We are living in the experience economy.
Every business is in the business of delivering experiences.
Some businesses like amusement parks, vacation cruises, themed restaurants, movies are selling an experience while others are selling a product and/or service through which the experience is delivered.
Salesforce research found that 80% of customers say that the experiences provided by a company are as important to them as its products and services. In other words, the quality of your customer experience has a direct impact on your potential for business success.
Without deliberate effort to empathize with customers, and explicitly defining the best experiences that engage customers, the undesirable ones become the default.
"In today’s 21st-century business world, Customer engagement, loyalty and advocacy are no longer driven by the products you sell or the service you offer; they’re driven by how well the experience you provide meets your customers’ ever-changing needs and wants. It’s the effect your product has on customers’ lives that creates value." - Lou Carbone, who coined the term 'Customer Experience' in 1994
Customer Experience (#CX) the way it is, won't cut it to create loyal customers. It is high time to go beyond customer experience (#CX) and start designing and delivering experiences that engage customers.
Engaging Experience (#NX) is the future of Customer Experience (#CX).
TRUST is at the core of each Engaging Experience (#NX).
Trust is often followed by Empathy, Care and Fun.
Ninety-five percent of customers say their trust in a company makes them more likely to remain loyal to that brand.
Delivering a truly engaging experience (#NX) every time is how you build the trust as #NX is the single largest differentiator you can offer for your customers to delight them and transform them into your brand evangelists.
Engaging Experiences (#NX) delight customers therefore create economic value. The new value paradigm is no longer derived just from the products or services, it comes from delivering engaging experiences (#NX).
This means organizations with the best experiences should be able to charge premium for it. Not many companies, with the exception of Apple, Disney, Tesla and Amazon have mastered the pricing of experience. Amazon seems to have factored the cost of its exceptional experience into its pricing model— it is one of the few companies that replaces/ refunds a defective product even before it is returned. Many companies are realizing that the resulting customer goodwill will guarantee the loyalty and future business far in excess of the cost.
The Future Is All About Engaging Experiences (#NX).
Engaging Experience (#NX) goes beyond Customer Service. #NX starts with a relationship mindset, not a transactional one.
Companies that continue to nurture the art and the science of designing and delivering Engaging Experiences (#NX) will turn out to be clear winners in the experience economy.
“It's not the biggest brands that will survive, it's the companies that engage the most that will win." - Steve Lucas, Author 'Engage to Win'
Why should we care about Engaging Experiences (#NX)? Why now?
Three key trends are driving the need for #NX.
1. Technology-enabled Experiences are Raising the Bar
“Most companies must realize that they are no longer competing against the brand that sells similar products. Instead, they’re competing with every other experience a customer has.” - Dan Gingiss, Author 'The Experience Maker' and CX Expert
According to Salesforce annual State of the Connected Customer report, 62% of customers say experiences with one industry influence their expectations of others, and 88% expect companies to accelerate their digital initiatives.
2. The Real ROI - Rise Of the Individual
Rise Of the Individual and their influence in the experience economy is transforming corporations and economies.
The demands of personalization and shifting expectations by customers have put enormous pressure on corporations to adapt. The increasing strength of individuals’ digital voices has empowered the masses to seek change and demand more from those who serve them.
It’s no exaggeration that customers are demanding Hyper-Personalized interactions where they expect companies to know about them, their preferences, anticipate their needs and be ready to serve them in real-time at their convenience.
Are you ready to deliver engaging experiences (#NX) for your customers where each one of your customers feel as though your entire company exists to serve them?
3. Transformation of Call Center into an Experience Center
Companies are recognizing that by focusing too much on minimizing the direct cost of running their call centers they failed to factor in the opportunity costs they were incurring. Frustrated customers, reduced customer loyalty, the loss of valuable cross-sell and upsell opportunities, and the squandering of customer ideas, comments and data resulted from treating the contact center as an afterthought or ‘necessary evil’ - a silo whose performance was measured outside the full range of corporate goals.
Experience Center would encompass a company’s sales, marketing and service efforts into one and integrate company’s offering into the lives of customers organically allowing companies move from solely event-driven, occasional ‘contact’ with customers to a more dynamic and frequent interaction. More personalization, more contextual, more dynamic, more relationship-orientation, more understanding of customer’s needs and goals take priority in an experience center.
Through an experience center, you can now create a hyper-personalized concierge service around your offerings for each one of your customers.
Strategy for Engaging Experience (#NX) - Getting it Right
For any organization that is looking to thrive in the experience economy, delivering engaging experiences (#NX) need to be a core value of the organization’s DNA. This requires executive sponsorship from the top, exemplified by Disney, Apple, Tesla and Amazon, whose charismatic leaders were evangelizing customer-centricity and engagement right from the start.
When there is vision and belief at the top, it percolates down the ranks more easily.
What does an Engaging Experience (#NX) need to look like for our customers?
This is the key question that executives and leaders from Retail, eCommerce, Banking, Insurance, Healthcare, Education, Automotive, Aerospace, Manufacturing, Construction, Hospitality, Real Estate, Telecommunications, High-Tech and others are asking.
Without a doubt, the single largest enabler of engaging experience (#NX) is technology.
#NX is delivered through Systems Of Experience (SOX).
Conversational AI technology is at the forefront of enabling #NX - This technology is a powerful System Of Experience (SOX) that is deeply integrated into Systems Of Record (SOR) and internal Systems Of Engagement (SOE) to deliver hyper-personalized interactions by remembering each individual customer's history, preferences, clearly understanding current context and goals, be ready to empathetically serve them 24x7 through chat and voice. Customers carry this technology with them wherever they go.
Digital Avatars combined with AR/ VR technologies to enable next level #NX - The brain from Conversational AI is compounded by adding the digital avatar that can now look at a customer's face, listen & read emotions, respond accordingly with empathy while delivering hyper-personalized interactions 24x7 through chat and voice.
In the hybrid model, digital channels will focus on improving efficiency — fast transactions, hyper-personalized interactions, few clicks, easy navigation, 24x7 — so time is well saved.
Physical channels, meanwhile, will focus on relationships and engagement so customers come away feeling that they spent their time well. This implies that in the race to digitization, every business must figure out what an engaging experience (#NX) need to look like in the physical outlets’ vs digital channels.
Top 3 tenets at the core of designing and delivering engaging experiences (#NX):
-100% based on individual customer’s historical interactions, preferences, current context, current goals
Cohort-based Personalization such as your demographic, your geography, people who like that also like this..., is no longer sufficient. The need for Hyper-Personalized Engagement with each customer has never been greater.
“Fundamentally, customers do not want choice; they just want exactly what they want.” - B. Joseph Pine II, Author 'The Experience Economy'
2. Real-time Response - Anytime
Be there for your customer 24x7, get the job done, faster and accurately.
3. Empathetic Action in Every Interaction
Design responses/ actions built with empathy that signals care and develops trust.