Since the pandemic rocked the foundations of every company’s relationship with its customers, we’ve discovered “experience” is the lifeblood of any organization. Without the guarantee of an amazing experience to offer your customers, your company simply can’t survive.
Early in the transformative stages of the pandemic, Accenture’s report on the Business of Experience suggested that we’re on route to an experience renaissance.
Now, we’ve officially entered this new age of customer experience, defined by higher expectations for speed, efficiency, empathy, and versatility in every brand/consumer interaction.
The concept of “Business Experience” is now something all companies need to be familiar with to ensure they’re staying ahead of the competition.
But what does Business Experience actually mean?
Adapting to the Age of Business Experience
With this new era of experience comes a new concept: BX. Business Experience (BX) promises to be a more holistic evaluation of the customer service strategy.
Where CX strategies relied heavily on the focus of the CMO, and the COO’s insights, Business Experience is a priority for the entire board. Ultimately, the idea suggests that experience should be embedded within everything a company does.
Now that 77% of CEOs are planning to fundamentally change the way they engage with customers, how do you prepare for an effective transformation?
Step 1: Becoming Customer Obsessed
Over the years, as the focus on customer experience for brand differentiation has grown, companies everywhere have claimed to be “customer-centric” or “customer-focused.” The new age of BX goes even further than this, requiring companies to become obsessed with their target audience.
What does this mean? Being customer-obsessed involves getting to understand your clients on a much deeper level. Do it right, and you’ll know what your customers need before they do.
Customer-obsessed companies are constantly uncovering the needs unmet by other brands for their clients. They think about how they can make their customers happier and more loyal every day. Perhaps most importantly of all, BX companies stand for what their customers believe in.
During the pandemic, customers became increasingly concerned with figuring out which companies they could really trust to deliver great service. Part of this process involved finding companies they could resonate with. 60% of brands admit that to build better relationships with customers, they need to stand for something, and always seek the best results for customers.
Customer Data: Turning Insights into Actions
Accenture research shows that leading companies are twice as likely to use customer data to inspire their actions. To deliver the best experiences going forward, companies will need to:
- Gather more information: Access the technology tools required to collect valuable data from all points of the customer journey. An end-to-end view is necessary to ensure a deeper understanding of what clients genuinely need.
- Access more specialist assistance: Companies can’t afford to cut corners on customer success. If you don’t have the right skill on-site to delight your audience, then outsourcing could be the best approach. BPO partnerships will allow you to unlock flexible modes of advanced customer service which respond to customer trends.
- Listen to their clients: Creating a solid feedback loop has never been more important. Intelligent tools like sentiment analysis systems and tracking services can help you understand your customers. However, many of the best insights will come direct from the reviews, testimonials, and surveys your clients provide.
Step 2: Invest in Experience Innovation
Once you’re “customer-obsessed,” you’ll be ready to begin building a customer experience strategy that’s designed for constant innovation and optimization. Though the last year has been a hugely transformative one for customer experience, the journey is far from over. We’re only just making our first steps into this new landscape. Companies need to be able to pivot and respond quickly to the changes in their customer’s needs.
Experience innovation isn’t about simply investing in the latest new technologies because they’re there. It’s about finding innovative solutions to real problems. For many companies, particularly those with limited budget options, this will mean borrowing skills, technology, and insights from outsourcing efforts rather than investing in new tools straight away.
53% of the companies assessed in Accenture’s Business Experience study say that customers expect them to be constantly innovating with new products, experiences, and services. However, adapting at such speed requires the right business structure and strategy.
Internally, your team can focus on feature innovation, responding to the feedback you get from your audience, and looking for simple ways to solve new problems. For instance, Microsoft Teams introduced virtual backgrounds to respond to the growing number of remote workers trying to hide their messy office environments.
Externally, companies can collaborate with outsourced solutions to innovate through better service, offering access to things like real-time live chat services, app management, or just larger, omnichannel customer service. Finally, external, and internal teams can work together to discover new ways of innovating in the business as a whole.
A major component of the future of BX is making the experience a "holistic" concept. It can’t be just the responsibility of one member of the C-Suite. It needs to be a fundamental part of everything your company does. Truly amazing Business Experiences should involve investing in all kinds of talent and innovation, from outsourced professionals to internal team leaders.
Step 3: Align the Technology, Humans, and Information
Finally, creating a company focused on “BX”, means learning how to properly align your technology, data, and human talent to drive the right results. Becoming a business capable of delivering unforgettable experiences doesn’t have to mean spending more money. It’s about choosing your investments carefully. For instance, BX leaders tap into talent that can help them drive the right kind of experiences for customers, without having to spend too much on extensive training.
Leaders in the BX environment also know which technology they need to invest in. Through analytics and insights, it’s possible to gain a better view of the tools that most benefit your team, and your customers. For instance, maybe you need to spend more of your time investing in digital channels for customer service, and less money on in-person demonstrations.
Having access to the right data to offer insights into the technology and people investments you need to make ensures you can make informed, intelligent decisions. You may even leverage disruptive technology like artificial intelligence to help you predict customer needs and marketplace trends in advance, so you’re never falling behind the competition.
Technology, data, and people will all play crucial roles in the future of amazing experiences. However, the business that benefits most from this new era will be the one that knows how to combine these elements effectively. From your data management architecture to your technology stack and talent onboarding strategy, everything needs to be aligned with experience at the core.
The Future of Experience is Coming
For years, companies have been struggling to adapt and pivot to the needs of their audience, promising ever-better experiences through digital technology and tools. As we move into a future of post-pandemic customer expectations, brands are under even more pressure to rethink their experience strategy. For some, relying on old-fashioned CX won’t be enough.
If your company relies on experience to differentiate from competitors and maintain long-term customers, then it may be time to define what the business of experience could mean to you. A BX approach that aligns your people, outsourced investments, technology, data, and other essential tools could be the key to incredible future growth.