Whether it’s a matter of realigning business models, redefining customer interaction or reviewing and adapting production steps, digitization permeates all areas of modern business. In essence, however, all of these processes ideally have one and the same direction of impact: They aim to realign workflows and processes, thereby helping to optimally satisfy user interests. In their book “Homo Connectus: Insights into the Post-Solo Era of the Customer,” Robert Daubner and Christoph Hüning show what this might look like.
The digital transformation needs to start where customers meet the companies (and their products). This is important to be aware of for practical application, since management is constantly faced with the question of how to prioritize activities under the far-reaching impacts of digitization. This often leads to problems, as difficulties at the interfaces regularly occur when transformation projects are set up in an uncoordinated manner. These problems can be resolutely addressed within the scope of customer-focused digital experience management. In an ideal scenario, it ensures that the customer feels good – even long after their purchase – and promotes stronger customer loyalty. It’s also a matter of creating an emotional bond between the customer and the product.
Reevaluating the customer journey
To start with, it makes sense to reevaluate the customer journey. Operating a number of parallel sales channels plays an important role in this. Today, customers use various channels of communication at the same time, so it is necessary to make use of all sales channels according to the target audience. The basis for this is a single source from which the company can draw all relevant data, which can be achieved through efficient CRM technologies, comprehensive content management and product information management systems. Product management and sales can then maintain the website, shop, catalogues, apps, etc. via a dialogue interface, while simultaneously collecting information about customers. This interface paves the way for authentic customer interaction.
In this way it is easier to actually meet the needs of the customer, which is the key to their feel-good experience. An important factor in this is linking the customer’s search and sense of achievement with products. This means that the required items must not only be quick to find, but also meet the customer in their current, emotionally charged mood. There is always a danger of frustration due to generic information being provided. If a business knows their customers and takes them seriously, it will reach out to them first. So a successful customer experience is based on offering good content and presenting it correctly on the appropriate channels. The information that the customer requires sets the tone here. But this is not possible without constant dialogue and the right tools for evaluating the information.
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However, businesses can also better present their digital content on the internet – this starts with the corporate domain. The focus is often on search engine optimization, while the user experience is left behind. But “good search results” do not necessarily guarantee a satisfactory customer experience. Rather, it’s much more a matter of having a consistent media management strategy. Content creation, story, channel, design and language are the key to happy customers. Within digital touchpoint management, all digital content activities are coordinated so that the customer has positive experiences at every point of interaction on their journey.
This includes touchpoints such as the landing page, online shop, point of sale, information and service apps and customer service. Digital customer service is particularly important because it maintains the customer relationship even after the purchase. What’s more, new information is also collected here, which is then fed back into the large data source via CRM. Everything comes full circle. The motto “after the sale is before the sale” also applies in digital customer experience management.
It is important not to lose sight of the objective during the journey through the jungle of digitization. Transforming customer interaction offers the best and most important way forward. It is the optimal entry point for also transferring other aspects of business activity into a digital ecosystem, the elements of which complement and enrich each other. Anyone who sees the customer as king and places them at the heart of their business is on the right track to up-to-date digitization.
For more information, see:
Robert Daubner and Christoph Hüning, Digital Customer Experience Management: Real Networking from Businesses to Customers. In Frank Keuper, Marc Schomann and Linda Isabell Sikora (ed.), “Homo Connectus: Insights into the Post-Solo Era of the Customer” (pp. 87-99). Springer Fachmedien, Wiesbaden 2018, 472 pages, 49.99 euro.