Customers may be smarter than the brands they shop at. They’ve got the whole world wide web at their fingertips, and that includes a heap of social media sites with folks more than willing to offer up their opinions on the best prices, the best products, and, most importantly, the companies that are worth buying from. They know they’ve got choices, they are pretty much immune to sales pitches in this echo chamber of advertising noise, and as always, they know what they want better than you do.
Increasingly, what they want isn’t just “lowest cost” — they want to work with or transact with companies that match their values, value their customers, and offer the best experience, from the very beginning when they start their research, through initial contact with the company, and all the way to post-sale questions, concerns, and thoughtful follow-up.
The companies that get their user experience (UX) strategy right are the companies that win.
It means going from customer-focused to customer-committed. The tricky part is that just because you love them (and their market share), they don’t have to love you back. They probably don’t. That’s the gap in which you need to start differentiating yourself in a meaningful way. Producing the surprise and delight that marketers have been talking about forever is important, but it needs to be part of a foundational UX strategy that’s based on your company’s promise, in every detail: packaging, websites, and apps as well as the search, compare, and checkout experiences on both; ads everywhere you serve them on the web and off; promotional materials and customer service policies; procedures, and people.
The only way to make it work has always been uniting your entire company behind your Customer Experience flag, but now you’ve got artificial intelligence on your side as well. AI makes injecting customer commitment into every part of your business more efficient, more cost effective, and more effective overall.
AI and machine learning is designed to help you understand what your customer wants, needs, and expects, all the way down to the unique individual. You’ll be able to design custom experiences dynamically, surprising them with how well you just get them.
But this data, writ large across your entire customer base, offers tremendous waves of actionable insight. What does your average customer look like, what are they most compelled by, and how can you use that information to develop your overall customer experience strategy? What does your ideal customer look like, what does your brand have that customers seem to really appreciate, and where are you falling down in comparison to your competitors?
Customer experience design directly impacts your bottom line. Your customers are the lifeblood of your business, and your customers know that. Keep up your part of the pact to offer the shopping experience they want, and they’ll stay loyal, spend more, and become your biggest advocates and allies.
To learn more about how artificial intelligence can change your customer experience game, hear real-world case studies that illustrate the potential of good UX, and pitfalls to watch out for, and more, don’t miss this VB Live event.
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