The missed opportunities of great customer experience

The age of the customer will create both challenges and opportunities alike for businesses. Find out why user experience is more important than ever.

Customer expectations are rapidly changing, and so is the balance of power in the relationship between retailer and customer. With e-commerce leading many retailers into a bricks and clicks model where physical stores are supported by digital sales, there are simultaneously new challenges and opportunities when it comes to attracting, retaining, and maximising the value for, the customer.



These challenges stem from the fact that customers expect more from e-commerce platforms than many businesses can offer. Opportunities, however, also stem from technology investment, as data collection and analytics processes are central to creating a better user experience which will build your brand, and increase customer spend and frequency.


Will the age of the customer make or break your business?

Somewhat threateningly, Forrester Research declared that 2016 will be a make or break year for businesses as the age of the customer brings new challenges. According to the firm, a new era of digitally savvy consumers is changing the way many companies respond to market conditions. Chief Research and Product Officer Cliff Condon stated that there will be a clear divide between those who can meet these challenges and those who can't.

"Businesses have a lot at stake in 2016," he began. "Empowered customers are changing the market fundamentals for virtually every industry, forcing companies to reinvent their strategy and operations."

"We are approaching a fork in the road where companies can either make the hard changes to dramatically improve their chances to win in the market or preserve old models and defer transforming their operations at the risk of failure."

Forrester Research also noted the 10 success factors that will decide which businesses will perform well in this changing market. The firm found that a digital transformation strategy will be essential, and businesses need to master these new ways of connecting with customers, rather than simply experiment with them.


User experience is not getting the attention it deserves

No business should need to be told how important its customers are to its ongoing success. Yet despite this, many are unaware of exactly what they need to do to evolve with their changing audiences. According to a survey from Avaya, 95% of businesses agreed that customer experience management strategies will benefit their operations. However, just 59% had an active strategy in place.

One of the main challenges facing organisations in this regard is managing the significant volumes of data that accompany customer analysis. According to Econsultancy, 62% of respondents said the quantity of information was overwhelming. On top of this, 85%, while collecting data, don't have the capabilities to extract valuable insights from it.

Research analyst at Econsultancy, Bola Awoniyi, agreed that the changes are both a challenge and an opportunity depending on how businesses react.

"We have entered a new era of marketing, with data and marketing technology now affording unprecedented opportunities for developing a more customer-centric approach," he explained. "Focusing on developing customer experiences can create a more loyal and engaged customer base which is an extremely valuable competitive advantage in today's fast-paced commercial environment." 



The path to user experience in New Zealand

Another Econsultancy survey found that New Zealand user experience thinking is becoming more mature, especially as organisations begin to realise the importance of these trends to the bottom line, and how they can increase their performance.

In this survey, Econsultancy defined the holy grail customer experience as a seamless integration across multiple channels delivering consistent and high quality interaction. Organisations who have matured their approach and thinking are moving quickly, but just 5% of those surveyed have actually achieved it.

Organisations don't have to wait until it's too late to understand whether or not they are offering an effective user experience. By assessing their abilities through customer validation and user testing processes, they can recieve tangible feedback on whether or not they may need to make improvements.

To find out more about how Solnet can help you achieve the holy grail of customer experience, contact the team today.