Future of Customer Experience: 100% Confidence, 0% Friction
It’s official – digital nativity is here to stay! Newly strengthened online habits won’t disappear anytime soon, and digital touchpoints will continue to grow as the world gets more connected and newer methods of engagement proliferate. As we think about seamless experiences for the digital-first customers, we need to understand what the gaps are today and opportunities moving forward in the end-to-end customer journey. After all, it’s their journey that should guide our strategy.
Digital transformation will be key to quickly and efficiently improving upon the customer journey and we define it as a cultural change powered by technology that requires organizations to continually challenge the status quo, experiment often and continuously learn via successes and failures.
It’s All About Contextual Relevance
While businesses aim to build one-to-one conversations with their audiences, in this constantly connected world, it’s a struggle to understand customers across all interactions and all channels. It is important to map and analyze current customer journeys to understand the touchpoints and experiences that customers have with your brand — from discovery, presales, sales, financing, customer service, and beyond. Ideally, to get the full picture of the journey, you need to instrument these engagements both online (e.g. clicks) as well as offline (e.g. calls).
It was not long ago that organizations claimed that the key to winning customers was in the quality of the products or services they delivered. However, it’s been increasingly observed that customers no longer base their loyalty on these factors, but on the end-to-end experience they receive. According to Gartner, “By 2023, organizations at advanced stages of digital transformation will find that poor customer experience is their biggest barrier to further success.”1
We have learned that investing in a Customer Experience Platform (CEP) has not only helped accelerate our digital transformation, but also gotten us a few steps closer to delivering personalization at scale by utilizing the data and insights gathered effectively. As more and more companies make the leap from commodity-based marketing to experience-based marketing, a CRM system or a CEP has the potential to enable exceptional, adaptive experiences for customers and prospects across all customer interaction points.
People Don’t Want More Choices; They Want More Confidence In The Choices Presented To Them
A better understanding of how customers experience a brand provides the foundation on which technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) can be used to improve customer journeys, benefit the business, and create engaging experiences that consumers expect.
We’ve had some great success when it comes to applying machine learning and improving our customer experience. On Dell.com, features like intelligent chatbots, voice interfaces, and similar product recommendations are increasingly being used to offer personalized support and guidance to help customers find what they need . We are leveraging ML to understand the common things customers look for on our website and the types of questions they ask our support agents, translating these insights that power our online chatbots through a feedback loop. The success of these initiatives can be measured through both the increase of online transactions and positive feedback gathered in our customer surveys.
Delivering Value The Dell Digital Way
Like many of our customers, Dell Digital — the IT organization that supports Dell Technologies — is in the midst of digitally transforming. We are driving change across our people, process and technology to accelerate a cultural shift to what we call working in the “Dell Digital Way”.
Along with agile development practices and modern technology, the Dell Digital Way is centered around creating human centered experiences. To ensure customer experience is always at the forefront of our products, designers work alongside engineers and product managers on cross-functional product teams. These changes are enabling us to be responsive to changing customer expectations with more personalization, purchase support capabilities and other key features.
Since “Don’t make me think” by Steve Krug was first published about two decades ago, thousands of web designers and developers have relied on this guide to help them understand the importance of design in their feature planning and delivery process. According to the book, the first law of usability is that the user shouldn’t have to think about anything when they land on your website for the first time. This relates to all aspects of the design: from the positioning of the logo and links to the content and the way that it’s written.
With millions of visits annually, our Dell.com strategy is grounded in human-centered design and development, offering the experience that consumers want and expect today and in the years to come in three major key areas of focus: Easy to Shop, Easy to Buy, and Easy to Own. It’s through this lens that we completely redesigned the home page and category pages recently, making changes to support a more intuitive, simplified, and appealing experience. Our development teams aligned on several best practices, including the use of bold, visually immersive imagery to better showcase our products, greater synergy with offline campaigns, and a thoughtful, more focused use of text.
A Cloud-forward Approach
Change is imminent in ecommerce, and cloud technology enables us to be flexible and meet customer demands quickly. Just a few years back, a single feature change on a website could take significant time to implement, and by the time it was launched, customer needs had often shifted, making it irrelevant. Cloud solutions today offer flexibility to meet customer expectations at a much faster rate than ever before.
The Dell.com team has extensively rewritten and migrated applications to Dell Digital’s private cloud environment for all six customer journey phases – Explore, Discover, Product, Configure, Cart, and Checkout. After transforming the entire shopping experience on Dell.com to the more agile, cloud-based platform, we have seen significant improvements. Feature launches are happening much quicker, page load time has significantly improved, and quality has risen which has led to better customer experiences as per our CSAT scoring survey.
In the end, there’s no silver bullet for winning the loyalty of every customer, and no single solution for every customer’s pain points along the path to purchase. However, by looking across the entire customer lifecycle, leveraging the feedback loop and accelerating our digital transformation, we can deliver on experiences aimed to delight.
What is your organization doing to ensure seamless digital experiences for customers?