Customer Experience Is Moving ‘Beyond Seamlessness’

There is a trend away from minimalistic experiences, where consistency is foremost, to seamless integration that delivers more “indulgent” experiences designed to engage.

Customer experience
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For many brands, the focus on customer experience has been heavily influenced by a desire to deliver consistency. To reduce friction, they simplified things; however, many sites “over-indexed” on best practices. As a result, they often ended up looking the same, with little visceral and emotional differentiation.

When sites start to look the same, it’s a problem.

With more understanding of what drives meaningful customer engagement, brands are beginning to see that they need more emotional and base-level “triggers.”

Now, many brands are trying to move beyond flat, minimalist aesthetics by reincorporating aspects of experience design that indulge customer moods and emotions. This new approach to seamlessness goes beyond the customer journey and extends to new aspects of experience design, both on the screen and beyond it. Online and offline experiences need to be much more intertwined and naturally aligned with each other. In many ways, this pushes personalization even further by complementing it with brand-differentiation efforts to create longer-lasting memories of exceptional brand experiences.

On the digital side, this new approach often integrates a number of what used to be disparate aspects of design. One approach Cognizant Digital Experience has identified is the increased use of more textural branding cues across the digital experience. This includes the more obvious aspects of texture, such as differentiated brand tone, font, colors, and more. However, audio (clues, notifications, and background) has been added as one of the newer ways to deliver a memorable experience via seamless inclusion of stimulus or interaction.          

Going beyond an experience that has been primarily determined by visual-design best practices to include other senses is a novel way some brands are exploring avenues for deeper engagement. Olfactory cues in particular are shown to drive deep and long-lasting memories. This can be vitally important in today’s content-saturated crowded markets for customer attention. The key task for marketers will be to make these attempts at engagement feel natural, not obtrusive.

Going beyond seamlessness will even go beyond buying and shopping experiences. A brand known for its emphasis on fresh, high-quality food and ingredients has launched a direct-to-consumer virtual farmers’ market for its suppliers to reinforce that commitment in a seamless manner. This is a creative approach to differentiating the experience in a way that connects a differentiated brand experience seamlessly with its fundamental brand promise.

Moving beyond seamlessness offers fertile creative ground to support the development of deeper and more intimate customer relationships. Nearly every brand will have multiple options for standing out, but the key will be striking the right balance between personalization and differentiation. For more information about “beyond seamlessness” and other new experiences discovered by Cognizant Digital Experience, go to https://www.cognizant.com/digital-experience.

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