The first step to being more digital is to be more human.

Help people realize their dreams and goals.  The way to do that, is to be a digital humanist, not a digital machinist. The former puts customers at the center and uses technology to help them achieve a goal or solve a problem; the latter uses technology to take people out of the equation. Don’t try to engineer people out of the process.

Childrens Museum - Media Event 2006 1.Child playing at the Children's Museum of Manhattan 2.O'Crowley 3.O'Crowley New York NJ 973-392-5810 pocrowley@starledger.com

The new digital customer journey: Cross-channel, mobile, social, self-service, and engaged

03_CC3000e Video Meeting with Prototype

As technology has evolved and transformed business and the customer experience, customer centricity has become one of marketing’s central pillars. Experts have professed the need for customer-centric strategy and structure for years now, but obstacles to true customer centricity persist.

The sheer proliferation of new online devices and digital consumer channels is pushing leading-edge companies to rethink how they connect with and engage their customers. Here’s how an integrated portfolio of technologies including self-service mobile apps, customer communities, and open product development is reshaping today’s customer journey.

The fragmentation of customer touchpoints cuts across marketing, sales, customer service, and even product development. In short, customers have moved to the digital world en masse, and companies have not kept up. Yes, it’s true that most businesses currently realize they need to evolve. They know they must acquire suite of capable mobile apps, an effective strategy for connecting with consumers in social media, a workable plan for inbound search, and a good way to stay connected with consumers so they can build strong, long-term relationships, instead of merely engage in still-vital yet far less strategic point transactions.

The Journey Starts Now

UX_trends

Much of today’s “customer journey” occurs in the digital realm—a place beyond the direct control of companies, but highly sensitive to efforts to provoke and amplify social engagement. As a result, marketers need to adopt digital marketing models to better engage customers before, during, and after the purchase. They need to “pull” consumers into an ongoing conversation about the company’s products and services. There is no one right way to accomplish this engagement, and there are many possible pathways to success. But it’s critical that marketing organizations begin the digital journey as soon as possible to keep pace with shifting consumer expectations and behaviors.

Massage your message

bmobsphones0402

One of the primary ways that marketing impacts customer experience is through messaging. “Providing relevant messaging fosters engagement and retention,” says Andrew Kelly, director of new business development at marketing agency Baesman. “It’s an opportunity to build on an emotional connection, whether it’s person-to-person or brand-to-consumer.” At the same time, he adds, “irrelevant and impersonal messaging is a turn-off and if you miss too many times, people will shop somewhere else.”

Four Digital Marketing Models

digital-experience

1. Digital Branders

are most often consumer products companies or other marketers that focus on building and renewing brand equity and deeper consumer engagement. These companies are shifting their investment from traditional linear advertising toward more immersive digital multimedia experiences that can connect consumers to the brand in new ways. They are reimagining how they engage consumers, with the primary goal of recruiting new consumers to the brand and driving loyalty through multiple experiences with the brand.

2. Customer Experience Designers

use customer data and insights to create a superior end-to-end brand experience for their customers. Typically, these companies (such as financial-services companies, airlines, hotels, and retailers) build their business models around customer service. By reinventing how they interact with customers, and wowing them at multiple touch points, these companies hope to create an ongoing dialogue and build a loyal customer base.

3. Demand Generators (typically retailers)

focus on driving online traffic and converting as many sales as possible across channels to maximize marketing efficiency and grow their share of wallet. All elements of the digital marketing strategy—website design, search engine optimization, mobile connected apps, and engagement in social communities—are tailored to boost sales and increase loyalty. Although Demand Generators also need to leverage content to drive engagement, they’re more focused on driving volume and efficiency than on curating the deep, emotional branded experiences that Digital Branders pursue.

4. Product Innovators

use digital marketing to identify, develop, and roll out new digital products and services. These companies employ digital interactions with consumers primarily to rapidly gather insights that can shape the innovation pipeline. By helping nurture new sources of revenue, the marketing group increases the value of the company.

Making life better for customers

Air 1

Virgin’s airline operations, on the other hand, are a good example of a Customer Experience Designer. Like many other airlines, Virgin wants to avoid being seen by passengers as simply a utility. Instead, it aims to create a more customer-centric branded experience that starts before the customer buys a ticket, continues during the flight, and extends after the trip is over. With this in mind, Virgin has focused attention on building a “segmentation and needs assessment” capability and an “omnichannel experience” creation capability.

In practice, this means the airline uses purchasing and behavioral data to segment customers, identify needs and pain points, and create a personalized experience across all channels—whether customers are at home on the computer, on a mobile phone, using in-flight screens, or interacting with Virgin staff members.

For example, Virgin is investing in a more interactive and personalized in-flight experience that is tailored to different segments of travelers. A frequent traveler to London might get specialized content after takeoff, like the latest reviews of restaurants around Piccadilly. Passengers will also be able to interact with a concierge service while on the flight and with other passengers via Chatter, a social media messaging platform from Salesforce.com. The entertainment options and other aspects of the experience will also be personalized on the basis of a user profile built over time (through factors such as the videos customers opted to watch, the meals and drinks they purchased, and other personalized elements).

By curating the passenger’s journey in this manner, Virgin hopes to create a community and deliver an experience that goes beyond the flight itself to reinforce the airline’s brand image of adventure and fun. Virgin’s corporate culture is a significant asset in this endeavor—its highly engaged employees embrace the idea of cultivating positive experiences for customers. (That has helped Virgin America become the fastest-growing airline in the United States.) Critically, Virgin’s marketing investments are intended to support this culture, while also empowering employees to innovate and continue improving the customer experience.

Digital businesses that put customers at the center take the time to understand those customers. Know who you’re designing for and what they need or expect. But marketers should do more than ask customers about their goals and preferences; they must also observe customer behaviors because people can’t always tell you what they want!

Sources:

http://www.strategy-business.com/article/00241?gko=20aae

http://www.zdnet.com/article/the-new-digital-customer-journey-cross-channel-mobile-social-self-service-and-engaged/

http://www.dmnews.com/marketing-strategy/the-secret-to-being-digital-be-more-human/article/437737/

https://www.marketingsociety.com/the-library/four-digital-marketing-models

Advertisements

Customer Journey Mapping

Rethinking and Creating a Compelling Customer User Experience

*A collaboration between Ness SES and iRiS Software Systems​​​​​

In the digital era, companies need to deliver compelling customer experiences—each and every time—to maintain consumer mindshare and grow their business.

This customer experience must provide a Connected Journey: one that is omni-channel, easy to consume, enjoyable to take part in, and highly adaptable so capabilities are continuously added that surprise and delight customers.

Offering this Connected Journey is essential to the future prosperity of the hospitality industry, and a similar imperative is playing out in other industries such as financial services, transportation, and retail.

The roadmap for any Connected Journey initiative includes:​

  • Differentiated vision – Driven by a clear value proposition and validated by a thorough understanding of the market and competitive landscape, and the personas of your users
  • User experience design and development – Based upon end-to-end journey mapping which is validated through user testing and developed with scalability and usability in mind. The very best experiences are designed to be seamless and intuitive. Designing for effortless simplicity is frequently a winning differentiator.
  • Omni-channel framework – Which ensures your offering is consistent, coherent, relevant and intelligent across channels, devices and operating systems for users at home, at work or, increasingly, on the move.
  • Scalable, resilient platform – Based on integrated technologies that speak to each other at speed with common sign-ons, observe global standards on access, privacy and security, and are exceptionally resilient.
  • Data Analytics – Which provides context-rich, timely information that smooths the customer journey and gives your company insight to anticipate future needs and increase the frequency and value of digital touchpoints.
  • Expertise to connect all the pieces – To ensure the Connected Journey operates as a seamless and personal experience from beginning to end.

Companies around the globe trust Ness Software Engineering Services to serve as their Connected Journey partner. Start your own Journey today.​

Experience Engineering

From mobile first to beautiful user-centric experiences across all touchpoints. Ness SES provides outsourced software development solutions that include complete user interface and experience design services.

D - Man writing on the board - 725x330px

The future of software engineering and product development is dependent on a symbiotic relationship between beautiful, intuitive interfaces and robust, scalable technology platforms. At Ness, our UX and mobility practice, we don’t just create digital products for our clients—we re-imagine the way modern users connect with their environment.

Our business strategy and design and software development solutions deliver consistently engaging customer experiences. We think mobile first. Interfaces must work on a small screen and complement the experience on a larger screen. The mobile channel offers a uniquely intimate relationship with the customer, with faster feedback and more opportunities to deploy, try, test, learn and improve. This mindset extends into product roadmaps that are flexible enough to respond, pivot and delight users on every platform—and spread the power of clear UX thinking throughout the enterprise.

Ness offers complete outsourced User Interface and Experience services:

  • Discovery process to validate product development strategy
  • Kick-off workshops and brainstorms
  • Market, technology and competitor research
  • Guerrilla user validation and formal, controlled user testing
  • Top level wireframes to communicate a product’s unique selling point
  • ​Working functioning prototypes on web and mobile devices
  • ​Design thinking, visual design and product execution

Taking you from discovery to deployment

Our discovery process focuses on rapid creation, iterations and delivery of ideas and designs. We validate assumptions to create viable products. We aim to quickly put tactile proofs of concept into the hands of stakeholders. Our goal is to prove the strength of the business case, avoid decision-making paralysis, and get people thinking together to make the nascent solution the best it can be.​

We passionately embrace the evolution of technology—whether it’s emerging trends like iBeacons, the Internet of Things or wearable technology—we are buying, trying and blue-sky thinking. How can this benefit Ness’s clients? When it doesn’t exist, we create it. We have a penchant for world firsts, and we’re ready to create the next one with you.

Agile Process

Helping customers move from IT thinking to software product thinking

A - people watching project board -725x330px

​​​​​​​​In the new software-driven world, organizations need a critical mindset that focuses on continuously improving the customer experience, live and in real-time. Part of this approach is about culture, part is about technology. All of it is addressed by Ness Adaptive Agile.​

Ness puts methodology, tools and metrics in place to improve engineering effectiveness and make collaborative governance possible – once we have a firm understanding of your business objectives.

Ness uses this agile approach to increase speed-to-market and deliver more frequent releases. There is a culture of continuous product innovation in parallel with ongoing product maintenance; agile brings greater predictability, productivity and product quality​

Adaptive Agile expertise, integrated tools and comprehensive governance​

  • Agile Methodology: Over 12 years and 115 client engagements, Ness developed a proprietary Adaptive Agile process to align distributed teams with business objectives. We create a collaborative culture that flattens hierarchy, promotes responsibility, and focuses on the continuous release of working, reusable software products.
  • Agile Tool Stacks: The NessSMART platform combines best-of-breed tools, practices and workflows that span every area of the development process allowing designers and engineers to quickly iterate in a common, vendor-agnostic environment.
  • Integrated Tool-Chain & Dashboards: A hand-selected and tightly threaded set of development tools provides instantaneous status updates and a “single view of truth”. Centralized dashboards with role-based views of data from every tool and every team, measure progress and identify challenges as early as possible.
  • Process, Technical & Quality Metrics: Together we identify metrics that best apply to your business objectives and product maturity, and then create a comprehensive program that gives you a detailed picture of development effectiveness and drives continuous improvement of your organization.​

Ness brings Agile thinking into everything we do within Experience Engineering, Product and Platform Development and Data Analytics. Our clients value the speed of an iterative roadmap to get to viable products, using a rigorous methodology and constant feedback throughout the process. Agile and transparency are at the core of the culture of innovation that defines our customer journey and how we build co-branded customer teams for successful long-term software collaboration. ​

Ness makes software a true competitive advantage for you.