‘Positive experiences with brands don’t just happen – they’re created’: Adobe on the importance of customer experience management

Last week, Abobe released its Experience Index, that found seamless and personalised experiences are key to keeping customers happy.

The global index surveyed more than 1,000 consumers from Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) and 79 percent demand tailored experiences from organisations and 66 percent are happy to have completely automated interactions if done well. 

Consumers rated potential customer experiences on a continuum from neutral (I would expect this) to strongly positive (this would delight me) and those scores were converted to a scale from 0-100. According to the research, consumers are most impressed with online retailers providing samples as part of their loyalty program (score of 61), automated hotel settings and preferences on arrival (55) and using mobile apps as hotel keys and no need for check-ins (55).

And looking at customers according to age, it’s those over 35 who were found to more likely agree that brands know and respect them as well as delight them at every turn. The survey shows that if these expectations are not met, businesses’ bottom line could be impacted with almost half of all ANZ online shoppers (48 percent) saying they have abandoned their shopping carts due to a poor customer experience.

The top three experience breakers are a lack of returns policies for marketplace sellers (47), hidden fees (50) and no-cancellation policies for travel packages (51). 

Meanwhile, younger people were found to be the most patient when it comes to poor customer experiences. Fewer than two in five (38 percent) 18-34-year-olds say they would abandon their shopping carts due to a poor customer experience, compared with over half (52 percent) of shoppers aged 35 and over.

Bad customer experience also turns away potential repeat customers, with over a quarter (28 percent) of young consumers and over a third (38 percent) of people 35+ saying they would stop buying from a company altogether.

However, brands need to keep young people on their side as their reputation may be at stake. 18-34-year-olds are more than twice as likely as their older counterparts to complain about a bad experience on a review site or social media. 

When Adobe Australia and New Zealand managing director Suzanne Steele took to the stage at Adobe Symposium in Sydney last week, she reiterated the importance of creating positive experiences by saying:

“We all remember our last great experience, but we also remember our last bad experience and we will share those experiences – good and bad – with just about anyone who will listen.

“Experiences leave lasting experiences which means we all have a huge responsibility to us because in a split second, we can delight a customer or disappoint them and once they have gone it’s a whole heap of work and money to bring them back and we may never regain their trust.”

Furthering that was Steve Hammond

But how do you create those experiences?

To speak to that, Adobe senior director of experience business APAC took to the stage.

“Positive experiences with brands don’t just happen – they’re created, they’re enabled and managed through the culture of the brand.

“Customer experience management is a combination of people, process and technology.”

Looking at the audience, he says all the industries are being challenged to figure out what the best experience looks like and the brands that are figuring this out are the ones who are getting ahead of their competition.

For those who want to follow suit, his advice for CX management came in the form of four pillars:

  1. Understanding your customer

In face-to-face situations, we naturally adapt to body language, words and emotions. In the business scenario, it requires us to do that same adaptive personalization and to bring that across digital channels and this can be very difficult because making this happen in simplified ways requires new innovations and steps forward in technology and business alignment.

Instead of patching together multiple sources of data across slow-moving connections, CXM puts real-time data at the heart of understanding your customers with a new real-time customer profile.

  1. Data-Driven decisions

How often have you had all the right data at your fingertips but you coudn’t do what you wanted to do with it?

Customer experience management makes your customer data meaningful and actionable by listening and interpreting the data we can improve our brand and experiences and make decisions based on facts and through scaled automation rather than gut feel and manual processes.

  1. Orchestrating experiences

Think of the last time you brought a new phone. How amazing was it you could turn it on and all your email, contacts and music was on there – OK, maybe it wasn’t that amazing because we all expect that now.

It works, because of the connection of that device across channels and we expect a similar level of consistency with every brand experience we have. Moving between your mobile app, email, a physical store or a call centre needs an orchestrated experience that is delightful and doesn’t require starting from scratch with every new interaction.

  1. Make experiences relevant

If the content or the experiences we are delivering to our customers isn’t relevant, we will lose them.

Relevant experiences foster emotions and make people want to come back to your brand again and again.

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