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Winning the Customer Experience Race in 2019

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Today’s customer, whether in retail or healthcare, seeks an integrated and frictionless digital experience that makes their life easier.  Whether that’s choosing the right credit union, reviewing insurance benefits, or finding a primary care or specialist physician for a family member.  To kick-off 2019, we’ve outlined a few customer experience (CX) solutions that you should continue executing (or start if you haven’t already), new strategies consider, and a few forward-looking tactics worth learning about.

Continue These CX Efforts…

  • Manage (and Measure) Your Customer Journeys. By fully understanding your customer’s journey – and thoughts and emotions along the way – you can better anticipate their needs and help remove obstacles. Getting ahead of pitfalls means increased conversion. Additionally, remember to incorporate action and metrics planning into the journey map by adding metrics to key touchpoints and re-measuring that data over time.  This can be done via surveys or other quantitative methods. See some of our recent journey mapping work: Sunspire Health Journey Maps.
  • More Authentic and Video-Rich Content. According to Forbes, “The 2018 Global Consumer Insights Survey by PwC confirmed not only that consumers evaluate authenticity when deciding whether to trust a brand with their business, but also that 91% of them are willing to reward a brand for authenticity.”  Authentic content matters.  Couple that with the more than a billion hours of videos are watched on YouTube each day, and that should tell you something.  Live streaming video is growing in popularity and search-friendly video makes short, consumable videos a must for syndication across your digital and social platforms.  But don’t forget to add closed captioning. Not only will this increase accessibility for hearing-impaired individuals, but will also get increased viewership from on-the-go consumers who either can’t or don’t want to play sound due to where they view content – on the bus, in a quiet place, or privately at work (sorry employers).
  • Focus on Customer Retention. Customer retention means more value from your existing customer base. But to retain customers, you must reliably fulfill their needs. A big part of retention involves understanding your customers.  Real customer insights can help; Personas, journey maps and decision maps are a great way to avoid churn.

If You Haven’t Already, Consider Adding These This Year…

  • Voice User Interface Design. Experts estimate that 20% of adults (over 47 million Americans) own a Google Home or Amazon Echo, with a prediction of growth to 55% by 2020.  Like the internet was in the 1990s and mobile devices in the 2000s, voice is poised to be the next big technology movement.  Read our blog series: Start Getting Ready for Voice as a Channel.
  • Search-Driven Information Architecture. Your site’s IA & content should be organized to match the user’s mental model.  For example, in healthcare, focus less on a “department-based” taxonomy and increase emphasis on “condition hubs” and treatment content – in line with search behaviors. Users have come to expect personalized content in the least amount of clicks.
  • Service Design. Often, journey maps focus on the customer’s perspective. That’s the front stage.  You learn about the customer’s journey and opportunities to improve it.  Service design can help examine and fix operational pain points that are impacting the experience (such as revenue cycle or call center functionality).  Read more from Our Thinking: Taking Journey Maps to the Next Level.   
  • Focus on the Micro-Moments in the Customer Journey. Micro-moments are those where consumers turn to their device for an immediate need or to satisfy a clear intent (product research or purchase, for example).  Note: This is only useful if the macro moments are correclty identified.

 It’s Time to Start Learning More About …

  • Personalization & Predictive Analytics. Incorporating “Future-State Journey Maps” can predict forward-looking experiences or journeys with real customers.  On a digital level, predictive analytics utilizes platforms to analyze a users’ clicks on certain parts of a page (or the order of the pages you viewed for a session), to offer the most relevant advertisements, products, or news articles.  This increased personalization often leads to accelerated conversion.
  • Continued Multi-Device Experiences. Without being authenticated, it’s now possible for retailers to know you’ve got a product in your cart on mobile, and therefore – serve it on your desktop cart also.  Applying cross-device experiences in healthcare can be tricky with HIPPA, but must be thought about. From an employee standpoint, some expamples exist – such as virtual workstations where providers can pull up information in one room, then swipe their badge on another computer and get the same screen.
  • Optimized Platform Experiences. Design can be context dependent, and optimized for the channel you’re using.  Runners, for example, might use their desktop to plan runs and track progress over time, but prefer their phone or smart watch as their device to track runs in real time.  The experience should be optimized for each device (desktop for planning and mobile for use, in this case).   This is critical with the continued proliferation of IoT and wearables as users come to expect channel-specific functionality based on the user interface.

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