Create - Deliver - Optimize, Bård's 5 ingredients for an evolutionary customer experience strategy
Bård Farstad, eZ's Chairman Product Innovation Board
Customer Experience Management is a word you hear often these days. In summary this is the interaction between a customer and a supplier's website and the process of improving and enhancing this experience. So, how is this done?
One issue online marketeers are facing today is that there are more and more channels to reach their customers and the complexity of the technology has never been as it is today.
Back in the day we saw, and still see, so called big bang web re-launches. Totally new fresh design and major changes to the website. Based on statistics and conversion we see that this is often a very risky gamble and many of the players that have implemented such a strategy have seen a loss in traffic and conversion as a result of such a re-launch.
The time for big-bang re-launches is today over in my opinion. Once you have established an online presence you should continuously evolve this to become better in terms of what you want to achieve. This being more traffic, higher conversion etc.
Implementing an evolutionary customer experience strategy can seem like a huge effort, so I have assembled my top 5 ingredients to look at this from a pragmatic yet efficient angle. Here are my top 5 tools you need to do the job:
1: Simple Editing
No matter how many channels, editors and complexity in content my main ingredient for a successful customer experience management is simple editing. It really needs to be easy to modify what you want when you want it. The environment for content authoring should enable the creation and modification of landing pages and call for action pages, in addition to any normal content editing tasks.
2: Goal Definition and Analysis
This one is obvious, if you want to become better at something you need a benchmark that tells you how good you are today. So you need to be able to define different goals and measure them both historically and in real time. This could be as simple as increase in traffic or total sales during a time frame, but also more complex analysis like trending, movement patterns and what landing page gives best conversion (like with A/B testing).
3: Ability to execute goal oriented campaigns
Once you have spotted an area for improvement - it could be a product that is not selling as well as it should for example - you need to have the means to execute a campaign with a specific goal. The campaign could be traditional mailing, social or online advertisement. The campaigns can either be manually managed or fully automated. But you need to be able to both execute and measure the result of the campaign according to your goal. Then you can see what works and what does not so you can further optimise.
4: Ability to understand your audience and deliver targeted content
As content grows and customers are getting more and more specific about what they are looking for you need to have a way of understanding your visitors and being able to serve up content that is right for them. There are several strategies for this, but I believe the user behaviour analysis and targeted content recommendations based on this is the most efficient. The good thing about this service is that once configured it has minimal daily work impact for the editorial team as the system will automatically optimise based on the defined goals. A good implementation of content recommendations will in an automated way improve the customer experience by delivering more relevant content and reducing the time it takes to find the right content for customers. Ultimately this helps define the long term content strategy - you invest where your content is used.
5: Execution Focus
Part of any brilliant strategy is tactics. What you do on a daily basis is what makes the difference, not what is outlined in a fancy strategy paper. So, get your game plan and start executing. The sooner you make a measurable change to quicker you can react and improve on this. Evolution is in essence improving one iteration at the time, and there you have your strategy.
That was it, my top 5 ingredients for an evolutionary customer experience strategy. Hopefully this makes sense for you and can help you assemble your own evolutionary strategy (or should I say tactics).