Innovation in customer experience

Bridging the gaps across digital, online and offline channels is an organizational challenge many marketers face. The siloed operational mindset is no longer effective, resulting in a disconnected customer experience. In this organizational construct, brands view the transactional activity of consumers in each individual channel and not holistically across all channels. Therefore they’re missing a 360-degree view of the consumers they are trying to reach and lacking the insight needed to engage customers with compelling and consistent experiences.

Last week I had the opportunity to attend Forrester’s Forum for Customer Experience Professionals in NYC where 1000+ marketing professional joined forces to discuss the trends and challenges of customer experience. The “disconnected customer experience” was a trending topic throughout the forum. In her keynote discussion, Elaine Ford, Ford Motor Company’s Vice President of Global Dealer & Consumer Experience, shared how Ford’s commitment to improving the customer experience is transforming the company.  Elaine discussed how Ford achieved success with their integrated customer experience strategy and launch of FordPass®. To learn more about how Ford is transforming into an auto and mobility company and investing in customer experience, click here.

Transformation and innovation were sentiments heard throughout the conference. In a separate session, American Express and Barclaycard shared their views on achieving customer centricity and the transformation that American Express has made to better understand constantly shifting customer trends in the marketplace. In the session with Jennifer Smith of American Express, and David Neal of Epsilon, explored how AMEX created an infrastructure (the capabilities) to shift from a product focus to a customer focus, and discovered endless possibilities. As Jennifer shared during the session (and as featured in Luxury Daily) “It’s important to track data from one particular customer across all devices. The goal is to hone in on data and determine what will be useful for each partner and filter it back to them in a manner that can create helpful experiences for customers.” Jackie Galaida, Vice President of Loyalty and Marketing at Barclaycard added, “Clear, easy-to-access information that is available at any given touchpoint is our approach for all channels – website, call center, etc.”

Data is essential to developing an innovative customer experience as it provides behavioral insights on consumers and helps marketers understand their customers’ personalities on an individual level, and not with a channel mindset. Turning data into insights allows marketers to identify patterns in a consumer’s path-to-purchase including how she researches product information and then where she ultimately converts and transacts. Once marketers are informed of these preferences, they can engage and communicate with customers more effectively. When this is all done right, marketers can establish an emotional connection with customers, deepen the brand to consumer relationship and ultimately drive loyalty.

As you’re continuing to advance your customer experience strategy, think beyond channels and instead put customer first and at the center of everything you do. Similar to Ford, it all starts with a ‘centralized hub’ to connect the customer experience.