Creating a 'Total Experience' is a journey without a destination; we strive for continuous improvement in the experience with some nice stops along the way. But when doing so it’s important to be mindful of how the digital experience impacts not only those in front of us, but also those who are not.
I recently had the privilege of speaking at the 13th Annual Customer Experience Event in Vienna.
There were some interesting and common themes in all the presentations, most notably: you must invest in the Total Experience (TX) and you must collect feedback from all users (not just your customers). My discussion focused on the idea that (this) creating a Total Experience is a journey without a destination; we strive for continuous improvement in the experience with some nice stops along the way to take in the scenery, reflect, and then continue to the next stop to see what else we can do to improve the overall total experience. But when doing so it's important to be mindful of how the digital experience impacts not only those in front of us, but also those who are not.
Simply put: how can you have an amazing customer experience, if the support experience doesn't engage the employee in the same way?
'Total Experience' isn't a new concept and after understanding how each of the 'experiences' play a role in defining and refining all aspects of the user's journey. In our Digital Brands Suite SaaS solution, we try always to think and do end to end.
I don't say that we always get it right, but we continuously evaluate the experience and value it keeps improving (one of the many benefits of agile).
5 pillars of Total Experience (TX)
Each pillar deserves its own article but the key takeaway here is: in order to create an amazing experience you should consider them all together. You can have the best-looking UI, but if it is difficult to use, support, and maintain then you're not providing a good total experience. We need to consider the experience of the support agent, the operators, product marketing, and developers equally.
Moreover, we need to expand our experiences and bring in another aspect of the human experience. Call it the 5th dimension - Emotional Experience (EMx).
EMx is where we connect technology that can monitor the emotional state of the users within the ecosystem. Let's illustrate using an example of a customer and agent interaction. Using NLP (natural language processing) it is possible to judge the emotional reaction of a customer by the words they use. We are all familiar with the chat 'wait while I connect you to an agent' and during this wait time it is already possible for the agent to be pre-aware of the emotional state of the customer from analyzing the customers chat interaction.
Getting back to our core theme that it’s a journey without a destination, our support journey map (inspired by Harry Beck) shows us that it doesn't matter where your journey starts or ends with an omni-channel experience it gives the users more availability, makes it easier to buy and ensures full integration of all digital touch points. What is key? Being able to find the resolution yourself via knowledge base or via a community, more retention, improved engagement, customer satisfaction and get access to the right support using your channel of preference.
Digital brands promote digital interaction via chatbot, live chat with agent, email (Zen desk style experience) and voice or video sessions. It's important - and our support journey map shows this - how many different directions a customer request can go. To truly deliver an end to end customer experience the entire organization needs to understand their role...and we find these journey maps most helpful.
Support journey map
It's important - and our support journey map shows this - to recognize how many different directions a customer request can go. To truly deliver an end to end customer experience the entire organization needs to understand their role...and we find these journey maps most helpful.
Regardless of where they are on the map, if the customer needs help and cannot find the resolution based on the knowledge base or via chatbot or the community, they're able to register a request for support and we classify these as either a request for change or a problem that needs to be resolved.
The customer is proactively informed at each stage of the process so they're aware of when their expectations will be met. The focus is always on providing excellence and a superior experience, which is why typically Digital Brand customer NPS are 20% higher than normal main brand products. In the future as we expand to use EMx (Emotional Intelligence) and as we leverage AI, NLP and Machine Learning it will be possible to provide a next level in experience and customer satisfaction by using emotional data as part of the customer interaction in a mutually beneficial way without the 'big brother' feeling.