As the market has shifted towards digital and ecommerce, the days of the passive consumer are now just a distant memory. Today’s consumers have endless choices at their fingertips, with the global pandemic further expediting this trend as an increasing number of merchants have moved into already crowded markets. As a result, both modern competition and consumer purchasing behaviours have changed immeasurably.
Furthermore, the pandemic has proven that customers do not show much loyalty to brands that are ill-equipped digitally – they just find equivalent products and services elsewhere. This underlines why your brand’s Customer Experience is more important now than ever before. To futureproof your business and its revenue streams, you must focus on retaining your customers’ loyalty through a differentiated Customer Experience.
Why is a Customer Experience strategy important?
As the digital world has evolved, so too have customer expectations. Today’s customers are demanding more digitally, and it is your responsibility to accommodate these demands – or else you risk losing business to competitors. Indeed, those brands that do not transform their digital offering will continue to lose market share as customers move to a more capable competitor that meets their heightened digital expectations.
Therefore, brands are challenged to build a differentiated Customer Experience that develops relationships with customers, and crucially, keeps their customers loyal. The key is to invest in the multichannel and become channel-agnostic. Indeed, Forrester research suggests that businesses who commit to delivering a consistent multichannel Customer Experience hold on to an average of 89% of their customers – which, of course, leads to revenue growth.
In the current pandemic, however, many brands have opted for more tactical digital decisions. Decision-makers should think carefully before committing to such short-term growth strategies because they could have adverse effects on their brand’s Customer Experience. Research demonstrates that the most successful brands have continued to commit to long-term CX strategies, which deliver meaningful solutions to address their customers’ needs. Significantly, a sustainable CX strategy sows the seeds for success in a post-coronavirus world – when many customers will have more money to spend.
Change your perspective and think like a customer
The simplest way you can assess some parts of your Customer Experience is by putting yourself in your customers’ shoes. Of course, it must be understood that this is only a starting point, but by tuning into this perspective you can think outside-the-box and understand why customers make certain decisions at certain moments.
What made the customer feel like buying a certain product? What captured their attention in that micro-moment? Once you start to think like this, it becomes easier to understand your customers’ emotions and behaviours.
Guiding customer insight with expert oversight
While it is a good first step to ‘think like a customer’, you can only deliver a successful, long-term CX strategy through expert research, planning, and execution. Businesses are advised to seek the assistance of an expert external partner who can guide this strategy without any internal bias. Many organisations may think they have the required experience to develop a successful CX strategy in-house, but they are reminded that each member of their team – no matter how experienced – has some level of innate bias that could affect the strategy detrimentally.
An expert Customer Experience partner can help you research the most relevant customer insight for your unique business needs, which you can use to make decisions, underline priorities, and drive impactful, revenue-generating iterations. Remember, all customer research is useful and can inform your strategy, but a partner plays a crucial role in helping you use this research and turn it into something more valuable.
Ultimately, this is why your CX strategy needs perspective. While you may know your business better than anyone else, if you apply this principle to your CX, then you will be left with a blinkered view. Your CX strategy must be centred on your customers – and their insights – and it should be steered by an external partner, who can help you prioritise your greatest digital pain points and optimise your Customer Experience faster.
How a headless digital transformation helps you deliver differentiated CX
For many businesses, going headless is the best way of improving their Customer Experience because it enables them to transform their digital estate much faster. By decoupling your front and back-ends, you can accelerate deployment timelines and deliver multichannel experiences to suit your business. This also makes it much easier to align your digital estate with the customer journeys you have invested in understanding.
Do not worry if the headless approach is new to you, we have been collaborating with next-generation commerce platform, commercetools, to help you get up to speed. Our professional development programme – the headless ecommerce masterclasses – provides you with the know-how and guidance to devise and implement a successful headless ecommerce strategy.