It used to be that customer experience took place in person or when a customer called a support line; however, the interactions of today’s modern customer are much more digital, meaning there is a huge need for a technology stack to drive a strong customer experience.
According to David Rowley, CTO of IAC Publishing Labs, customer-driven technology can make a huge difference within an organization, but it also needs to be thought through so that it is strategic and efficient. Many companies build with themselves in mind instead of their customers, but forward-thinking organizations with the best customer experiences put themselves in the shoes of the customer and think about how their customers interact with the brand. By breaking down the interaction into every touch point, companies can focus on the technology that will best meet the needs of the customer and the goals of the company.
The key to a strong technology stack is to make a seamless experience for the customer. Although internally things might be divided amongst various teams and apps, the customer should be able to have the same experience no matter if they are communicating with a brand on social media, browsing products online, or calling in with a question after making a purchase. Many companies focus solely on the discovery phase of the customer journey when customers are choosing which product to buy and doing their research. While that part is incredibly important and is often what drives customer growth, it shouldn’t be prioritized at the expense of the later customer stages. After a customer has purchased a product or chosen a service, they can be turned into powerful brand advocates and have the potential to build a strong relationship with the brand. These customers can turn into a valuable tool for referrals and expanding a brand’s message, but oftentimes the step is forgotten.
Along each step of the customer journey, there should be systems in place that build connections between the brand and the customer and offer a personalized experience that customers will want to share. In order to be truly effective, brands need to combine systems of engagement, or the things they use to interact with customers, with systems of record, or the back-office programs that track customer information. Tying these systems together is critical to monitor and stay on top of the modern customer experience.
One of the biggest challenges of the modern customer experience is integrating technology stacks that will last as technology changes and evolves. The key is to focus on the problem you are trying to solve and to understand how customers want to interact with the brand. Some brands have success going through a single stack provider, while others like to piece together services from a number of vendors; there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution, but rather each company needs to do what is best for their strategy.
The key to staying ahead of the modern customer experience is understanding technology and how the right stack can help companies better understand and interact with customers.
Blake Morgan is a customer experience futurist, author of More Is More, and keynote speaker. Sign up for her weekly newsletter here. Go farther and create knock your socks-off customer experiences in your organization by enrolling in her new Customer Experience School.