Intersection of BE & BR
Combining delight with an efficient set of processes
CX aka customer experience, that is the result of every interaction between the customer and your business, be it with your website, your retail outlet, talking to customer service or receiving the product or service.
Above all, businesses want it to be overwhelmingly positive, because the best marketing money can buy is a customer who loves the product or service so much that they go on to become one of its advocates.
As one McKinsey report suggests, leading organizations understand that they are in the customer-experience business, and that how they deliver for customers is beginning to be as important as what they deliver. It’s not enough that individual touchpoints work well, the entire journey has to delight.
At BORN, we believe that the key to digital transformation is the experience, which is underpinned by our design approach that revolves around people and comprises a few key elements. We don’t even think that the experience is only limited to customers and consumers – it also touches the brand naturally but also suppliers, practitioners, employees, communities, and so on.
A successful customer experience, we believe, is a result of a combination of three things:
- The definition and delivery of the strategy as brand experience (BX)
- The expression of that brand experience, as relevant, by channel – behavioral experience (BE), which is then monitored and studied for behavioral characteristics
- The creation of a definitive version of the truth in an aggregated book of record (BR), which will be used to inform and iteratively improve the brand experience, with the ultimate goal of a singular brand experience for each end-user
Keeping psychology in mind, we have come up with the Stella Framework using what we call ‘human-centred design’, through which we help our clients build an immersive brand experience, design the way the experience is delivered through various channels and ultimately, analyse the behaviour recorded in the data vaults to constantly inform and improve the total brand experience.
Human-centred design takes into account the automation and applications that it employs, and its infrastructure. Add to this a layer of soft knowledge about the culture of the organization and analytics about its customers that informs its strategy, which then in turn influence product development, for which physical design and digital design are employed.
Our CEO Dilip Keshu likened the Stella Framework to a layered sandwich in a LinkedIn post here.
The first layer – the topping, if you will – that of brand [strategy] experience starts with research – knowing your markets, products & services, competitors. It can be looked at through the lens of the customer journey all the way from how the brand is discovered to the end point, where if they like the brand experience enough, they are converted into advocates.
Along the way, it includes the first-party data that is generated about the customers, and its segmentation. The creation of different personas and the way the user experience and interfaces function for each of them, content and its subsequent personalization, testing and curation according to their preferences.
The tools that enable this journey in the digital customer’s in their eCommerce journey not only includes the creation of roadmaps or defining a charter but also search engine optimization and marketing (SEO/SEM), search, URLs, display adverts, word-of-mouth, social amplification, and events.
Some considerations to be taken into account include not only research and the management of the audience, but that of the data that is collected. Data science comes into play here as well – data needs to be regularly checked for its integrity but also website guidelines and regulations such as GDPR and ADA compliance need to be looked into.
The data gathered gets shaped and defined via MECE (mutually exclusive, collectively exhaustive) segmentation into personas. These personas with their own individual user journeys can be personally targeted with individualized promotions, curation of content assets, tone of voice and user interfaces and experiences. Basically, each user has a fragmented personal experience depending on the channel.
The user journey doesn’t end with purchase. It also includes feedback from the customer. Testing for such feedback and abandonment or engagement science provides loops that keep existing and past customers attracted. Owned vs earned data from third-party sites can be leveraged further to liven up the marketing mix. As always, the ultimate goal is for customers to become advocates, so reward loyalty and encourage reviews and ratings.
The meat of our proverbial sandwich – the filling – is the personalized and connected experience offered across traditional channels retail stores, events, voice, print, broadcast, radio, displays, packaging and mail as well as through modern channels such as web, mobile, social, gaming, and the internet of things (IoT), be they owned or affiliated channels.
This layer covers experiences – how to attract a customer via design and acquisition, interact with visitors via content and user experience, then transact with them, that then leads them to feedback or react using avenues such as social, chat and email.
BORN’s offerings seek to create the ultimate immersive and singular brand experience for its customers leading to a frictionless path to purchase.
Books of Record
In an omnichannel world, the customer journey impacts many functions within the organization. The base layer of the sandwich, the robust sourdough, are the books of record where all the customer interactions are recorded. The customer book of record includes the customer relationship management (CRM) system, the bedrock of a customer-centric organization, where data is captured and used to get to know the customer better. Lead intelligence can mark a lead to be a marketing qualified lead (MQL), one more likely to become a customer. Marketers can also benefit greatly from using SQL database language as a tool that can be used to perform quantitative analysis of their customers.
Other books of records include the Order Management System (OMS), which during the course of orchestrating orders between channels handles their sourcing, allocations, returns and fulfilment.
The engine of the enterprise, however, has to be its enterprise resource planning systems (ERP) where orders and their procurement, and the corresponding in and outflow of cash are recorded. It also includes books such as the general ledger, book of sales?, cash book, the inventory master, human resources, domain specific back office systems such as business support systems (BSS) and operational support systems (OSS) and, last but not least, billing.
A satisfying sandwich and a striking framework need all three layers. Stella provides one more, a sandwich wrap if you will, in which aggregated data from all of these layers above are collated. This is the data science book of record that combines all the information for crunching via analytics for further insights and cognition, so that the brand experience for each user remains stellar.