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How would my customer want to do this….?

09th June 2021

Author Kat Carter

And other insights on how to make customer experience transformation a reality.

Insights from Merkle’s CX Imperatives webinar: Digital Transformation – the foundation for CX transformation

 

Last week Merkle* ran the second of three webinars in its enlightening and highly useful Customer Experience Imperatives series, this one focused on digital transformation as the foundation for CX transformation – and what we need to do as organisations to make customer experience transformation a reality.

Relevant for anyone in an organisation looking at how to move forward in their digital and customer experience transformation programmes and keen to bring their people at all levels of an organisation on the journey, I highly recommend checking in on the on-demand session to hear from Blair Cooke (Managing Director of Merkle Australia) and guest speaker Jesper Lowgren (Head of Business & Data Architecture of leading Australian home building company, Metricon). You can access the session on demand here (click ‘register now’). And while you’re there, get the next webinar session in your diary for 7 July, which will conclude the CX Imperatives series by looking at how we should be building adaptive organisations that will support and enable our digital and customer experience transformation aspirations.

And, if you haven’t already, make sure you download the 2021 CX Imperatives whitepaper here – it’s a very practical and comprehensive resource that’s well worth taking the time to access and peruse (I also shared my insights on it here).

 

Here are my top takeaways from the session…

Customer experience transformation is all about hyper-personalisation.

Customer experience is the new customer service, and the majority of customers (66%) today care more about the experience they receive than the price of a product or service. So, if we want to stand out and really differentiate ourselves as brands and organisations, hyper-personalisation is the key.

Essentially, this comes down to us being able to create contextual, relevant and personalised experiences for our customers in any moment of interaction with our brand. As Blair put it, we want to be able to mimic, digitally, a highly personal physical in-store experience, where the customer’s needs are fully listened to and understood in that moment, and the best recommendations made for that customer based on those needs at that particular time or ‘moment’ (with those needs likely to change and evolve through their journey with your brand).

 

It’s all about mindset.

This is where the real challenge lies; not in the technology itself. Customer experience transformation doesn’t come ready-to-go out of the box. Blair says:

“Often we see organisations buying technology and getting frustrated because they think it’s a turnkey solution. But technology isn’t going to do all that stuff out of the box. It’s your mindset, your strategy and your focus that’s going to do that, and technology is there to support you.”

A customer-first approach requires a fundamental shift to a customer-first mentality, and many organisations don’t grasp how much – constant – change is required to first and foremost understand the needs of the customer at every moment and step in their journey. A successful digital future comes down to us being able to continually evolve our mindsets and adjust to evolve our various digital channels and offline interactions, seamlessly, to meet the needs of our customers – it’s not just about the tech, and it’s certainly not just about improving your organisation’s website.

Jesper described mindset as the “first domino” in digital and customer experience transformation – there are many interdependent components, but, in order to be successful, the right mindset needs to be that first domino.

 

Where to start? Keep it simple, and start with the customer.

Many organisations know they need to get started, and they want to get started, but don’t know where to start.

We need to remember that it’s not an easy journey (and it’s not supposed to be!). Blair and Jesper talk about starting small, first figuring out the outcome you need to achieve, then doing some test and learn experiments to understand the customer and understand your capability and going from there.

One of the best pieces of advice I took from the webinar was this:

Ask yourself, if the customer was managing their own experience [with your brand], what would that experience look like?

This is so important and powerful (and it’s what our Design and Experience team advise and practice every day – in everything we do, we need to put our customers at the centre; or, to quote our Head of Design and Experience, Marijke Preston, we need to really know our humans).

How would my customer want to do this?

 

So, what do we need to do to execute in a customer-first, digital-first world…?

We need to be data-driven.

Organisations need to treat data as an asset and create and nurture cohesive data ecosystems.

 

We need to be able to both work differently and to evolve our organisational operating models support our customer-first focus.

Stay tuned for the next webinar on the Adaptive Organisation, happening on July 7 at 12 noon New Zealand time (You can register here.)

 

We need to – continually – involve our people, at all levels of the organisation.

Jesper talked about how he got people across his organisation to upskill by doing data courses so they could really understand the value of data, connect with it and understand how to use it effectively in their roles. Being data-driven isn’t about creating a centralised function; it’s about enabling everyone in your organisation to become data-driven.

He also talked about the need to continually socialise and canvass for change, at the leadership table. It takes time, but buy-in and understanding at all levels of the organisation is critical to success.

 

If you’d like to talk to us about any of the ground covered in the webinar or any aspect of your customer experience transformation journey – whether it’s how to truly understand your customer or how to employ technology in the right ways to achieve your digital and CX transformation goals, we’d love to chat.

 

 

*About Merkle

This year – as you have hopefully seen – Davanti became Davanti a Merkle Company.  Merkle Inc is the Customer Experience Transformation arm of our parent company, dentsu, and one of the largest customer experience transformation consultancies in the world, with an unparalleled focus on data transformation. With 30 years’ experience as a global leader in data-driven customer transformation, Merkle is a customer experience transformation partner to the Fortune 1000, helping the world’s leading brands to transform their data, technology and organisational capabilities to deliver differentiated customer experiences. This is imperative, as the future of brand loyalty and competitive advantage is the customer experience.

We’re really excited to be able to leverage Merkle’s depth of expertise and capability in data leadership, along with the incredible strengths of our 100-strong New Zealand-based team, for the benefit of our New Zealand customers, bringing our deep local and industry knowledge to design contextually relevant data-driven customer experience transformation solutions for local organisations – all with the goal our helping our customers get closer to their customers.

 

Related information:

CX Imperatives webinar 1 on demand: Why data is your foundation for CX transformation

CX Imperatives webinar 2 on demand: What marketers need to know about digital transformation

Registration for CX Imperatives webinar 3 (July 7): Building the adaptive organisation

CX Imperatives whitepaper download: Your formula for Customer Experience Transformation starts here

On finding and staying true to your North Star and driving real value from your martech investment