6 Tips for Designing a Total Experience
In 2022, the rise of the experience economy is creating new pressure for organizations to rapidly transform their customer experiences. The potential windfall of such a transformation is clear. According to one Forrester study, brands with exceptional customer experiences tend to earn 5.7 times the revenue of brands with less customer experience success.
The problem, however, lies in the approach many organizations are taking to achieve their CX transformation goals. For starters, many companies look at technology investment as a way to incrementally add new features and build out more robust customer engagement capabilities. While this is true, it’s also ballooning the number of CX tools the average company is using — which can create a new set of CX challenges. In fact, 52% of businesses believe these CX tech stacks are only minimally integrated or not integrated at all.
In other words, many companies are building their CX strategies in a way that actually damages the total experience they can offer to their customers.
What Is Total Experience?
Total experience bridges user, customer and employee experience disciplines into one transformational experience that unifies every customer touchpoint, aligns the brand across every channel and platform, harmonizes business functions and establishes complete trust within every possible journey.
How to Design and Orchestrate a Seamless Total Experience
Creating an effective total experience requires a combination of understanding, design and orchestration. In order to make your growing tech stack work for you, you must first have a total experience roadmap in place that considers the interactions people have with your brand’s channels and products. Remember: technology should help you orchestrate the design — it should not dictate the design.
With this in mind, let’s take a look at six foundational objectives organizations can use to level up their CX strategy and create a total experience that excites customers and drives long-term loyalty.
- Meet people’s emotional needs as well as their functional ones. Efficient and effective — that’s what your customers expect as the baseline for their experience with your brand. Today’s employees and customers desire an emotional connection with your brand too. What are the emotional motivations or triggers that bring them to you in the first place, and how do those triggers influence their functional needs during those interactions?
- Ensure every experience is both predictive and proactive. It’s quite common for organizations to design their total experience roadmap using past customer journeys. After all, this tends to be the most readily available data they have. But this approach creates a reactionary experience — one that waits for the customer to engage with a problem, information request or support need first. Think about how you can introduce proactive communications and next-best-actions that motivate your customers and help them navigate across channels and singular engagements.
- Create a humanized experience. These days, so much of the total customer experience is digital. While this makes it possible to get support, make a purchase, or explore a product anywhere and anytime, it also strips away some of the human touch that can make a lasting impression on your customers. As you design your total experience, consider where higher touch moments could benefit from a more personal interaction — either face-to-face or via other personalized elements. Here’s where technology can play a powerful role. Integrating sophisticated automation or AI can help free up your employees to deliver personalized experiences to the customers and moments that need them most.
- Use hyper-personalization to boost the impact of every touchpoint. Hyper-personalization recognizes people’s unique needs and preferences within touchpoints across the customer journey. Every customer wants to feel heard in those moments. By using customer data to inform advice during customer support calls, or to send out an automated note following up on the next steps in the purchase process, brands have an opportunity to show customers they’re more than a number.
- Evaluate your current business architecture/technology stack with brutal honesty. If your organization has already invested in many different CX tools to introduce greater personalization, faster support and more channels to the customer experience, it’s probably time for a review to see how well these tools are accomplishing these goals. Do these tools allow you to execute your new vision for the customer experience? If the answer is “no,” then it may require switching the tools you’re using or redeploying them in a way that focuses on integration, collaboration, and optimization. Ultimately the goal for your CX tech stack should be that it is informed by your CX strategy — not the other way around.
- Foster organizational alignment. When your organization is aligned, everyone shares the same mindset about the desired total experience. If a new platform or recalibration of an existing platform is required, alignment can help power your team forward. This shared vision for the customer experience will help motivate everyone on the team to stay the course and buy-in to the need for new terms, tools, and internal methods.
Avtex Can Help You Find Your Total Experience North Star
For 50 years, Avtex has lived and breathed customer engagement. Through hundreds of CX engagements, we have helped guide our clients toward not just the right technology decisions, but also transformative strategies that empower them to create purpose-driven, meaningful, and sustainable initiatives.
Our 360-degree approach to CX transformation is structured to help clients find their own CX north star and then optimize experience outcomes across the entire customer journey:
- Experience Strategy — The vision and research defining your north star and your experience.
- Digital Experience — The intelligence and insights driving smart CX design decisions.
- Interaction Experience — The definition of journeys and engagement helping to personalize, support, and accelerate your total experience.
- Experience Innovation — The innovation and development that keeps your company ahead of the competition.
At Avtex, we believe truly transformative experiences happen at the intersection of design and orchestration. Let us help you move your organization past the technology conversation, and evolve it to consider the way your employees, your customers, and your partners want and need to interact with your brand.
Download the Total Experience Playbook now to get additional tips for designing and orchestrating a total experience that wows your customers and keeps them coming back for more.
Director of CX Solutions at Avtex, Kate is a customer experience leader, focused on coaching and educating across the design process. She hired and trained the talent to deliver exceptional work back to the organization which has proven to drive significant revenue growth.