April 21, 2021

The Four Building Blocks for Creating Great Customer Experiences

What makes for a great Customer Experience (CX) has evolved in the past few years and took a quantum leap in 2020 during the pandemic. A great CX is no longer just providing support when a customer calls, opens a chat, or sends you an email. The experience starts much earlier—well before your prospect becomes a customer.

It begins when a prospect first encounters your brand, whether they visit your website, see you on social media, or you send them an email. That relationship lasts all the way through the full customer lifecycle—from acquisition to purchase, support, loyalty, and retention.

To create great experiences for your prospects and customers, there are four key building blocks. When managed correctly, they all work together to create great customer experiences…

#1 – Create Great User Experience (UX)

Many confuse user experience (UX) with CX, but great UX is a core component of a great CX. Prospects visiting your website and customers using your applications demand a great UX—good is not good enough! Any minor impediment you neglect to mitigate—content that is difficult to find, a lengthy sign-up or conversion process, lack of basic personalization—will negatively impact UX and increase your risk that prospects and customers will leave. Often, your competition will disrupt with a better customer experience, driven by a simpler and cleaner user experience.

For instance, U.S. Bank reported a 200% growth in digital account openings by cutting more than half of the time it takes for customers to open a checking account online. They succeeded in tripling account openings year-over-year by analyzing front-end UX and usability, and they streamlined the sign-up process.

Developing a strong UX requires investing the time in research to determine how customers interact with your digital products. Design a new UX—even if that means starting over and working from the ground up on a completely new experience. Succeeding in this effort is critical: the difference between your success and failure could come down to the small nuances within the UX you deliver.

Let’s take Citibank, for example. It committed one of the “biggest blunders in banking history” when it accidentally wired $900 million in payments last year. Poor user experience led to this costly mistake.

#2 – Work Toward Omnichannel

The term omnichannel is overused. While many companies want to reach customers through every possible channel, few are positioned to achieve it. Keep the focus on the objective of communicating seamlessly with prospects and customers on any channel available. Strive for omnichannel but start with multi-channel.

To achieve great customer experience within your omnichannel strategy, it’s critical to engage prospects and customers wherever they spend their time—researching, social media sites, your mobile app, email, and via text and chat. Unify those engagements across channels to amplify the experience and create a feedback loop that allows you to continually optimize and improve.

#3 – Focus on Data

Data empowers great customer experience. Collect data at each and every touchpoint, even if you’re not at the stage where you can act on the data. Go ahead and dump your data into your data lake and figure out what to do with it later. And if you don’t have a data lake, build one now! The cost of not collecting data far exceeds the cost of collecting the wrong data.

As important as the visual user experience is, the data experience, while not visible, is even more important. A unified experience starts with data, and the data you collect today will prove valuable down the road. Data also drives your ability to improve user experiences and enhances omnichannel communications. It gives you an understanding of your customer needs, goals, interests and buying preferences.

With these insights, you can prioritize and act on customer experience strategies that have the most revenue impact. You can also use data intelligence to target and acquire new customers who share similar characteristics of your most profitable customers and have the highest propensity to buy.

#4 – Personalize

Personalization is where UX, omnichannel messaging, and data all come together. When personalizing communications with your prospects and customers, it’s not enough to simply insert their name in front of your messaging. While it may drive attention, you are really looking for a response.

You can evolve your personalization approach by using data to provide content that resonates with customers and prospects personally. This will put you in a better position to understand the products and services they need and where they are at in their buying journeys.

Great Customer Experience Sets the Stage for Success

Getting to the point where personalization, data, omnichannel communications, and user experiences synergize to create great customer experiences is a necessity to remain competitive. Great customer experiences serve as a foundation on which to build customer loyalty, generate more sales, and drive the long-term success of your business.

To help you take on the challenge of delivering great customer experiences, 3Pillar develops innovative digital products that help our clients to achieve rapid revenue, market share, and customer growth. Find out how we can build and launch your next big idea or optimize a mature product portfolio by contacting us today.

If you have any questions about what it takes to create great experiences for your customers, feel free to contact me at christopher.hansen@3pillarglobal.com.


About the Author:

Christopher Hansen is the Senior VP of Media and Information Services at 3Pillar Global.