Customer Experiences in a Digital World

Written by Joel Erb & Dan Morrison

Disruption creates opportunities to rethink the value we deliver to our customers and internal teams. COVID-19 has forced businesses to examine our relationship with customers and the experiences (CX) that surround the products and services that were once unshakable. More than ever, digital experiences (DX) and products are inextricably linked to the physical experiences we have every day. By rethinking the entire customer experience, we undercover opportunities to weave new value through digital products.

The Situation

The way we do business and live our lives has fundamentally changed – more than at any other point in our lifetime. As a result, our standby playbooks have been put back on standby, and we’ve been forced to ask the question of what our “new reality” means to our business and our customers. The organizations that have survived understood a critical element of success – rapid change requires rapid innovation, and at the heart of that innovation is more deeply focusing on and continuously seeking to understand our customers.

Now, several months into COVID-19, we’re seeing that this pandemic has accelerated change not only in the way we do business, but also in the lives of our customers. The fundamental habits in how we live our lives has shifted almost overnight. Most notably has been the shift to technology to solve our most essential needs: buying groceries, engaging with healthcare and spending time with the people in our lives. We’re well into the 30-days that are required to “lock-in” a new behavior. Connecting these new customer behaviors with the continuing disruption in business models is key to unlocking the solution to future success. We must reimagine a new customer experience (CX) powered by digital technologies and products (DX) that create new value.

The Opportunity

Instead of forcing old business models, we have an opportunity to take advantage of this downturn and fundamentally rebuild our businesses. Some of the most notable companies that we think of today started during economic downturns. During the 2008 recession companies such as Uber, WhatsApp, Slack, Instagram, Square, Venmo and Groupon all seized on the opportunity to create new value when old models no longer worked.

Startups founded between 2007 – 2010

In most instances, what was brought to life was not a revamped website, but an entirely new customer experience that involved digital products at the core of their digital experience. Done correctly, it’s a seamless experience that becomes ingrained in customers’ lives and behaviors, driving loyalty.

What is the secret? These companies are laser-focused on the customer, understanding what problems they have and how they can be solved differently, resulting in a new experience that merges the physical and digital.

For companies to win, they must innovate now.

How to Win

Simply injecting new experiences is not enough. Companies often need to rethink their teams, processes and fundamentally how they function to support the transformation that is required. It all starts with asking a few questions:

  1. Are you placing your customer at the center of your customer experience and digital design process?
  2. What does your customers value most today verses the past?
  3. How are customer behaviors shifting, and are these shifts temporary or permanent?
  4. What do you need to do to serve your customers with new experience and offers in this shifting environment?
  5. Are your digital experiences solely content-focused, or do they solve problems?
  6. Where can digital products be deployed to deliver a better customer experience?

At Padilla and Joe Smith, we have a methodology to help companies rethink their customer experience and uncover the opportunity for digital transformation.

Redesigning Your Customer’s Experience

Shift Analysis

A rapid study of internal customer data and observational market and customer research to clearly define how customer values and behaviors are shifting so you can take action.

CX Re-mapping

A mapping of the new and emergent customer journey, noting where behaviors have changed, spotting gaps, and future-casting to identify opportunities for experience innovation.

Innovation Sprint

A focused sprint that leverages insights on customer value and behavioral shifts to create new experiences and offer concepts that are rapidly tested and implemented to generate revenue.

DX Roadmap

Uncovering the gaps and opportunities in your customer’s journey where you can provide digital solutions to create value and help them solve problems.

Rapid Prototyping

Leverage a sprint approach to quickly develop, iterate on and validate a digital product experience that solves a specific customer problem.

Digital Product Development

Build, test, deploy, and support at scale the digital product your customers need and want, whether a mobile app, e-commerce experience or new digital product.

What’s Next?

Where do you start? Get in a room with all your customer-facing teams – sales, marketing, customer support, etc. – and start mapping how customers are behaving, identifying what is the same, what is different, and what is causing the most pain and frustration. With that map, you can ideate on new experiences and products that deliver value to customers on their journey.

Executing on this innovation process can be challenging, of course. However, it’s essential to ensuring a sustainable path forward for your business. That’s where we can come in to help. Reach out to Dan Morrison or Joel Erb to start a discussion and learn more.

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