Digital Transformation Underpins Your Digital Customer Experience. Here's How

Posted by Gaurav Mishra on Dec 8, 2019 2:37:00 PM

- Two-thirds of global CEOs will be focusing on digital strategies to enhance their customer experience, by the end of 2019.

 

- 85% of enterprise stakeholders surveyed by IDC say that it’s imperative to achieve significant digital transformation by 2021, or avoid losing business to competitors.

These two statistics do a great job of framing the criticality of digital customer experience (DCX) in the next decade, and the starring role digital transformation will play in driving successful DCX.

With that fact being inevitable, all that’s left for enterprises is to understand how exactly digital transformation underpins their diigital customer experience.

We take a look at the four key pillars of digital customer experience and explore what technology transformations need to happen within enterprises, to steady those pillars. 

Innovation

Your brand should be accessible through the channels that your customers use most often and are the most comfortable with. For enterprises, innovation lies in finding novel ways to enable interaction with customers, and allow them to get the job done with the least 

amount of friction. 

However, new interaction channels mean engaging with new technology solutions. The key digital transformation required here would be the ability to quickly understand emerging technologies and identifying which of those can be leveraged to deliver phenomenal digital experiences.

Transformations

While we cannot recommend which exact transformations will work for which enterprise, here are a few interaction channels that have delivered the most business value across industries.

Chatbots

Retail brands have innovated their shopping and customer interaction workflows to give buyers the flexibility to order items via Facebook Messenger bots. Several airline brands and travel OTAs have adopted a similar route. Hospitality brands have created phenomenal guest experiences on their properties, and even before they reach their properties, with chatbots. 

There is a diverse range of technology solutions that go into crafting a successful chatbot experience. From being able to leverage tools like Amazon Lex and other natural language processing platforms, to establishing content management systems that can deliver the right content into these chatbots, enterprise IT teams have to become well versed with these technology solution very fast. 

Virtual Try-on

Virtual makeup apps are transforming how customers sample and buy beauty products. People can sample a range of products and see how each shade and effect looks on their face and skin, from the comfort of their homes, using these apps. The in-store experience is also being digitized by having these apps on the counter, as a very persuasive aid for the beauty advisors. They can help customers try out practically the entire product range, or several different looks, in a matter of minutes.

Creating these virtual try-on experiences require enterprises to adopt emerging technologies around Augmented Reality. Complementary to this will be technology transformations around the content management system that powers these experiences.

Integration

Customers expect to conduct their complete journey with a brand over multiple interaction channels. And you are expected to keep track of these multiple channels and ensure that customers can pick up their journey on any channel, from right where they left off last time. Integrated, omnichannel should be a given for your digital customer experience.  

Ensuring that all your customer interaction channels are integrated and deliver a holistic experience is driven solely by technology.

Transformations

Content as a Service

When your customers are interacting with your brand across multiple channels, you want your communications with them to be consistent. If your brand promotes and retail offer with Twitter update, it needs to be showcased on your website as well. If a media and publishing brand delivers information on the website, the same should be available to users on the app, on a tablet, and on their smart home devices. And this need to be done without your team having to manually reformat content for these different channels.

What you need to make this happen is Content as a Service (CaaS). Essentially a technology solution that ensures content is collated in a single repository where you can create, manage, categorize, search, and make it available to other systems. It involves creating a content platform architecture that enables content to be separate from its presentation. And that requires a lot of transformation in your technology architecture - from a decoupled content management system to component-based development - to empower your omnichannel delivery with CaaS.

Intuition 

Innovative, omnichannel digital customer experiences are complex solutions with a lot of moving parts. But for the customer, these have to be extremely intuitive. They should work exactly how the customer expects them to, and given them what they want, even before they know they want it. 

But this doesn’t just happen magically. Intuitive digital customer experiences are driven by a mass of micro data points and technology solutions that can transform those into actionable insights. 

Transformations Needed

33% of consumers who ended their relationship with a company last year did so because the experience wasn’t personalized enough.

The fact that personalization is critical is not new to enterprises. But delivering personalization is dependent upon using the right technology elements:

Data Engineering Technology Stack

One of the key technology transformations required for personalization is the creation of an integrated data engineering tech stack. 

This would involve:

  • Identifying the disparate sources of data, and also classifying them as structured or unstructured data
  • Pulling this data from the different databases and cleaning it 
  • Bringing it all to a central repository where it can be processed into useful information and used to build detailed customer profiles

Depending upon the existing technology stack of any enterprise, this could mean different things:

  • If you already have different tools and systems at play that collect, clean, and structure data, you would need to engineer them to work with a central repository.
  • If your disparate databases host a combination of structured and unstructured data, you would need to significantly overhaul your data collection, processing, and storage infrastructure.

Given how important data is in this whole personalization endeavour, you would want to get this part absolutely right.

After all, what’s worse than no personalization? Wrong personalization!

Flexible Content Management System

The first level of personalization always happens on the website or branded application. But if your current CMS is one where putting up a new page or changing the design is a week-long project, then you are definitely not ready to deliver personalized digital customer experience.

Beyond the content management system, you might also need to adopt additional personalization solutions like Acquia Lift or Acquia Journey, other similar ones. These are solutions that work atop your existing CMS and allow you to personalize your digital properties and get better visibility into the customer journeys that happen across your brand touchpoints.

Interaction

Your digital customer experience doesn’t become a self-sustaining and self-improving process unless customers interact with it. Successful DCX is heavily dependent on customers clicking, scrolling, asking or answering - performing actions on your digital channels. These interaction data points are what drives increasingly improved digital customer experience.

But a prerequisite for this a well-designed data architecture that is capable of collecting, processing and analyzing this data.

Currently, here’s what is possibly happening at your enterprise:

Customer interaction data - how they arrived on your website, which pages they browsed, what content they consumed, what they said about your brand on social media - are collected and stored by different systems. While page visits are usually sourced from  the web analytics tool, you might have two or three different tools to gather user behavior data like page scroll, CTA clicks etc. The CRM data is obviously in a different database, the geo-location data is being picked up in real time, and the social media data is picked up by a different tool.

Transformations Needed

Dedicated Data Lakes

If you are to make any sense of this vast volume of data, you have to be able to see them holistically and that is not possible with customer data residing in disparate systems. So the first transformation here has to be in terms of a marketing data lake.

With a marketing data lake, enterprises can gather data from external and internal systems and drop it all in one place. The possibilities with this data can be at several levels:

  • Basic analytics for a comprehensive look into persona profiles and campaign performance
  • Leveraging data to form basic and advanced personalization and recommendation engines for users
  • Forming a 360 degree view of individual customers by pulling together information on customer journey, preferences, social media activity, sentiment analysis and more

All of this information feeds into your digital customer experience to make it easier for your customers to interact with you, find what they need, and receive hyper-personalize, low-friction experiences across your digital properties.

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

Beyond using the prima facie insights, enterprises can have data scientists perform exploratory analysis on look at the wide spectrum of data available. They build some statistical models based on machine learning algorithms to parse through this data and check if any new customer behavior patterns and insights emerge. These can form the basis of creating new and more innovative experiences and bringing more intuitive workflows into the system.

The Best Westerns’ AI-powered ads, on the other hand, are reflective of a different use case for leveraging artificial intelligence or travel personalization. The hotel chain is combining their CRM data with AI-based recommendation engines to predict what destinations customers will prefer. So whenever someone comes across their ad, they are asked a few questions around their travel plans, and the ad gives them personalized recommendations.

Here AI is being used to understand customer wants, and then look through a large database of recommendations to pick and choose options that correspond to those wants. And all of this is happening in real-time. This the kind of scaled personalization, with recommendation engines capable of delivering contextual answers, is impossible to deliver without the right technology.

As you can see, enhanced digital customer experiences that consistently showcase your brand and your business to your customers do not happen without significant digital transformation. For enterprises, it is critical to start evaluating how they want to roll out new DCX strategies, and identifying the specific technology transformations and expertise needed to make those possible.

Srijan is working with global enterprises across industries to create rich, immersive, well-crafted digital expereinces that work exactly as your customers expect them to. Our expert teams engage with your business goals and key stakeholders to craft digital experience solutions tailormade to their requirements.

Going betond the ordinary with your digital customer experience game? Let's start the conversation on how Srijan can help.

Topics: Customer Experience, Digital Experience

A Beginner’s Guide to Psychology Principles in UX Design

Posted by Jessica Fender on Nov 29, 2019 7:00:00 PM

Understanding user behavior is paramount when designing any type of product, be it digital or traditional. The way people perceive certain things will affect how they interact with them, the pleasure that is driven from said action, or the overall experience they have. 

Before diving into the actual development of a digital product, UX designers need to plan their every step by maintaining a user-centered perspective. They need to think like the users, identify their needs and what stimulates a particular action or reaction. For that, there is one single type of science that we can use – psychology

This does not mean you need a master’s degree in behavioral science to deliver great digital experience. But by understanding some of the most basic psychology principles, you can elevate your design and provide users with enjoyable experiences. 

three rectangular boxes with another three boxes inside

Understand the Basics of Human Attention

In simple words, attention is the ability to process the information around us and select what stimuli we react to. Sometimes, these reactions happen automatically, like when someone calls our name, while other times we get to decide what we want to react to, often called the focus. Right now, your brain processes a huge number of stimuli, such as the light in the room, the sounds we hear, or the voice in your head that reads these words. However, your decision at that particular moment might be to focus on the voice. 

When it comes to visual attention, there are two ways people can choose to direct it. The first one, spatial attention, refers to focusing on a particular region, such as the main page. The second one, feature-based attention, dives even deeper and shifts focus to one single element; a particular color or word, for example. 

But attention is a limited resource, which means UX designers need to focus on not overloading the mind. This brings us to Hick’s Law, which states that the more choices someone has, the higher the cognitive load. To put it simply; the more choices you give to a user, the harder it will be for them to decide which action to take. On the other hand; limited, but more clear options, will lead to a much better user experience and drive satisfaction. 

However, there comes a time when you need to feature a large number of options, and you can’t afford to cut back on any of them. In this case, you can break the process up into steps similar to that of the menu bar of an eCommerce store.

Gestalt Laws of Perceptual Organization

Commonly referred to as the Gestalt Principles, these laws present the fact that human minds tend to group elements in certain ways, for a much easier way of processing stimuli around us. Basically, the mind does this to help break up complex schemes or images. Try looking at these Rainmeter skins, for example, and how designers managed to group different elements on the desktop for better UX. 

Since every person is different, you might be tempted to think that the way we group these elements is different or random. In reality, they all fall under 5 principles:

  • Proximity: This principle refers to the fact that we tend to group elements that are close to each other and perceive them as one single item
  • Similarity: Elements that look alike, probably because of color, shape, or some other feature, are tend to be grouped together
  • Continuity: Our minds are designed to follow paths. So, you can use the principle of continuity to guide the user towards a certain element on a page.
  • Closure: Our brain is used to process a whole image better than multiple bits. So even though an element is missing, you will still perceive the bigger picture as an entire unit
  • Connectedness: The simplest out of all 5 principles - this refers to the fact that we have a tendency to group items that are connected, kind of like a big painting fragmented into three separate sections.

We Favor What We Find Familiar

Another psychology principle, called Jakob’s Law suggests the fact that people tend to favor experiences they find familiar. How can we leverage this to deliver a good UX design? Well, it means that people are more likely to react positively to websites or apps that look similar to those they have been using before. 

However, this does not mean you should go ahead and copy Uber’s interface if you are designing a rideshare app. It only means that you may want to keep the same principles.

To apply Jakob’s Law, you need to first identify the leaders of the industry and see what elements they have in common. Think of it as a spin on a traditional recipe. A hamburger without a bun and a patty is no longer a hamburger, but this does not mean you can’t add lettuce, cheese, or your secret sauce to it. 

By keeping the key elements together that users are familiar with, you can avoid confusion and succeed in meeting user expectations. Paper writing sites, for example, focus on maintaining a few basic elements, such as the type of services they provide, samples, and contact information as visible as possible, because these are the main features that people look out for.  

Don’t fear that keeping a familiar structure will limit your chances to provide innovative features. By conducting market research, you will be able to identify the areas in which can do something different. 

 

A person using tab and desktop

Get Familiar with UX Writing

Besides images and other visually pleasing elements, effective UX designs need to correctly incorporate texts also. While we might be used to guide ourselves based on graphic elements, such as icons and pictures; the text helps with call-to-action. 

Try to imagine an app that is solely based on graphic elements. No written information, no guidelines, no help menu, nothing. Would it be easy for you to navigate through it? But, most importantly, would it be easy for someone else who is not as tech-savvy as you are, to work their way around it?

The text needs to be incorporated into the development process since its early stages, to ensure they blend and go well with the rest of the design elements. Otherwise, developers might have to rectify the initial design to ensure that it fits the text elements.

Bottom Line

A few basic psychology principles can help you go a long way in the UX design process. By understanding how the mind of the user works, you will be able to shape up your design and influence the way people interact with the app. Still unsure? Try observing these principles in the apps or websites you visit every day and see if they have any role in how you interact with them. You are in for a surprise.

 

**This post is written by our guest author Jessica Fender. She's a blogger and Chief Content Officer at OnlineWritersRating.com.

Interested to write for us? Drop a mail at guestpost@srijan.net with your awesome ideas.

Topics: Web Design, Customer Experience, JavaScript & UI/UX, User Experience and User Interface

3 Ways to Create a Niche with your Customer Experience

Posted by Piyush on Jun 13, 2019 5:43:00 PM

Businesses want to be able to deliver more of everything and get multifold in ROI. While gaining more of the customers might not be easy, you can deliver more with better customer experience.

Poor customer service and experience is tantamount to a loss of more customers, given how the word of mouth still goes strong, despite all precautionary measures taken.

Here’s what you need to do to provide the best customer experience.

Why Improve your Customer Experience?

For the sustained growth of your business, it is important that customer experience is critical to your business strategy. Unlike your other campaigns, it is multifold, consisting of multiple touch points on a cross-functional basis.

                     Customers have more options and greater ease of switching than ever

Customer experience amounts to every interaction a customer has with a business, both pre- and post-sale.

It's important to ensure a positive customer experience to build customers loyalty, so they could evangelize your product/ service and help you gain more customers. With digital transformation, customers have more options (your competitors) and greater ease of switching power than ever.

why-improve-customer-experience

Improving Customer Experience

As a business obsessed with growth, you need to take customer experience and service very seriously. Here’s what you can do.

1. Personalize What Your Service

Everyone loves personalized services, in fact, personalization is leading to positive ROI in some three-quarters (75.5%) of businesses in North America and Europe.

Personalized services make your customers feel valued, no matter which domain your business belongs to.

picture of males and females adjusted in queues

                                                             Source: Econsultancy

 

While providing customer experience online might seem like an arduous task, it will help you soar above the competition

By learning about user geography, gender, preference - organizations can provide better possible customer experience. Collecting information throughout the customer relationship can provide relevant suggestions and customer support in the future.

Apart from basic optimization like speed load, clean navigation, it should present relevant recommendations. For customers, such personalized recommendations can serve as a sign of respect for their loyalty and business, signalling a keen interest from the business.

By creating an open and universal space for sharing the information with the organization you can create a similar uniform customer experience.  

2. Clear, Effective Communication

Communication plays out a big part in shaping the customer experience. Right message, tone, and channel can help you build trust.

With digitization, you must familiarize yourself with the channel -- whether it be social, email, live chat, or something similar. Customers communicating needs to be present with each piece of information bringing in more nativeness.

It is also important that you are providing important useful information proactively on their preferred channels. Regular feedback from them can help you enhance your service.

3. Act Now. Act Fast

Identify the rate and reasons for customer churn.

Customers are more empowered today than they were 10 years ago. They have more options and easy way to switch. For businesses to provide a great experience, they must prioritize the grievance support from start-to-finish.Prioritizing the problem can generate greater interest. Something as simple as the timely response can be the best way, to provide customers with the ability to help themselves. The ease of experience will leave them feeling better and coming back for more.

In B2B, providing prototype services helps to see the final outcome better also saving your time and energy

Conclusion

You cannot thrive without the support of your customers. Invest in your customer service and experience. Customer experience is your holistic experience. By leveraging the opportunity to use feedback and data analytics, you can leverage its growth potential.

We spend our time and money in cross-training our members across the team, to bring the best solution for you. Contact us!

Topics: Customer Experience, MarTech, User Experience and User Interface

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