Unified Customer Experience: What Is It? And What Are Its Business Benefits?
Customers no longer solely judge products and services on their price and performance but consider all the experiences they’ve ever had connected to that product or service. Such is the significance of this that 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for a better customer experience.
This evolution has seen the emergence of the unified customer experience (Unified CX) concept. This game-changing strategy harmonises every touchpoint into a seamless and personalised experience, which businesses can no longer afford to ignore if they want to gain a competitive edge.
In this piece we will explore in more detail what unified customer experience is all about, why it’s important and how you can deliver a unified CX for your own customers.
The features of a unified CX
When it’s executed effectively a unified customer experience will include a number of key features.
Seamless cross-platform navigation
Customers should be able to switch seamlessly between different channels and not lose context. For instance, a customer who started browsing products on your website, should be able to continue that same search without interruption on your mobile app.
Personalised product recommendations
Through utilising customer data, businesses can provide tailored product recommendations that consider customer preferences and previous interactions. This helps to ensure customers feel heard and appreciated when they receive this personal touch.
Irrespective of the platform they select, all communication channels should be connected to ensure that customers’ questions and concerns are swiftly addressed. Such a connection helps to ensure a seamless experience for customers by preventing them from having to repeat their issues.
Consistent branding and messaging
Every touchpoint should use the same branding and messaging to reinforce the identity and principles of the brand. As a result, your brand’s recognition and recall value should increase thanks to a consistent brand voice that delivers a seamless narrative.
The key elements of a unified CX
If you’re to create a successful, unified CX, you should focus on incorporating the following elements.
By combining customer data, it will help you to develop a more detailed customer profile that allows a deeper understanding of preferences and needs.
You can also eliminate data silos and build a single source of truth for customer information by centralising your customer data.
Through automating your workflows, you can speed up processes and guarantee a faster response to customer inquiries. Response times can be greatly accelerated through automation, helping to increase customer satisfaction.
You should look to engage with customers immediately, offering them prompt assistance and proactive problem solving. Real-time engagement is crucial if you’re to address customer concerns promptly and prevent potential issues from escalating.
You need to be collecting ongoing feedback from your customers to continuously improve your unified customer experience strategy. Customer feedback gives you the valuable insight into what’s working well and what needs improving, so you can refine your approach.
Why it’s important to provide a unified customer experience
Imagine you need to buy some products to make a few repairs in your home, but you have not got the time to go to your local DIY store.
It’s likely at this point that you’ll look to browse a few available options online and then if you see anything suitable, you’ll see if you can buy it and get it delivered instead. You wouldn’t just wait until you found the time to go into the store.
Similarly, when customers have everything, they need at their fingertips, unified CX becomes a necessity not a choice. Customers are no longer happy with fragmented interactions with a brand. They expect to have a consistent and cohesive journey across all touchpoints, from their initial point of contact, right through to post-purchase support.
Well, here’s some more reasons to convince you.
Increased customer satisfaction
- With a unified CX, you’ll get consistency across all your interactions, leaving customers feeling more valued and satisfied.
- Customers that have a positive experience at every touchpoint, have greater overall satisfaction and are more likely to return to your business.
More loyalty and trust
- Delivering a seamless experience across different touchpoints, helps nurture greater customer loyalty and trust
- Customers are more likely to be emotionally connected to your brand when you deliver a consistent experience, as it establishes a sense of dependability and familiarity.
Greater customer lifetime value
- Consistent and personalised interactions help encourage greater repeat purchases, helping to boost customer lifetime value and revenue growth.
- When customers are happy with your product or service, they’re more likely to remain faithful, which makes them more valuable for your company.
- Nurturing a unified CX approach helps you to develop competitive differentiation in a crowded market. Customers are more likely to choose a brand over another if it provides them with a seamless experience, rather than one that’s more fragmented.
How to deliver a unified customer experience
Given all the reasons we’ve just outlined to justify nurturing a unified customer experience, we’re sure many of you will want to know how to build such a strategy of your own.
Well, here’s a few steps to include.
Comprehensive customer data
- If you’re to deliver personalised experiences, it’s essential to integrate customer data from diverse range of sources including surveys, CRM systems, sales platforms, marketing channels and customer support tools.
- Once you have a comprehensive customer profile, you’ll be able to gain valuable insights into individual preferences, purchase history and communication preferences.
Seamless omnichannel presence
- To develop a successful unified CX strategy, you need to build a consistent presence across all relevant channels, including your website, mobile app, social media platforms and your physical stores.
- Irrespective of the channel customers are using, they should experience a consistent brand voice, messaging and design.
Leveraging customer experience technologies
- To meet growing customer expectations, you must leverage cutting-edge customer experience technologies.
- AI-driven analytics and automation can help you to analyse customer data in real-time, predict their needs and deliver personalised interactions.
Empowering your team
- Your work colleagues are the frontline ambassadors of your brand, directly interacting with your customers and helping to shape their experiences.
- Train and empower your team to consistently deliver exceptional customer experiences, fostering a culture of customer-centricity.
Benefits of unified customer experience
Now is probably a good time to reiterate the benefits that a unified CX strategy can bring to your business.
Increased customer retention and acquisition
The business impact of providing a consistent customer experience include greater customer loyalty and an increased customer retention that results in a steady revenue stream and less need for expensive customer acquisition strategies.
Loyal customers are also more likely to promote your brand, resulting in valuable word-of-mouth advertising and attracting new clients via referrals.
Positive brand perception
A consistently positive customer experience helps you to build a more positive perception of your brand, increasing brand equity and enhancing brand reputation. Customers are more likely to engage with your brand across various touchpoints and become brand advocates, promoting your business voluntarily through social media and reviews, and therefore helping to expand your reach and influence.
Increased customer lifetime value
Satisfied customers that keep returning to you to buy, results in a higher customer lifetime value, which directly impacts your bottom line, increasing the profitability of your business.
By focusing on retaining existing customers and encouraging them to spend more, it can enable you to achieve sustainable growth, while reducing your reliance on more costly customer acquisition efforts.
Offering a unified experience helps a business to stand out from its rivals. It gives it a competitive advantage that improves its market position and enables it to increase its market share.
When a business stays in the minds of its customers, it can help that company to maintain its position as an industry leader, defend itself from rivals and even continue to grow during difficult economic times.
Best Practices to help deliver an effective unified customer experience
Having outlined some steps earlier on how to deliver a unified customer experience, here’s some best practice tips to have in mind.
Maintain a customer-centric focus
Place your customers at the heart of your CX strategy, prioritising their needs and preferences.
Utilise advanced CX tools and analytics to deliver more efficient personalised experiences.
Adapt and improve
Continuously assess and evolve your CX approach to stay ahead of customer expectations.
You can ensure a more unified and seamless customer journey if you can foster greater teamwork and collaboration across your departments.
As markets continue to get more competitive you need to gain a competitive edge. So, if you’ve not already adopted a more customer-centric approach to doing business, now’s the time start.
Fortunately, if you’ve developed a unified CX strategy, and have the right technologies and processes in place to support this, it will help you to deliver a better overall experience for each customer regardless of how they choose to interact with your brand. This includes any channels they prefer to use, where you’ll be able to respond to their interactions with relevant follow up sequences no matter how, when, or where they engage with you.