How can companies emulate the customer experience success of Amazon, Netflix and Uber?
Companies including Amazon, Netflix and Uber are well known as global business leaders, not just in terms of revenue and profits generated, but also because of how they achieved success. They have several things in common:
- First, they’re disruptors—choosing to ignore traditional business models and introduce new approaches.
- Second, they invested heavily in cutting-edge technology to enable their success.
- But perhaps the most significant is their obsession with delivering great customer experiences as a core value.
Most companies don’t have the resources to match the technology investments of Amazon, and may have a more traditional business model than Uber, but there’s little debate that customer experience (CX) matters.
Analysts agree: optimizing for CX success is set to be one of the most significant drivers for growth.
In a recent webinar, Evolv CEO Michael Scharff discussed the keys to CX with Amanda Simmons, Founder of Full Cup Creative, and Brian Cahak, Managing Director, Digital Growth & Marketing Operations at Accenture Interactive. The panelists shared how companies are approaching the challenge of hitting big growth targets in 2021 and CX’s role. They also provided insights into which approaches to experimentation and optimization are yielding the best results. In this article we recap some of the highlights. You can also watch the full 30-minute webinar here.
Finding the winning ideas—what has changed in experimentation?
The digital customer experience or CX has become increasingly important with the acceleration of digital business and especially e-commerce. It’s becoming more challenging with increased customer expectations and competition innovating to deliver better experiences which connect with their audiences. Today, many companies are finding that they’re spending more on PPC and SEO to get visitors to their websites but conversions are not improving or providing a better return on the added marketing spend.
Globally the cart abandonment rate averages 69%, highlighting that much more could be done to improve CX. Digital leaders need insights quickly as to what delivers better experiences because the marketplace is constantly and rapidly evolving. New experimentation solutions enabled by artificial intelligence (AI) are much more suited to delivering these insights than traditional testing tools.
How technology is helping address the complexity of CX optimization
The demand for greater personalization and the expectation that companies serve up increasingly relevant and contextual information as part of the customer journey is increasing the complexity of optimizing CX. Companies have reached a ceiling with their optimization efforts since experimenting with ideas based on demographics alone can’t deliver relevant experiences. A/B and multivariate testing tools may be proven, but they are limited in their ability to test many variables and take time to generate results. By contrast, AI is ideally suited to optimization because it is not constrained by testing just one or two ideas at a time. It can experiment with thousands of ideas and combinations and serve up unique customer experiences. It generates meaningful insights faster so that companies can be more agile and competitive in their offerings.
How companies achieve growth targets quickly
Digital leaders have been tasked with reaching big growth targets and they know that they need a different approach to stay competitive and ahead. They need to be able to obtain meaningful insights from customer data quickly and share these to all departments so that outcomes are aligned and their efforts don’t work at cross purposes. There is greater connectedness in the marketplace which demands a more holistic approach to optimizing CX.
Improving one element of the customer journey could impact other elements, and every touchpoint matters. The journey also needs to be frictionless and lead customers towards a specific outcome. If digital leaders optimize with a specific outcome in mind, and leverage technology to enable those efforts, they can achieve growth targets more quickly. More importantly by aligning efforts to a key performance indicator (KPI) or metric that matters to the leadership, their efforts are more likely to get buy-in when it comes to investing in the technology solutions that can deliver results.
Why is a holistic approach to optimization required?
Customers are rarely sold on a single touchpoint, they remember the overall experience with a brand. Unfortunately negative experiences have a far greater impact. Anything that causes confusion, anxiety or takes too much effort can cause website visitors to abandon the process. If the goal is to improve conversion rates or the average order value (AOV), every step in the journey needs to lead the visitor closer to becoming a customer or buying more. That means eliminating friction points and serving up unique and relevant content at the right time. Because there is so much on the line, optimization needs to be more than guesswork based on the results of one or two tests. Imagine being able to experiment with thousands of ideas and combinations served up to real website visitors. Seeing the top performers generating lift is valuable because it’s possible to not only see what ideas are performing best, but how and why.
Many companies have big growth targets for 2021 and digital maturity is a major part of that. Staying competitive and being able to serve up unique and engaging experiences will require a solution that is up for the task. Those that recognize AI as an enabler to achieve growth targets will benefit from higher conversion rates and a tangible return on investment (ROI).