Picture: Picture: 123RF/John Williams
Picture: Picture: 123RF/John Williams

Most organisations today understand the importance of giving their customers the best possible experience. They also understand that a large part of doing so means reaching them with the right message at the right time and on the right channel. But in a world where customers are on a wide variety of channels at different times, meeting them where they are can be tricky. 

This is because the consumer’s buying journey is no longer in a straight line. It now involves multiple lane changes as the buyer navigates between platforms such as company websites, apps, search engines and social media platforms, as well as communication channels such as e-mail, MMS, instant messaging and print. A 3D consumer is one who is in complete control of their own journey, effortlessly migrating across various devices such as mobile, desktop and the internet of things.

Customers expect businesses to meet them where they are, and in order to do so, businesses must be present in all digital dimensions. This is true for organisations operating in both the business-to-business (B2B) and the business-to-consumer (B2C) sectors. Buyer behaviours in the B2B sector have been influenced by consumer experiences in the B2C sector. 

The right fundamentals need to be in place to ensure customers are provided with a 3D experience that will set an organisation apart from its competitors. 

But what does the 3D customer experience actually entail? It necessitates bringing together the three Ds of data, design and deliver.

When it comes to data, the first of those Ds, most organisations understand that it is critical. But in a world where 2.5-quintillion bytes of data are produced by humans every day, it’s important to be able to filter the data that will give your organisation usable insights. Done correctly, it can tell you things like which channels an individual customer prefers, what times of the day they’re most likely to interact with your organisation, and what kind of transactions they engage in when they do. 

Using these insights, you can design changes not only your products and services but to every single customer touchpoint, including communications, marketing and billing. Remember, every department within an organisation contributes to the overall customer experience, and the insights gained from customer data can be used to make tweaks and improvements at every level. 

In the end, these improvements need to be delivered to the customer with the understanding that the improvements need to complement each other and work together if the organisation is to provide the kind of experience that today’s customer expects. If this is done correctly, customers will be provided with experiences optimised for both online and offline channels. 

It’s also important to point out that this should be an ongoing process that is constantly refined in order to ensure that you’re always providing the best experience possible. 

Fortunately, technology can go a long way when it comes to ensuring that you have the levels of orchestration needed to provide that kind of experience. This is especially true when it comes to the digital aspect, which makes up so much of today’s overall customer experience. 

A digital experience platform (DXP), for example, can either be a single piece of software or a suite of products, and can provide the architecture necessary for organisations to digitise their business operations, deliver connected customer experiences and gather actionable customer insights. Especially critical to their role in providing great customer experiences is the ability for DXPs to bring together insights from a range of sources and help break down the departmental silos within organisations. A good DXP will work within an organisation’s existing processes and technologies to scale a solution customised for its specific business needs.

Today, customer experience is the single most important differentiator between organisations. The best way to make it the focus of your organisation is to take a 3D approach, aided by the right technologies, and to constantly refine it. 

Greg Gatherer is an account manager at Liferay Africa.

The big take-out:

Customers expect businesses to meet them where they are, and in order to do so, businesses must be present in all digital dimensions.

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