What Does It Really Mean to Be an Experience-Led Business?

UX / CX | February 7, 2018

The terms “experience-led” and “experience-first” are buzzwords to describe businesses that put their digital users’ needs and wants first, ahead of other company goals. More businesses are becoming cognizant of what it means to prioritize the user experience and carry it across all of their digital channels. In digital marketing, “experience-first” has become an entire philosophy that businesses are embracing and using to build websites that are intuitive, easy to navigate, and responsive to the needs of the user.

So, what does it mean not only to create an experience-led website but more importantly, to be an experience-led business?

What is an Experience Business?

Adobe first coined the term “experience business” at Adobe Summit 2016. At the core of what it means to be an experience business is the unwavering focus on creating and providing a positive and consistent customer experience at every digital touchpoint. Many companies say they are focused on the customer experience, but few are fully embracing and supporting it across the organization.

Being an experience-led business is a marathon, not a sprint. The “sprint” is moving a prospect through the lead conversion pipeline. At this stage, you need to focus on experience. If a lead or prospect doesn’t have a pleasant experience in their initial stages of dealing with your brand, then that person or account is highly unlikely to convert. Building a top-notch customer experience throughout the conversion funnel engenders trust and value, which help make a valuable conversion more likely.

The “marathon” is making sure the customer or client feels just as valued after conversion when the list of touch points becomes even longer. Customers may delve deeper into your website, deal with your billing procedures, follow your brand on social channels, communicate with your service or support teams, and more. With so many digital channels that a customer can touch, there are many opportunities for your brand to lose favor.

Simply put, a customer’s poor digital experience at any point of the journey could cost you the sale. If you want to retain your buyers for the long haul—and maximize the positive financial impact they can have on your business—your time should be focused on creating a cohesive and pleasant digital experience across all your marketing channels.

Becoming an Experience-Led Business

“Focusing on end-to-end customer experience” sounds simple enough in the abstract, but how can you put it into practice? Here are three steps that are crucial to turning your business into a more experience-led venture:

1. Remember that every touchpoint is a human interaction

It’s easy to start viewing customer touchpoints and engagements as raw statistics—especially in an age when the internet and automation have made it easy for a business to serve customers. The problem is that many of the tech systems that companies have in place to serve customers are often not intuitive or not geared toward customer wants or needs. Think about automated voice telephone systems or confusing product return processes, and you’ll know what we mean. Remember that your touchpoints are, at their root, human interactions. To satisfy and retain customers—and to earn positive word of mouth along the way—you need to focus on the human, experiential side of the equation. Your bottom line still matters, but by providing better experiences for customers, you can rest assured that it will take care of itself without being the core focus.

2. Align every aspect of your business toward the goal of becoming experience-led

Becoming an experience-led business is not a decision that you can make Instead, it is a significant, organization-changing move. It won’t just affect your customer service team, or your website development team, or your marketing team, or your product development department. Instead, it requires an alignment of every aspect and resource in your business—including people, processes, and platforms. To become a true experience business, your company needs to have a consistent focus on customer experience across all channels and throughout the entire customer journey. This across-the-board focus on customers requires an “all hands on deck” commitment.

3. Use technology to your advantage

Aligning your entire business toward the same experience-led goals requires tearing down boundaries that used to exist between different departments or segments of the company. The most effective wrecking ball for bringing down these walls is technology. Adobe is a leader in digital customer experience, and the Adobe Experience Cloud is an excellent place to start if you are making the shift to an experience-led platform. With features for analytics, advertising, marketing, content creation, and workflows, the Adobe Experience Cloud can help you cultivate terrific relationships with customers while also getting everyone in your organization on the same page.

Moving into the Future of Customer Experience

When Econsultancy conducted their survey for Digital Marketing Trends, they asked companies to state the single most exciting opportunity for 2018.

The results?

Customer experience came in first, beating content marketing and mobile marketing.

And according to a Walker study, by the year 2020 customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator.

The secret about customer experience and its value is out and changing the goals of organizations across all industries. If your business hasn’t made the leap to an experience-led mindset yet, 2018 is absolutely the year to change that. And we can help.

 

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Kari Mayhew is the Marketing Manager for iCiDIGITAL, and has contributed engaging and educational ideas to a variety of enterprises, both on and off-line, for well over a decade. She can also be found experimenting in the kitchen, running on dirt trails and cheering for favorite teams.