Unlocking the power of experience orchestration
At a time when brands are just the touch of a button away, expectations have never been higher. Digital experiences can now be the make or break between whether a customer stays loyal or takes their business elsewhere. Customers today want to be remembered, heard, and understood across every interaction with a brand. And they want this process to be seamless – from finding answers to queries, performing common tasks, and getting in touch with the right person to get a solution. However, time and time again, organisations are failing to deliver memorable experiences that turn customers into advocates.
Across organisations, many site the same challenges with reactive strategies that don’t consider the end-to-end customer journey. This stems from siloed tools, data, and teams that derail the experience, leaving customers feeling like they are stuck going in circles looking for a solution. In today’s experience economy, customers want the ability to self-serve and find what they need almost instantly, but too few organisations have the necessary framework in place to make this possible. Often, this is because they’re hamstrung by years of investment in legacy systems or using multiple point solutions that don’t tie together every customer touchpoint. The outcome? Impersonal and disconnected interactions that leave customers feeling frustrated, while employees bear the brunt of this.
In fact, research my organisation conducted revealed that a quarter of consumers have had experiences bad enough they have lost their temper with an employee helping them with an issue in the last 12 months. These bad experiences have even pushed more than one in ten customers to tears to the distress for employees at the receiving end. Consequently, not only do businesses risk losing customers as a result of such toxic levels of frustration, but employees too.
So, what is the solution and how can businesses improve outcomes for customer and employee alike? The answer lies in challenging flawed technology head on, ensuring departments across the business explore and implement solutions in ways that create loyalty-building experiences for their customers.
Delivering meaningful moments
Transforming experiences today starts with putting the needs of customers and employees first. Crucial steps that organisations must take includes tying together the end-to-end customer journey by coordinating technologies, connecting data, and shifting to more proactive approaches to experience delivery.
In retail, this could be the delivery of target offers and notifications at the ‘right time’ to help customers more easily find, learn about, and buy products. In finance, it might be personalised banking sessions driven by information consolidated from across a customer’s portfolio, history and communications preferences. In the travel sector, this could be sending alerts on delays and disruptions to customers, which in turn, help make trips as smooth as possible.
Brands must get better at pulling together relevant information from different systems to carry context that can be integrated across all interactions. The price of failure to act? Our research concluded a third of consumers abandoned a brand for a competitor in the past 12 months alone as the result of a bad customer experience.
Organisations simply cannot afford to get customer experience wrong any longer. Instead, businesses must switch to more relevant, more personalised, and more proactive strategies, which is where experience orchestration enters the picture.
Orchestrating exceptional experiences
A fundamental principle that every organisation must realise is that experiences are happening whether they plan for them or not. Instead of reacting to people’s needs, companies must anticipate them, and design experiences centred around them from the start.
The best way to do this now is to unite experiences around a single platform with the power to easily integrate and coordinate technologies, data, and channels across the entire journey. Our research found that customer experience leaders are already on board with this way of thinking, with 71% prioritising the implementation of platforms that integrate all systems.
Once this foundation is in place, companies should consider how to design experiences that are personalised and empathetic, while making it intuitive and simple for customers to accomplish their goals. Digital and artificial intelligence (AI) offer powerful ways to deliver here. However, many brands go wrong by deploying isolated AI-based point solutions aimed at only solving a ‘specific’ problem. This often results in customer frustration, as unhelpful bots or employees are limited with insufficient information, training or siloes. In these cases, all are hamstrung by stagnant data versus real-time knowledge enabled by algorithms, that allow for continuous learning and optimisation.
So rather than solving individual pain points, AI should be deployed with the purpose of connecting the holistic experience in a way that benefits customers, employees, and the organisation’s bottom line. A few examples of how experience orchestration powered by AI can improve experiences include:
- Knowing what customers need before they tell you. Customers’ historic data, partnered with behaviour patterns can trigger proactive intervention. Take for example when an airline customer initiates a chat. The employee can instantly see they have searched the company’s FAQs for information on flight change fees, and then offer assistance with rebooking or navigating change fees without the customer needing to ask.
- Putting an end to broken records. Customers shouldn’t have to tell a bot their name, phone number, home address, account number, and their issue, to turn around and have to tell an employee, only to then have to repeat themselves again to the next employee they’re transferred to. When experiences are connected, this information follows the customer wherever they go for a fluid, echo free experience
- Matching customers with the employees best suited to help. Understanding which employees are best suited to provide the help a customer needs when they need it means customers are more likely to receive the first contact resolutions they want, and employees are able to focus on the areas they do best. A win-win result for all.
Securing loyalty for a lifetime
Expectations are constantly evolving, and now experiences can be the make or break between winning or losing out on customer loyalty. Companies can no longer afford to miss out on the opportunity experience orchestration offers. Now is the time for them to adopt technologies in a people-centric way, driving moments of trust which ladder up to a lifetime of loyalty.
What that means is truly putting in the work to understand people and anticipate the evolution of their expectations. This can only happen when every interaction is connected across the customer experience. ‘One-off’ engagements must become a thing of the past. Communications need to have a more holistic approach which encompasses multiple channels.
Experience orchestration is about the right coordination of technology across the end-to-end customer journey to build long lasting relationships at scale. Each and every step of the experience within a single platform must be bridged, providing a connected and holistic view of the customer journey. By applying digital and AI with purpose, organisations can get to the heart of their customer and employees’ needs. From here, they can decide the best path forward – predicting actions, shaping journeys, and driving meaningful outcomes. When interactions are truly transformed in this way, the outcome is increased loyalty and meaningful relationships.
So, for brands looking to make their mark and establish themselves as loyalty leaders, experience orchestration presents the path forward. Then they can begin to unlock value for the business, customers, and employees alike.