Customers‘ needs and expectations in regard to the interaction with products, services, and organizations have changed fundamentally. That is due to new technologies and communication channels, as well as permanent online accessibility, having created many new digital as well as physical touchpoints. These can be orchestrated to create a unique and inspiring experience for the customer. This is not an end in itself; rather, a captivating omnichannel Customer Experience (CX) has become one of the most important competitive differentiators.
Fundamentally rethinking your own CX strategy and developing an enhanced or perhaps completely new approach is not trivial. In the first three parts of this article series, among others, we have presented a framework that can help companies develop, integrate, and manage a successful CX strategy.
This chapter is a deep dive on the topic of developing new experience points. We know from many initiatives that a CX collection analysis can provide valuable input. Operational and strategic teams may draw inspiration from other companies‘ Customer Experience endeavors on an anecdotal basis. Importantly, a corresponding analysis is by no means a static, but a dynamic tool. The collection of examples continues to evolve, becoming a collection that should be updated constantly via a crowd sourcing and curation mechanism from people inside (and potentially also outside) the company.
Understanding best practices inside and outside your own industry
Such a compilation certainly does not provide blueprints to simply copy; rather, it serves to help organizational leaders and teams understand the logic of CX.
The collection can also be seen as a positive and negative list of examples, showing teams what currently works very well, and what has worked well until now, but may not be so effective in the future.
Based on this, suitable templates can be adapted and eventually implemented.
It is also important to collect examples that do not originate from one’s own market environment, covering different products or service systems instead.
The case in point is that even examples that are seemingly obscure at first glance can provide a decisive inspiration.
It is the change of perspective, the open view beyond the horizon, that organizations need, in order to advance a new area of investment. It enables them to improve their own operating model and to develop different approaches to be able to offer a unique CX along the Customer Journey.
Re-imagining the examples to fit future trends
A CX collection may also be used to identify reoccurring trends – taking a step back to see the needs and desires of customers on a human behavioral level, as well as their impact on the business model and the technology offered. Finding the overlaps of these three ever-changing factors is complex for a company, but it offers the greatest value to the customer, the brand and the company’s employees alike. Time and regional differences must also be considered. For example, certain human behaviors may be more pronounced in a particular region at a particular time.
The company’s business model and technological experience must adapt to this. Companies that collect and analyze such information in a comprehensive CX collection have a decisive advantage: They can use the examples to ideate and redefine their own approach by considering the interdependencies of customer behavior, business model, and technological interaction when they are developing their future strategy. They are therefore able to embrace new perspectives.
Implementing examples to fit a brands principle
The newly acquired knowledge should be reflected in the company’s brand guidelines. Customer Experience principles help strategic teams guide both operational as well as management teams as to how certain products or services examples can be tailored to a company’s future goals.
The focus can be on different areas, for example that customers should be positively incentivized at certain touchpoints and contexts. These principles may also be seen as guardrails within a Customer Experience development program to support the implementation of examples at different moments along the Customer Journey, at the same time aligning them with the overall Customer Experience strategy. Finally, the monitoring phase can be used to validate the newly introduced CX strategy and revise it if needed.
Getting the most out of your CX collection
A comprehensive CX collection is an effective tool for organizations with little or no previous experience in actively shaping a CX strategy.
It helps teams to see products and services in a different light and think more revolutionarily about how to make their own company’s Customer Journeys more disruptive, thus surprising customers with a positive experience.
The collection can also be seen as an icebreaker between strategic and operational teams, as they can use the examples to see what is possible and what may have been tried before.
Most importantly, a CX collection is designed to serve as a nucleus of inspiration for different stakeholders and provide a solid anecdotal base for all kinds of Customer Experience initiatives both now and in the future.
Discover the rest of our series on Customer Experience:
The Next Frontier of Customer ExperienceLearn More
Companies can gain an edge by developing an overarching CX strategy and management
All or Nothing: Designing Holistic Customer ExperiencesLearn More
The first article of our series dives deep into why using frameworks helps in building a new CX strategy and reducing the complexity of the process
Stand out from the Crowd: Defining the Core CX DifferentiatorsLearn More
The second article in our CX series shares how to define the CX differentiators based on strengths and objectives
Total CX: Mastering the Complexity of the Customer Journey(s)Learn More
The third article in our CX series gives guidance for developing and implementing complex Customer Journeys