You might have heard of the phrase, ‘the customer is always right.’ And brands and companies have made a run for better customer experience every so often. Before the internet evolution, every customer interaction started and ended in a physical store. However, in today’s experience-driven digital age, brands and customers exist in an open-ended loop where any interaction can happen any time and any place- a digital store, web portal, mobile app, a contact center, or a brick-and-mortar store. As the number of digital touchpoints increases, so does the tediousness of offering consistently superior customer services across every touchpoint regardless of the device and or interaction channel- via a call center agent, chatbot, or field agent. This ongoing business-customer dynamics is called customer experience (CX), and it is of vital importance for organizations.
Since the pandemic, customer experience has garnered unprecedented significance in achieving enterprise digital transformation goals. In fact, in the latest 2020 Gartner survey, over 91% of organizations regard the positive CX as one of the primary goals of their digital transformation efforts. Even leading low-code platforms like OutSystems include customer experience transformation as one of their digital transformation priorities: workplace innovation, process automation, and application modernization. However, to transform or renew CX, organizations need to evaluate their existing customer encounters and how much it needs to change.
This article discusses customer experience transformation and how organizations can use novel low-code development platforms like OutSystems to achieve this feat.
What is customer experience?
Beyond countless products and service offerings lies a key differentiator, and that is experience. CX has the power to create brand loyalty that never existed before with fewer resources and decreased budgets. But what is customer experience?
Customer experience addresses the ongoing relationship between a customer and a company. It relates to a perception or the emotion a customer is left with after interacting with your organization. As there are multiple channels and touchpoints where brand-customer interactions happen, CX is calculated as the total of all those interactions and the lasting impression you leave on them. Yet, customer experience is often confused with user experience and used interchangeably.
User experience refers to the experience a user feels when interacting with a specific digital product or service, or system. On the contrary, omnichannel customer experience encompasses all the interactions a user has with an organization, physical or digital. Undoubtedly, user experience is a subset of CX.
Why does customer experience matter?
Quite honestly, we’ve moved from product-as-a-service to experience-as-a-service economy. Industries spent tremendous amounts of resources, time, and money on bettering customer experiences. In fact, CX is crucial in brand differentiation. But why is customer experience significant?
As per a PwC report, customers are willing to pay a 16% premium for good experiences. Moreover, companies in the US dedicatedly investing in Customer Experience outperform companies identified as CX laggards. In fact, these companies enjoy 3X higher returns than their competitors. It is where the precedence of superior omnichannel customer experience lies- delivering high-end financial benefits to business models.
For businesses, CX moves the business perspective from product USPs and profits to the one that caters to customer needs, wants, and goals. This shift requires enterprises to align their investments and services accordingly and ensure that their solutions solve customer woes. For customers, CX is essential to the choice of and loyalty to a brand. They like to interact with enterprises that offer impressive experiences consistently and make them feel welcomed. Even so, 43% of consumers would pay more for greater convenience and a friendly experience. But that’s not about it. Positive customer experiences challenge businesses to evaluate and maintain two highly critical metrics.
What is customer experience transformation?
Customer experience transformation involves strategies and practices that optimize customer interactions with a brand by streamlining and simplifying operations to better customer satisfaction. Consistent and successful CX transformation leads to multiple business benefits, including positive changes in organizational performance, adaptability, retention, and efficiency.
The challenges of positive customer experience
While brands might think that once they triumph the mountain called delightful customer experience and be done with it, well, you won’t. In this new paradigm, the importance of customer experience cannot be overstated. Now more than ever, it will become a decisive factor in spearheading an organization’s race to contain and grow its customer base. Moving towards the future, a critical contrast between winning and losing brands will undoubtedly be a customer’s brand experience.
However, there are two vital metrics that enterprises will need to surveil and supervise when wanting to get to the healthy bottom line.
Improving customer retention:
Positive customer experience not only encompasses new customers but existing ones too. Consumers are armed with overwhelming and readily available information and are just a click away from switching service providers. It means service/ product/ solution satisfaction is the only way customers will keep coming back and buying more from you. A lost customer is not just a lost sales or revenue portion but an increased cost to compensate for that loss. Let’s not forget that retaining customers is five times cheaper than onboarding new ones.
Decreasing customer acquisition cost:
Great customer experience also impacts your skills in acquiring new customers. A happy and satisfied customer functions as your brand advocate- they refer you to their friends and family without being asked. In the digital era, when people no longer trust advertisements and where 20-50% of purchasing decisions are based on reviews, comments, and word-of-mouth, customer advocacy is a life-saving tool that increases marketing effectiveness and decreases the cost of acquiring new customers by as much as 54%.
Companies are prioritizing customer experience, and so should you
When organizations talk about achieving actual digital transformation goals and prioritizing efforts to achieve them, customer experience optimization constantly forms an integral component. It is why over 91% of organizations have upgraded customer experience in their digital transformation efforts. In fact, over 60% of companies are also increasing their budgets to support the customer experience. However, it is easier said than done.
Despite the tremendous efforts and practices, there is a considerable delivery gap between what companies understand by a great customer experience and what customers expect to be a great experience. In fact, this ratio is 10:1 (10 companies believing they’re offering spectacular experiences and only one customer agreeing on it). Bringing a change in the custom of digital transformation is what futuristic platforms do, and Outsystems fits right in.
OutSystems: Doing things differently but achieving the goal
What’s OutSystems secret to positive and reaffirming customer experience? It’s the omnichannel digital transformation. OutSystems empowers enterprises to create impressive applications 10X faster than traditional development methods, saving time, money, and resources during the process. Its pre-built software embarks upon a less coding and more innovation journey while creating perfect-fit customer experiences that fulfill business goals scaled to the future and exceed customer expectations.
In a time when omnichannel customer experience has achieved significant traction, to compete with level-headed CX leaders, you need to speed up business transformation across all touchpoints in a matter of weeks. With OutSystems’ visual development approach, enterprises can use a single platform to create all application layers- the user interface, business logic, data, and integrations for web, mobile, voice assistants, AR/VR, or IoT devices, meeting customer demands.
Every application created with OutSystems agrees with your brand’s identity and is brilliantly packed by engaging UI/UX that ensures a consistent and high-quality customer-expected experience across all channels. It makes creating solutions from the ground up easy and exact as per your needs. With OutSystems, there is no limit to what you can create.
To achieve complete customer experience transformation, enterprises need to connect systems, processes, and data with the under-construction application. Then comes integrations. From CMS, CRM, analytics, billing system, or any other third-party API, you can achieve a 360-degree view of your customers and connect with them throughout their omnichannel customer journeys. And if you want to analyze real-time customer data and sentiment, adding AI, ML, and IoT capabilities to your applications is super easy. Enterprises can proactively respond to customers patterns, code next-gen experiences, and win over visitors before they become customers.
Lastly, OutSystems helps deliver applications of size or complexity fulfilling security and compliance standards. Since customer experience transformation is not a one department undertaking, OutSystems helps run multi-team development initiatives with centralized administration of data, services, and experiences.
Adapt with OutSystems or Perish without it
The pandemic has already stressed organizations beyond their abilities to ensure adaptation. There is no other option than to become customer-centric. You must ask yourselves, have you removed silos to ensure friction-less operations? Have you diagnosed the problems your customers face with every enterprise touchpoint? Have you tried minimizing friction from your digital processes? Are you taking note of your customers’ expectations? Are you aware of the current and future market dynamics? If not, then you might find yourself vulnerable in the months and years ahead.
Survival depends on extending positive omnichannel customer experiences. The better you serve your customers and adapt to the changing market needs, the easier it will be to accomplish customer experience transformation goals. And just like that, OutSystems helps you become the agile digital enterprise of tomorrow today.