Architecting Customer Experience Ecosystem

I’ve talked about the business importance of developing a robust customer experience ecosystem or CXE in previous blog posts. Here, I’ll walk through a case study to illustrate how to design a CXE. In this example, my first step was to diagram the current customer experience based on a thorough understanding of the UI workflow and user needs and behavior. Below is a hypothetical CXE created in such way:

© Frank Guo 2012. All rights reserved.

As we can see, the diagram starts at the very first stage of customer touch points, even before the customer gets to interact with the company’s digital touch points. A customer can learn of the company in many different ways, such as marketing and friends and families, before actually interacting with the company.

The ecosystem also does not end with customers leaving the touch points — instead, it ends with what they plan to do next, such as contacting the sales reps and conducting additional product research.

In this diagram, I listed three touch points, the website, the mobile app, and sales reps, and outlined how the three touch points talk to each other. There could certainly be more customer touch points, such as social media and a physical store front, to be included in the ecosystem.

A careful analysis of the diagram, coupled with a deep understanding of the company’s business needs, we can identify a few key issues that undermine  customer experience:

  1. The Web content and features are not integrated well
  2. The website does a poor job keeping users on the site
  3. There is little cross-talk between the website and the mobile app
  4. The website and the mobile device don’t effectively direct users to talk to sales reps
  5. There is little incentive for users to re-visit the website
  6. The company needs to do something to encourage word-of-mouth as a marketing means to drive traffic

Based on the gap analysis, we can start proposing solutions to those customer experience pain points, illustrated in the proposed CXE:

© Frank Guo 2012. All rights reserved.

Let me run down a few of those proposed improvements:

To address Issue 1, the lack of content integration, I would advise to redesign the website workflow and IA to combine multiple features in one module. To address Issue 4, the lack of support for sales conversation, we can propose to have a Call button implemented on the mobile app to send customers to the sales reps. To address Issue 5, encouraging repeat visits, we can propose to have a new feature suite that speaks to the personalization need of customers (e.g., my products, my product comparisons) that can bring users back to the site and the mobile app.

There are many different ways to develop a robust  customer experience ecosystem. In the above example, I primarily used this as a gap-analysis tool to identify missed opportunities and suggest ways to address them in delivering better customer experience. In future posts, I’ll write more about other ways of developing the ecosystem and additional benefits.

By Frank Guo

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