We have all heard the word revolution before, but is it hyperbole to say there is going to be a customer experience revolution? I don’t think so. If you zoom out and take a look at all the power conversations in business right now (digital transformation, business agility, CX, mobile, big data, and personalization), you will see that the consumer is at the heart of all of these things whether it is them driving the change or being the focus of it.
In the attention economy, your competition is everything! That’s right, most businesses are worried about their competition and many small to mid-sized businesses aren’t even using business intelligence to know who their competition is and what they are doing. The reality is that you’re not just competing with other businesses, your marketing and brand is competing with everything else that can take that prospect’s attention away from you. Family, technology, relationships, and that new song they love are all competing for the attention of your prospects and you better get real if you think the fast-paced changing world isn’t reducing your chance to get people’s attention.
So where does this leave us? First, you have to think of the entire customer experience and journey not just once they come into contact with your marketing. Your brand is the sum total of everything the prospect knows, thinks, and experiences with your brand, product, and others who have or have not used your product. Big data and personalization are making marketers think bigger and in more details about the customer experience. Adobe recently had me out as a social media influencer for them at Adobe Summit and I have to say the stuff they are doing is ahead of the curve when it comes to creating and managing personalized customer experiences at scale. The future is at our doors and it is knocking louder and louder.
Staying relevant in this business environment is going to be key to surviving the coming change. In a recent interview with WalkMe on How to be Social in a Smart Way to Generate Leads, Mordecai Holtz said, “Customer experience will always trump a paid ad campaign.” He was so right. The old way of thinking about siloed campaigns is dying. The big use of marketing to generate a sale is something that is fading. The buying process is getting more complex and influence and attention are having a powerful impact on buying decisions whether you manage them or not.
Why is this happening? Scarcity, as competition increases and markets splinter and segment themselves it is creating an environment where customers are all around us but not paying attention. It is like being in one of those money grab tubes where the air blows money all around you but actually grabbing it is really hard. When dynamic shifts in your market hit you hard, you may find yourself taking tons of action and yet not coming out with enough for your efforts.
Sadly most businesses won’t have an Ellen to help them out so instead they might want to focus on capturing that revenue.
Customers are your revenue, and with the shifting marketplace and more competition, businesses are realizing they must manage the whole experience to stay relevant to the customer. Omni-channel marketing and personalization are driving relevance in a distracted world. Organizations are slowly realizing they can no longer use tactics for sales. It just isn’t going to work. Throwing out a marketing campaign just isn’t getting the same results as it used to. Customers can get what you are offering from many sources and they will gravitate to companies and options that create positive experiences in their lives.
A5 If you're not living/breathing customer, always asking them about their exp, + improving it for them, it doesn't matter. 2/2 #adobechat
— Sue Duris (@SueDuris) March 22, 2017
Bottom line, you have to choose between sales or customers. See in the past businesses have chosen sales and revenues over customers and no matter what they say it is obvious by the choices they make and where they put resources. The customer hasn’t been number one for a long time if ever. Efficiency, revenue, and stockholders have becomes the driving factor for most business decisions. The problem is that when the business environment gets hyper competitive, vastly complex, and constantly shifting in real-time you are going to have to step up your game if you want to hold on to any type of position. This is where relationships matter, where loyalty pays dividends in the attention market.
Personalization is helping this happen, but early adopters of it are still trying to focus on scale instead of individual relationships. As I said in my post on The Power of Relationships in Business and Life, “You can’t fake the relationship with your customers.” This means a new way of thinking when it comes to listening and delivering unique marketing, solutions, and experiences to each customer if you want to stay relevant to them.
— Fred Faulkner IV (@FredFaulknerIV) April 7, 2017
How do you win? You start by rewiring every aspect of your business to be anchored to your customer and the value each decision drives to them. If everyone in your company isn’t asking themselves, “How will this choice/action affect my customer?” You’re doing it wrong. People are looking to integrate new technology for digital transformation, moving to the cloud to be more agile, and looking to big data, AI, and machine learning, but you don’t need huge budgets, complex deployments, or 20 page plans. You can literally just get people thinking about your customers in everything they are doing. This alone will produce amazing low cost and scalable results in an organization and will also help you weed out the people not really focused on the customer.
Tough News —–> If your customers and business environment are going through a revolution, your business will likely need to go through one too. This revolution starts with leadership, then it integrates into mindsets, structures, policies, and products. This isn’t a sticker you put over your business to sound relevant and cool, or a new title like Chief Experience Officer. This is a fundamental shift that will align your business with your customers, create amazing experiences and products, and insulate you from the volatile shifts in the markets in the decades to come. You can’t lose when you invest in your customers. You won’t lose when you design your business, products, and services around providing maximum value to them.