Brands large and small are scrambling to keep up with the rapid convergence of the physical and the digital world. Customers are living in an environment where technology surround them, affects their everyday activities and makes many of the old ways obsolete.
The customer journey is not what it used to be and people interested in your product or service have many avenues of information available to them now. They research online, read product information and customer reviews. They can complete as much as 70 percent of the journey without ever contacting the company. They use digital devices to find information and to make their lives easier.
But as fast as brands invent new ways to appeal to the digital customer, it seems that they’re not in tune with what their customers truly want. A new study by the IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV) reveals that 70 percent of the 6000 people they surveyed find brands’ digital efforts disappointing.
“The disappointment indicates a deep divide between corporate expectations and consumer appetite for digital applications.” Robert Schwartz, global lead of strategy and design at IBM’s Interactive Experience division.
What is the core of this gap?
- While executives believe customers want to try new digital CX initiatives because of their digital fluency, the desire to self-serve, and have more control over the experience, consumers are more concerned with getting quick, convenient, and affordable results.
- Executives are severely underestimating the role generational differences play in consumer adoption new digital experiences.
What does this have to do with PR?
If you think that CX initiatives are not a PR or Comms issue, perhaps its time to think again.
“Companies need to provide personalized and individualized experiences in order to authentically build their brands. With customers of certain demographics, this already matters far more than branded communications.” Robert Schwartz
Digital CX Tips
- Design digital experiences to meet customer expectations, not your own— Use this transformation as an opportunity to eliminate underlying customer pain points and reinvent CX – from the customers’ point of view – making it faster, easier or more convenient than traditional channels to engage.
- Analyze customers’ root motivations, desires and pain points – It is important to recognize the generational differences among consumers, but at the same time, not stereotype individuals simply based on their age. Having a detailed and multidimensional understanding of customers is essential. By applying advanced analytics and cognitive technologies to comprehend both structured and unstructured customer data from a variety of sources, companies can build detailed customer profiles that will help determine the right digital CX initiatives to invest in and the best approach for customer adoption.
- Make customer utility and simplicity the core values of digital CX transformation–Customers have already formed ideas about how they engage or transacting digitally with businesses. Executives should conduct thorough research to understand what these expectations are and then iteratively test their digital experience with customers to make sure it is simple to use and gives customers the utility they want.
- Design marketing strategies to address specific needs of your customer base — When launching a digital CX initiatives, it is vital to clearly promote the benefits that customers value, such as time savings, convenience and faster results. Segmentation and personalization can also be used to attract those customers who aren’t especially motivated to try digital CX by giving them additional communications, demonstrations or incentives to try it out.
How PR Can Help
If you’re up to speed on Digital PR you’re already monitoring brand mentions and conversations about your industry, so you should have data about CX pain points and levels of engagement. Share these insights with your marketing and CX team.
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