”
I then asked, “What about other elements of customer experience, that holistic view? Do you understand the impact your area has on others that effect CX?”
They said, “Hmm, I’m not sure, but we have a BI team that supports different areas of our business.” They think about CX from their POV alone.
This is the type of talk that must stop. Customer experience is so much more than a single area of business.
In retail, the term “omnichannel” is getting ditched in favor of “harmonized retail” as the industry comes to finally realize that it’s not about channels, but the overall experience, regardless of how a customer engages.
If you don’t think about CX in terms of how your business serves customers from initial consideration and engagement through the actual buying process and post purchase experience, your company is not going to do well. If your company does not have the supporting information architecture, executive and functional alignment, roadmap, use cases, test/learn, and crawl/walk/run plans defined, I fear for your future.
The person I spoke to should be able to articulate how their area fits into the overall picture and how the company manages, measures and improves the process. It goes without saying that most companies are not there yet.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you think it’s possible to deliver a holistic CX considering information about the customer journey is often missing? What are the main barriers facing retailers and brands looking to improve the customer’s experience?