It is imperative that companies focus on the experience of their customers – what customers expect and prefer – and then apply technology as needed. If they don’t, they’ll deliver an experience that’s just “okay,” and that doesn’t create any sort of real connection or brand relationship.
Yet these preferences and expectations are constantly evolving. As they do, they change what dictates a positive experience in the customer’s mind and what companies need to do to stay ahead. Unlike 20 or even 10 years ago, brands today must move rapidly to satisfy emerging needs around customer engagement – be it proactive and intuitive notifications across devices, support for in-app messaging, or speech recognition enabling enhanced self-service. This isn’t about providing over-the-top experiences. It’s not even about getting the experience right every time. It’s about moving from a product-oriented focus to an agile, customer-centric approach that competes on the values of the experience economy.
Here are a couple of reasons why the experience economy matters:
Customers want brands to excite them in delivering new value.
Digital technologies have fueled an explosion in opportunities to engage with customers, and innovative brands are stepping up to give them what they want and need before others do. Consider Uber. The company started as a simple idea: what if you could request a ride from your phone? Two years later, riders in seven cities across the U.S. could start requesting on-demand ice cream delivery. Two years after that, riders headed in the same direction could start sharing rides and costs. Today there’s a whole host of engagement opportunities via the platform, from driver/passenger rating to in-app messaging to click-to-call. This is a fantastic example of a company that was unafraid to experiment and use change as a competitive advantage to build stronger engagement and brand loyalty.
Customers gravitate towards brands that foster community.
People are relying less on brands for information on the quality of the products and services they offer. They’re instead turning to each other, spending more time reading forums and watching reviews before making the decision to purchase – regardless of price. In the experience economy, there’s barely any differentiation among products and the typical sales pitch is all but extinct. Creating a place or platform for customers to discuss a product, post reviews, brainstorm new ideas, and engage with one another is key to long-lasting value and driving real growth in your organization.
The need for speed, agility, and experimentation
It’s virtually impossible to move forward with these kinds of initiatives using inflexible monolithic software. There’s no time to wait for a vendor’s legacy roadmap when competing in the experience economy. You can’t hope that the next system upgrade will be better. To get (and stay) ahead, organizations need to make their infrastructure, business capabilities, and decision-making as modular as possible so that they can quickly bring viable products to market, observe customers’ reactions, and adjust as needed.
As opposed to monolithic software, open, agile composable services allows you to launch a product or service on the fly, quickly get customer feedback, recalibrate, and optimize as needed. You unlock the dexterity to grow on an ongoing basis – moving how and when you need to – creating more value for those who have stake around your business. A grocery store can try out smart curbside pickup by quickly launching a virtual waiting system for customers. A healthcare provider can experiment with automated voice calls, SMS, and email for outreach related to COVID-19. These services can be tweaked or cancelled at any point in time, and you only pay for what you use. Once deployed, these services can grow and add more value as you continue to get more customer feedback. The agility of the services goes beyond point solutions – delivering evergreen services that can expand and add value over time – comparable to how the ride sharing industry expanded over time, the more it was used.
These open, responsive services are built on the concept of composability. Using microservices, containers, and APIs, companies can break down bulky, monolithic applications into discrete components, each of which can then be built, scaled, and maintained independently. Enabling them to quickly launch and safely experiment with custom, flexible solutions that create unique CX and revenue opportunities.
Composability is not just something that’s nice to have. It’s a mandatory minimum requirement in today’s fast-growing experience economy, and it’s far less risky than most think. You can learn more about the concept of composability here.
Avaya offers free Customer Experience Assessment Workshops to help you can gain a better understanding of composability and the intrinsic value it provides to your organization. Click here to learn more and register.