One thing is very clear from the conversations at LSNA 2018: customer experience is still at the top of everyone’s mind. A number of our partners and customers shared stories about how they are making strategic and organizational changes that will allow them to drive new levels of engagement with their customers.
Jon Eberly, CEO of Liferay partner Clock Four, calls this 4-D customer experience. At LSNA 2018, he shared in detail how his company helps organizations combine strategy and technology to create more successful customer experiences.
Customer Experience vs. User Experience
Before we get into the different dimensions of customer experience, it’s important to remember that User Experience and Customer Experience are two different things. UX is the implementation of CX strategy; it brings together user research, beautiful design and usability testing to deliver great experiences. However, companies still need a layer of strategy above UX that determines what qualifies as a “great” experience, which usually involves a balance of customer satisfaction and business ROI.
Eberly explained it this way:
The UX designer asks, “Have you created a highly usable, efficient and effective experience?” But the CX designer asks, “Have you created the RIGHT experience?” If the highly usable, efficient experience isn’t aligned with business priorities, you’ve created a great experience that’s still the wrong one.
Digital Leaders Win With Four Dimensional CX Strategy
With that in mind, here are the dimensions of customer experience that Eberly identified.
Height and Width, i.e., the screen.
2-D marketing leverages highly usable elements, clear calls to action, a well-organized layout and intuitive navigation. Users can easily find what they need, and the design of the page guides them to the desired business outcomes with CTAs.
Depth, i.e., personalization.
3-D marketing is defined by personalized content, entitled navigation and entitled functionality. Users don’t have to search for what they want; instead, the design and functionality of the site adjusts dynamically to what they need.
Time, i.e., the funnel.
4-D marketing represents the most mature stage of marketing for companies, with technology implemented to deliver exceptional experiences over lengths of time. It can includes elements such as gamification, sales stage triggers and behavioral reinforcement to ensure the customer journey progresses.
By dividing marketing maturity into this model, it’s easier to figure out which dimension your company is working in now. You may not have these exact marketing tools on your website, but most companies can answer pretty quickly whether their marketing is accounting for personalization or time.
Take Your Strategy to the Next Level
To evolve customer experience strategy, Eberly recommended that companies focus on three areas for the CX stack.
First, look at customer alignment. Are the benefits of your products aligned with the needs of your ideal customer? If not, you’ll need to either adjust your audience, your messaging or your product. Without that clear connection between product benefits and customer needs, any marketing tactics you try will have limited value.
Next, look at customer experience, particularly at how customers move from touchpoint to touchpoint. Is the customer journey seamless, omnichannel and personalized? Are you able to maintain consistency with things like saving information entered on mobile so that it’s available to customers on desktop later?
Finally, assess customer utility. Are your platforms and interfaces integrated, usable, scalable and engaging? In other words, are you executing well on the promises your marketing messaging makes, or is technology getting in the way of your strategy?
Great Experiences Are for More Than Customers
In closing, Eberly shared briefly about a B2B customer relationship portal that his company worked on for Elan, which manages about 200,000 local and regional financial institutions on behalf of credit card issuing relationships. When research their users, they found that users that take online training book 40% more accounts on average. They adjusted the UX of the site to prioritize training in page placement, with compelling messaging and incentives to encourage users to take the training.
All the hype around improving customer experience isn’t for nothing. When companies get it right, the pay-off is phenomenal. By broadening their marketing strategy to include all four dimensions of customer experience, companies can get to these results faster, with experiences that users truly value.