Designing for user experience

Liferay Australia Pty Ltd

By Adrian Johnson, General Manager, ANZ, Liferay
Thursday, 09 June, 2016

Designing for user experience

Platforms that unify customer touchpoints are crucial for delivering exceptional customer experience in the digital transformation age.

Big changes can be extraordinarily rewarding, but they’re rarely easy. This certainly holds true for companies investing in digital transformation. Enterprises are incorporating new tools and processes into their business and IT models to provide better experiences to customers, no matter where they are in the customer life cycle.

At the same time, customer expectations have never been higher. They want to engage with companies through mobile devices and across social media, and they expect helpful, personal responses in real time. With demand for personalised, connected experiences rising, so too is the need for digital experience platforms.

Businesses require technology that can collate customers’ experiences across digital devices and manage the many channels of interaction. Ultimately, digital experience platforms can empower companies to make advances in their digital strategies and deliver exceptional experiences to their increasingly connected customers.

Digital experience platforms are designed to break down silos and bring together data and channels in a way that can be shared among business units. The ultimate goal for a digital experience platform is to enable companies to manage the elements of exceptional experiences with a clear view of business analytics, integration, comprehensive customer data and cost-effective implementation.

A digital experience platform provides the capabilities that businesses need to produce a variety of user-facing experiences. Common features include analytics, customer context views, personalisation and multichannel support. Companies must assess their goals and determine which components are required for their strategy.

However, the unifying principle for digital experience platforms will remain the same — an architecture that integrates core business tools and provides a foundation for future digital innovation. Indeed, according to the 2016 Forrester report ‘Vendor Landscape for Digital Experience Portals’, “The number one technical challenge facing digital experience leaders is inadequate integration with back-end systems.”

The following are three key benefits that digital experience platforms can bring to businesses on the digital transformation journey.

Identifying immediate customer needs

As interactions become more personalised and unified across devices, it becomes increasingly important for organisations to interact with customers at every stage of the customer life cycle. Sophisticated data management streamlines the process of identifying customer pain points or gaps in communication, which can then be leveraged to improve digital experiences. This prioritises what customers want without locking companies down to any specific technology or type of interaction.

Once companies identify immediate needs in digital customer experience, they can act on them from a place of knowledge, rather than trying to build strategies based on incomplete data. A digital experience platform will then be able to provide tools or integrate with the correct external products to address these needs.

Accurate marketing and customer engagement

Improving the accuracy of marketing and customer engagement through holistic customer data and information is crucial. The first step to improving experiences is to offer omnichannel interaction, while the second step is to constantly track, measure and analyse so that customer engagement can grow and evolve.

Digital experience platforms enable companies to track customer behaviour at each digital touchpoint. As the Internet of Things grows, companies will have access to more channels of customer data, enabling them to draw new insights. The goal is to discover patterns in customer behaviour and constantly improve customers’ experiences, even before they ask for it.

Customer data can include basic contact information, demographic snapshots, psychographic data points such as details about personalities or lifestyles, transactional data, communications history with the brand, account preferences, responses to marketing campaigns and site engagement tracked through clicks, browsing time and social media shares.

A digital experience platform will pull this data into one place so that each department can access it as needed through customised views. This will ensure that the entire company is working with consistent, updated information and basing decisions on accurate, holistic insights.

Staying on the cutting edge of trends

A common burden of technology upgrades is the unforeseen costs when development takes longer or is more complex than planned. If a digital experience platform achieves an effective level of integration and flexibility, then it will be cost-effective over time.

Veterans of digital change know that a technology upgrade can take months or even years. Sometimes, by the time you get the technology and strategy right, the trend is in its last days and the industry leaders are already gearing up for the next change. This makes it risky to pursue any new digital trend, because it may have evaporated by the time your company finally gets the fancy new software configured for your needs.

Because a digital experience platform starts with the core components in one place and product, it is a cost-effective, long-term investment that mitigates the risk in acting on a digital trend.

In today’s quickly changing digital environment, vendor lock-in is a handicap, so a digital experience platform should be easily integrated with outside products, not just the vendor’s own offerings. This can potentially level the playing field for companies that don’t have the largest budget, provided they have the foresight and agility to respond to the constantly changing market.

Image credit: Background, Designed by Freepik; Thumb, ©

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