Businesses are going digital and the trend is not stopping any time soon. Regardless of the industry’s digital maturity stage, placing the customer at the center of the design and development processes is a constant concern. This ensures a user experience that not only fulfills individual needs but also succeeds in delighting customers and promoting their brand engagement.
However, the sudden change in the usage patterns of the digital channel means many previous decisions are now outdated.
Moreover, having complex systems in place and with a high cost of failed deployments, companies are increasingly more averse to implementing significant changes within their applications. The ones that can deliver targeted features and adjustments in a timely and efficient manner will surely capture the engagement of their target audience and fuel the success of their digital business.
In this article, we explore five key steps companies should undertake to reshape their digital channels in a dynamic and sustainable way.
With changing customer habits and needs, legacy customer characterizations are now obsolete. There is both a new significant batch of new adopters that need to be catered for, but even long-time digital customers are changing their habits and expectations of what is a quality experience.
By setting up a continuous effort of combining in-app analytics with structured and targeted consumer research, companies are better prepared to tackle this and future changes in their customer base. This data should be collected and centralized in a way that allows analysts to fully utilize it to support decision making, while simultaneously ensuring the uphold of customers’ rights to privacy and data protection.
Once data is available, businesses need to adapt their internal processes to provide dynamic and adaptative user characterizations that are then effectively spread throughout customer-centric business functions.
As customers’ usage of digital channels is on the rise, so are their expectations and diversity of behaviors. This means that not only the customers are different, but also the way they behave, the information they expect and the time they are willing to spend for each specific task.
Companies must reevaluate their customer journey mapping, and they will most likely realize that as time goes by there are ever more alternative journeys and these are distinct across different customers. Single-user centric data, tracking and combining their flow throughout various touchpoints, is essential to correctly engaging with consumers and understanding their true delight and frustration triggers.
Once companies are confident in understanding their customer base and the way they navigate and interact with their digital channels, it is time to start measuring it.
From loading times to conversion rates, improvement initiatives need to be targeted at the enhancement of concrete consumer-delighting upgrades.
While this direction is clear, the sheer amount of diverse customer needs and success tracking indicators makes it challenging to design one solution that simultaneously satisfies all consumers without significantly hindering the experience for others.
A one-size-fits-all approach is generally not a good solution, especially in complex business interactions such as engaging diverse consumers through a digital channel. However, while personalizing offers and content is fairly common now, businesses still struggle to personalize the overall journey and experience on their apps. Even features with very different usefulness to distinct customers are often presented in the same way.
On the other hand, heavy personalization efforts may end up providing consumers with irrelevant information, offers, or features that erode user experience. Companies must face the burden of balancing personalization and stability for a seamless but still personal engagement.
Ensuring this balance is not easy as several iterations of testing are often required to achieve optimal results. Standard testing processes are very common throughout decision making processes on digital channels but are increasingly cumbersome and costly. More often than not companies are deploying too many resources and time to test every detail that is deemed relevant to evaluate. This hinders the capacity to pursue different alternatives and delays the time-to-market of critical business improvements.
In order to achieve superior results in user experience, agile testing processes that last just enough to make a confident decision are required.
This does not just mean collecting A/B testing data and waiting for statistical confidence, but also leveraging managerial expertise and user feedback to enable timely decision-making.
All-in-all, the digital channel is here to stay and is slowly but steadily becoming more relevant for businesses. Also, it opens the door to channel personalization in a way traditional channels have never allowed before.
Companies must adapt to this new environment by approaching journey and channel design in a continuous fashion. Collecting additional relevant data, rediscovering their customers, and uncovering new delight opportunities should be processes that are connected and embedded within a standard business practice. Only then can companies adopt an agile innovator posture and thus unlock their business’s full digital potential.
By: Pedro Campelo