Thelinesbetweenthedigitalandphysicalcustomerexperiencetodayarelargelyartificial。

Customersshopinretailstoreswiththeirdevicesattheready。

Theyexpectonline-likepersonalizationandrecommendationsintheaisles。

They’relookingforinstantgratificationandbettersensoryexperiencesfromdigitalchannels。

It’sanomnichannelworldandcompaniesmustfigureouthowtoliveinit:deliveringasuperiorcustomerexperienceregardlessoftheentrypoint。

LuxuryfashionbrandRebeccaMinkoff,forexample,openeditsfirstthreeretailstoreswiththeintentoftakingcustomers’bestonlineexperiencesandbringingthemtolife。

“Inthepast,youhadthisbrick-and-mortarexperience,andyouhadtheonlineexperience,”sayscompanypresidentUriMinkoff。

“Thereweresuchgreatadvantagesandefficienciesthatemergedwithshoppingonline。

Youcouldgetrecommendations,seehowsomethingshouldbestyled,createwishlists,accessuser-generatedcontent。

Inthestore,itwasstilljustyouandtheproduct,andmaybeasalesassociate。

But[unlikeonline]youhadallfiveofyoursenses。



RebeccaMinkoff’snewstoresstillstimulatethosesenseswhileincorporatingsomeoftheintelligencethatonlinechannelstypicallybringtobear。

Eachstorefeaturesalargeinteractivescreenattheentrance,wherecustomerscanbrowseproductsororderabeverage。

Shopperscaninteractwithsalespeopleortheycanmakepurchasesonamobileappwithoutevertalkingtoasoul。

Insideafittingroom,RFID-taggedmerchandiseisdisplayedonaninteractivemirror,wherecustomerscanrequestnewsizesorthedesigner’srecommendedcoordinates(areal-liferecommendationengine)。

Thecompanyhasfoundthat30%ofwomenaskforadditionalitemsbasedontherecommendations。

Ithasalsosoldthreetimesmoreofitsnewready-to-wearlinethanitanticipated。

“Wewereanaccessories-dominantbrand,”saysMinkoff。

“Butwe’vebeenabletobuildthisdirectrelationshipwithourcustomers,helpingthemwithoutfitcompletersandalsogettingabettersenseofwhattheywantbasedonwhat’sactuallyhappeninginourfittingrooms。



Eachpieceoftechnologyaddstotheexperiencewhilecapturingthedetails。

RebeccaMinkoff’sintegratedsystemscanrememberacustomer’spreviousvisitsandpreferredcolorsandsizes,andcanenableassociatestosetupafittingroomwithappropriategarments。

Onthebackend,thecompanygetsthekindofvisibilityintoin-storeconversionsoncepossibleonlyindigitaltransactions。

“Thetechnologygivesustheabilitytocreatethekindofexperienceeachcustomerwants。

ShecanshopanonymouslyorbetreatedlikeaVIP,”?

saysMinkoff。

BuildAroundaBigIdea

RebeccaMinkoff’sapproachisabellwether。

It’snotenoughsimplytoprovidecontinuityorconsistencyfromonechanneltoanother。

Customersdon’tthinkintermsofchannels,andneithershouldcompanies。

Rather,it’saboutdefiningtheoverarchingexperienceyouwanttodelivertocustomersandthenbuildingtheappropriateofflineandonlineelementstoachievethatintendedoutcome。

Asmoregoodsandevenservicesarecommoditized,companiesmustcompeteontheexperiencestheycreate(seeTheROIofCustomerExperience)。

Thatmeanscomingupwithabigideathatdrivesthedesignofthecustomerexperience。

“Everygreatexperienceneedstohaveatheme,”saysJoePine,consultantandcoauthorofTheExperienceEconomyandInfinitePossibility:CreatingCustomerValueontheDigitalFrontier。

“That’stheorganizingprincipleoftheexperience。

It’showyoudecidewhat’sinandwhat’sout。



Forexample,RebeccaMinkoffservesasanimageconsultanttoitsMillennialcustomers,whoexpectpersonalization,recognition,andtechinnovation,usingamixofonlineandofflinetechniques。

Tostandapart,companiesmustcomeupwiththeirownunifyingideaandthenintegratedataandsystems,reworkorganizationalmodels,andrethinkkeystrategicmetricsandemployeeincentivesinordertointegratethephysicalanddigitalworldsaroundthatidea。

Herearesomeexamplesofcompaniesthathavecreatedatheme-drivenexperienceusingonlineandofflineelements。

Nespresso:ImpartingaSenseofLuxury

Atthemostbasiclevel,Nespressoisamanufacturerofcoffeeandcoffeemachines。

Butthecompanyhassuccessfullyturnedwhatitsellsandhowitsellsitintoaveryspecifictypeofexperience。

Nespressostrivestoimpartafeelingofquality,exclusivity,evenluxuryinahost?

ofways。

ThecompanyhascreatedtheNespressoClub,whichmaintainsdirectrelationshipswiththousandsofcustomers。

Itscustomerservicecentersarestaffedby1,000highlytrainedcoffeeexpertswhodon’tjustpushproductsbutofferadviceandguidanceasasommeliermightdowithwine。

Its450retailstores(upfromjustoneParisianin2000)arecalledboutiques;thelargelyinventory-freeshowroomsarebuiltaroundtastingandlearning。

Online,thefocusisonefficiencyandservice。

Customerswhopreferdigitalinteractionscanorderthroughthewebsiteormobileapp,whichofferstheoptionofcourierdeliverywithinatwo-hourwindow。

ThecompanyalsorecentlyintroducedaBluetooth-enabledcoffeemachine,whichwhenpairedwithasmartphoneapp,cantrackacustomer’susage,simplifymachinemaintenance,andasWiredpointedout,enableremotebrewing。

Successdidn’thappenovernight,buttodayNespressoisoneofNestlé’sfastestgrowingandmostprofitablebrands,according?

toBloomberg。

QVC:UsingOnlinetoComplementtheExperience

Thethemethathasdriventelevision-shoppinggiantQVC’scustomerexperiencefordecadeshasbeen“inspirationandentertainment。

”Traditionallythatwasdeliveredthroughthejoyofspontaneousdiscoverywhilewatchingthechannel。

Matchingthatexperienceonlinehasbeendifficult,however。

Atadigitalretailconferencein2015,QVC’sCEOexplainedthatinthepastthecompanyhadfailedtodeliverthesamerichinteractionsonlinethatithaddevelopedwithitsTVaudiences,accordingtoTotalRetail。

SothecompanydecidedtorethinkitsuseofdigitaltoolstofocusoncomplementingtheexperienceitdeliversthroughTVscreens,accordingtoRetailWire。

Forexample,afterenticingTVviewerswithproducts,QVCintroducesthenextstepinthebuyingjourney—“impulsetobuy”—inwhichviewersarespurredonwithtelevisedcountdownclocksorlimitedmerchandiseavailability。

Online,thecompanyhasbeenexperimentingwithsecond-screencontent(forinstance,recipesthatcomplimentacookingproductbeingsoldonTV)tofurtherpropelpurchases。

TheQVCappfeaturesthesameitemthatison-airalongwithapromptthatrevealsalltheitemsfeaturedonTVinrecenthours。

OnAppledevicesequippedwithTouchID,customerscancheckoutinlessthan10secondswiththefingerprint-enabled“speedbuy”button。

Thethirdphase—“purchaseandreceive”—iscomplementedbyasimpleandreliableonlinebrowsingandpurchasingplatform。

Thelaststage—“ownandenjoy”—isaccompaniedbyfollow-one-mailcommunicationwithtipsonhowtouseproducts。

Lastyear,thecompanyreportedthat44%oftotalQVCsalescamefromonlinechannels(upfrom40%in2014),andnearlyhalfofthosewerecompletedonamobiledevice。

Infact,QVCiscurrentlythetenthlargestmobilecommerceretailerintheUnitedStates,accordingtoInternetRetailer。

Domino’s:FocusingonSpeedandConvenience

Domino’sPizzabuiltafast-foodempirenotnecessarilyonthequalityofitspiesbutinsteadontheexperienceofgettinghotfooddeliveredquickly。

Whatstartedoutasapromisetodeliverapizzawithin30minutestocustomerswhophonedintheirorderisnowathemedexperienceofefficientfooddeliverythatcanbefulfilledanumberofways。

Domino’sAnyWareprojectenablescustomerstoorderpizzasfromtheirTV,theirTwitteraccount,theirsmartwatch,ortheirconnectedcar,forstarters。

TheDomino’sappfeatureszero-clickorderingfunctionality:Domino’swillstartfulfillingtheusualorderforcustomerswhooptin10secondsafteropeningtheapp。

Domino’sAustralianstoresarepilotingGPStrackingwherebyemployeesbeginworkingonanorderonlywhenthecustomerentersthe“cookzone”—adynamicallyupdatedareaaroundagivenstorethatresultsinthecustomerarrivingtoajust-preparedorder。

ThetoolbuildsuponpreviouslydevelopedGPS-basedtechnologyfortrackingdeliverydrivers,accordingtoZDNet。

AndthecompanythatcameupwiththecorrugatedpizzaboxandtheHeatwaveBagtokeeppieswarmisnowbuildingtheDXP—adeliverycarwithabuilt-inwarmingoven。

Allinthenameofthefast-andhot-fooddeliveryexperience。

MohawkIndustries:UsingSocialtoStreamlineCustomerInteractions

MohawkIndustriesgrewtobecomeaUS$8billionflooringmanufacturerbyrelyingoncustomerstovisititsdealers’retaillocationstosee,touch,andfeelthecarpet,hardwood,laminate,ortiletheyplannedtopurchase。

Today,insteadofwaitingforcustomerstofindMohawk,ithasredesigneditsexperiencetofindthem。

Ithasadoptednewtechnologyandreworkeditssalesprocessestoreflectthatnewfocus。

Thecompany’s1,200salesrepresentativeshaveaccesstoa360-degreeviewofeachcustomer,completewithanalyticsandsalestoolsontheirtablets,enablingthemtocaptureandfollowthroughonleadsgeneratedthroughsocialmediaengagement。

Byanalyzingonlinediscussionsinrealtime,representativescanjumpintotheconversationandhelpcustomersfindtheproducttheymaybesearchingforanddirecttheconsumertoaretailertofinishthesale。

Inoneepisode,awomanwaspostingaboutherinterestinaparticularleopardrugonTwitter。

Mohawk’steamsurfacedthetweet,passeditontoachannelpartnerwhocontactedthewomanandclosedthesalewithintwominutes。

Today,thecompanyboastsan80%closerateonsalesstartedandguidedinsocialmediaandhasmade$8millionon14,000suchsocialleads。

MohawkIndustriesexpectsanincreaseof$25millioninsalesyear-over-year,thankstoitsnewcustomer-centricapproach。

CustomerExperienceDesign:WheretoBegin

Developingaunique,valuable,andrelevantcustomerexperiencethatcombinesthebestofofflineandonlinecapabilitiesisahugeundertaking。

Allcorporatefunctions,includingmarketing,customerservice,sales,operations,finance,andHRaswellasproductorbusinesslines—allofwhichtypicallyhavecompetingmetricsandagendas—mustbuyintotheexperienceandcollaboratetomakeithappen。

Andtheidealmixofdigitalandphysicalcomponentswillvarybycompany。

Buttherearesomebestpracticestogetcompaniesstartedontheirownjourneys。

StartattheTop

Withoutleadershipbuy-in,changeswillnothappen。

“Customerexperienceisnotafeature,it’snotashinybutton。

It’saconceptthatsometimesistoughtograsp。

Butwebelievethatifdoneright,itwillkeepcustomersloyal。

Andsoweputalotofeffortintoit,”saysKevinScanlon,directoroftotalcustomerexperienceattechcompanyEMC。

“That’swhyhavingthattop-downsupportisparamount。

Ifyoudon’thaveit,you’respinningyourwheels。

It’sgoingtogiveyoutheresources,thefocus,andtheattentionthatyouneedtodesignthatconsistentexperience。



Todemonstrateitscommitment,everyVPandaboveatEMChasacustomerexperiencemetricaspartoftheirquarterlygoal。

BeginwiththeEndinMind

Companiescantakeapagefromthedesign-thinkingapproachtoproductdevelopment,startingwiththeexperiencetheywantcustomerstohavewiththeircompanyandthenputtinginplacethepeople,processes,andsystemstomakethathappenacrossvarioustouchpoints。

Uberdidn’tstartbybuying1,000cars。

Itstartedwithacompletelynewcustomerexperienceitwantedtodeliver—straddlingthedigitalandphysical—andthenbuilttheorganizationaroundthat。

Uberultimatelyleveragedpeople,process,andtechnologytobringthattolife,butitstartedwithauniquecustomerjourney。

DesignfortheCustomer,NottheCompany

Todate,mostcorporateprocesseshavebeendesignedforinternalefficiencyorcostsavingswithlittleconsiderationfortheimpactonthecustomer。

Companiesthatwanttodesignforconsistentexperienceshavetoreexaminethosebusinessprocessesfromthecustomerperspective。

Inordertodeliverastandoutandconsistentexperience,enterprisesmustbringtogetheranassortmentofdatafromavarietyofsystems—includingPOStransactions,mobilepurchases,callcenteractivity,notesfromsalescalls,andsocialmedia。

Theaverageretailerhascustomerdatainmorethanadozendifferentsystems。

Butit’snotjustthefront-endcustomer-facingsystemsthatneedorchestrating;backofficesystemsandprocesses,fromyoursupplychaintofulfillmenttocustomerservice,mustbedesignedtodelivertheintendedexperience。

Forexample,Nespressohastoorchestrateanumberofback-endandfront-endsystemstooffercustomerspremiumcourierdeliverywithintwo-hourwindows。

PutSomeoneinCharge

Companiesthataretrulyinvestedincreatingintegrated,standoutcustomerexperiencesoftencreateacentralizedfunctionthatcanbringtogetherthepeople,processes,andtechnologytobringthemtolife。

Sometimesthereisachiefcustomerofficerorheadofcustomerexperience。

Butunlessthesepeoplearereallyempowered?

they’retoothless。

EMC’sScanlonisempowered。

Heheadsupafunctionthathasbeentransformedfromfocusingonproductqualityintoacentralizedcustomerexperiencecenterofexcellencestaffedwith60full-timeprofessionals。

Thecenterhastranslatedinto“morefocus,moreenergy,moreinsighttoourcustomers,”saysScanlon。

“Andwecandeliverthatinsighttoourinternalstakeholders,whichtricklesdowntoouraccountteamsandletsthemhavemoremeaningfulconversationsthatbenefitourcustomers—andbenefitthecompanyovertime。



CentralizeCustomerData

Evenifthereisnocentralcustomerexperiencefunction,thereneedstobeacentraldatarepositoryandanalyticssystem:adigitalfoundationthateveryonecanusetoimprovetheirpieceofthatexperience。

EMC’scustomerexperiencegrouphasadatagovernancefunctionthatmaintainsasinglesourceofcustomertruth。

“They’reabletopullallrelevantdatasourcesintoonelocationandgetpastthetypicalcustomerdatachallenges,”saysScanlon。

InvestinPeople

Companiesthatcareaboutthecustomerexperienceinvestinthepeoplewhodeliverit。

Humanbeingsaretheclearestsignpostsonthecustomerjourney。

Companiesmusthirethebest,trainfordesiredoutcomes,andrewardbasedonexperiencemetrics:forbeingbrandambassadorsandforgoingaboveandbeyondonbehalfofthecustomer。

RethinkMetricsandIncentives

Onemajorbankwashavingtroubledrivingadoptionofitsonlinebankingtools。

Thecustomersthatusedthetoolslovedthem,butthetoolsweren’tgettingtraction。

Theproblem?

Thebranchmanagershadnointerestinpromotingdigitalbanking。

Theywantedtodriveasmuchtrafficaspossibletotheirphysicalbranchesbecausethiswasoneoftheirkeyperformancemetrics。

Thesolutionwastochangethecompensationapproachinordertorewardemployeesfortheentirecustomerexperience,includingonlinebankingadoption。

Branchmanagersweremeasuredononlineandofflinecustomerbehaviorintheirregions。

ThatbecameasingleandcriticalKPI,anditboostedthedesiredbehaviorsandimprovedoverallcustomersatisfaction。

CreateaSingleViewoftheCompany

Foryears,companieshavetalkedabouttheimportanceofunderstandingthecustomer。

Andthatremainstrue,particularlywhenitcomestodeliveringavaluablecustomerexperienceonlineandoff。

Butsuccessfulcustomerexperiencedesignisjustasmuchaboutgivingcustomersaclearunderstandingofthecompanythroughcoordinatedexperiencesthatdeliveronthebrand’sthemeandbringittolifeinvariouswaysinbricksandmortar,throughdevices,inonlineinteractions,andeverywhereinbetween。

D!

ReadmorethoughtprovokingarticlesinthelatestissueoftheDigitalistMagazine,ExecutiveQuarterly。

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