Putting the Customer Back Into Customer Experience 

For e-commerce retailers, it’s been a whirlwind trying to establish getting the parcel to the porch, reliably. The focus has been on the technology side of things. Building the systems to get that package to the doorstep seamlessly, and to communicate, even modestly has been a massive challenge for the e-commerce space.

The Customer’s Emotional Experience Has Been Lost

What’s been lost in that process, in establishing Customer Experience, CX, for digital brands is the customer. Specifically, the emotional experience of the customer. There’s a lot of work being done on the customer journey, and looking at if they are satisfied or unsatisfied. What is their response, emotional response, to the experience, what is their satisfaction?

What I’m talking about is evaluating the emotional goal of every touchpoint, and then delivering.

Anticipation

One particular emotion to leverage, and it’s a missed opportunity for most brands, is that sense of anticipation. The waiting, and avoiding the slippery slope of worry and disappointment, after the point of purchase, after buying, funding in full, the time and space between receiving the package.

Here is how that plays out for your customer. They hit buy. There’s excitement. That final decision to purchase has been made, the final emotional touchpoint, and success of choosing to invest. “I’m getting this, I deserve this”. And everything else that goes into making a luxury purchase online, or a lifestyle purchase, meaning something that is not something we need, but it’s something we want.

That’s an emotionally driven purchase, and those decisions are always made in the irrational, not the rational, side of our brains. Then, almost immediately the rational kicks in and starts to think; perhaps starts worrying about the process, “Where is it? Did it go through?” Here, they’re looking for communication. You can’t over-communicate in this time and space about this precious item that they just chose to buy, to indulge, to give to themselves, or gift to another.

Emotion

The positive emotion of excitement and all the nuances, the different flavors of what excitement could be, for example, anticipation, the imagining using it, the possibilities, they engage in future forward thinking, they envision when are they going to use that item, that piece. They feel the excitement and anticipation of when are they going to have the experience. They’re telling their friends. They’re excited. They’re waiting. They’re in this positive anticipation, which every brand should leverage to strengthen and advance the emotional bond between the brand and the customer.

Brand Communication

Communication, with personality, is the antidote in this space. Brand communication, early and often, letting them know and keeping them informed about where it is in the journey to them, infusing that communication with a brand voice that resonates, develops the relationship and ignites connection. Humanizing and personifying that communication is vital, so, for example, if your brand provides humor, use that, leverage that.

What we do, at Inspire Fire, in our DBCX™, our Digital Brand Customer Experience consulting is, we solve for the emotional connection, throughout the pathway, in what we call a Resonance Roadmap™, specifically in the stages between point-of-purchase through delivery and follow-up.

Once that buy click happens, once that funding takes place, then we optimize the four key sections of DBCX, and the elements that go into optimizing what online retail brands are currently doing.

Just getting the thing to the porch is not enough anymore. Establishing your eCommerce is one thing. Optimizing your eCommerce CX is what’s most needed right now.

The customer is willing to migrate from the traditional buying experience of certainty; walking into a store, purchasing an item, and going home with it in the shopping bag. Your customer is willing to participate in this relationship, but there’s a lot of missing parts, emotionally, for them. This is a growing issue for e-commerce, and will impact customer retention, repeat spending, and competition defection.

Put The Customer Back In

When you’re looking at their experience, looking strategically from the lens of persona, and empathy, and you redesign those touchpoints to elevate and maximize the ROI of customer emotion, you’ll secure a stronger future in the marketplace.

Its imperative now, not later, for growth stage brands to optimize their CX.

Online retailers that will grow both in revenue, customer share and share of wallet are the brands that will swiftly refocus, and redesign the elements that go into the four stages of DBCX. They will elevate the customer connection and relationship. Over time they will cultivate a loyal customer over time, just like a traditional luxury brand can do. Traditional luxury boutiques can utilize storefront, utilize sale consultants, deliver compelling experiential store experiences, design flow, and all the aspects that go into creating and delivering that overall brand experience. Digital brands have to use a digital front door, and deliver the brand experience through the screen. That can be done, and it can be done incredibly well.

Put the customer back in customer experience.

Kerri Konik is a seasoned brand strategist and leading expert in igniting emotional connection and optimizing customer experience to drive business growth. She is a consultant, advisor and speaker on catalyzing the emotional bonds between customers, brands, and leaders to increase value, progress, and accelerate the speed of change, growth and desired impact. An entrepreneur at heart, Kerri has launched five businesses, and is the CEO of InspireFire, a women-owned brand strategy and marketing consultancy based in Philadelphia.

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