CX (Customer Experience) is nothing more than the sum of all the activities and interactions of a user with a business. The totality of these different moments and touchpoints are where people perceive value in a brand. To achieve this, it is essential to have a systemic view of design.
But why has having a CX strategy become such a business imperative?
We believe that the best experiences can only be built when conceived as a whole, not as isolated parts. A successful CX strategy consists of just that.
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To delve deeper into this concept and better understand its value, we brought in our Global Director of Research & Strategy at Questtonó Manyone, Gustavo Rosa, to answer 5 fundamental questions about CX.
Gustavo’s work focuses on the intersection between people, perception of value, brand and UX (User Experience). He has a wide range of work that spans across major national and international research, as well as projects for the strategic development of major brands. In recent years, he has been leading projects for clients such as Samsung, Ab InBev, Ford and Natura.
So let’s get to the 5 fundamental questions to put together a CX strategy:
1 – Why should companies incorporate CX thinking?
Gustavo Rosa: On an abstract level, companies exist to make people’s lives easier. To offer products and services that solve a routine problem. People buy solutions that respond to functional, emotional and social desires and needs.
The perception of value in relation to an experience occurs in the sum of the parts, and not in isolated interactions over time. We may like an aspect of a product, but if the brand is positioned wrong on a social network, we already have one foot out the door. Therefore, the perceived value and the impact desired by organizations can only be delivered when all touchpoints are being cared for.
The term Interaction Ecosystem exemplifies this thought very well. Imagine how you feel when you think of a forest, for example.
The experience of a forest is not just the image you have in your mind. It’s not just about lots of green trees. The experience of the forest is given by the union of small parts: the trees, their shadows, the wet land through which one walks, the animals that inhabit it, the smell of the forest, the trail and the river that we use to reach it, the legends that are counted by the local population
2 – What pain points can a process focused on CX solve within a corporation?
GR: Many companies are still organized in verticals, meaning different departments take care of a specific part of the customer experience. In this way, the construction of value for the end user occurs in a fragmented way, creating holes in the interaction journey between customer and company.
Service channels do not always work in an intersectional manner with communication campaigns. Individual goals are drawn in a conflicting way, generating unnecessary friction within teams that work for the same purpose of generating value for the end user.
There are also different understandings of which customers travel in organizations, which builds parallel visions of the world, which are not always close. Innovation portfolios are designed and guided by supply and not by consumer demand, resulting in products that offer the same value to the customer and, therefore, result in competing with each other.
These are some examples of corporate situations that we have already experienced when the company lens is not yet configured to understand the customer experience as fluid, as a movement towards a goal or aspiration. In other words, customers look for progress in a given circumstance through a product or service. Companies have to understand how to help this progress and be able to sustain this movement in the most continuous way possible.
That’s why when we think of a new product or service, we do it holistically. Most innovations happen in a systemic way, that is, they need an ecosystem of complementary interactions occurring and which generally aim to provoke a behavioral change on the part of the user. The goal of designing interactions for different moments of the user journey is to tell a unified story that delivers value as a whole, not just through an isolated part.
3 – What is the first thing to do when designing a new CX-based solution?
GR: It is very difficult to orchestrate and design an ecosystem of interactions that manifest the purpose of a company or brand without knowing who that organization intends to create value for. But knowing the different types of users and the motivations for why they buy and use a particular product, service or brand is not necessarily the first thing to do when designing a new CX-based service or product.
A first step may be to understand the company’s current CX situation, that is, which areas are involved with the customer, how these areas work together, which databases are used as a knowledge base, which projects are running within the company that may impact the project in question.
In short: we need to align the level of information between us and the customer and understand the internal journey, in this way we can think in a more systemic way about how to offer a fluid CX.
4 – How do companies perceive the value of CX? Is there still resistance to delving into consumer problems?
GR: Less and less. The perception that we need to know who we are building value for is something that is already present in most companies. What changes is the belief of how best to do this. At Questtonó Manyone, for example, we use four different lenses that help us understand people more holistically. We are not always able to use all four simultaneously, as the need varies from project to project.
The first lens is the market lens, and involves a more macro study, looking for patterns and volumes of supply and consumption that help us to determine what can be done in market segmentation. For example, are we going to make a low alcohol or low gluten beer? Are we going to make a fintech for the AB or CD audience? How do brands X or Y position themselves? What territory is not yet occupied?
Another lens is culture, more focused on when our work is for brands. It involves the identification of cultural movements, usually emerging, that help us to position the discourse of brands to some value stream. For example, Tônica Antarctica identified that their target audience (young people aged 18-24) had a hard time dealing with the frustrations of adult life. At the time, memes were running that said things like, “Don’t Grow Up: it’s a trap!” (do not grow up it is a trap). We used this flow to position the brand in a place that said to young people: enjoy the pain and setbacks, because that’s what transforms you.
We also have the use and consumption behavior lens, which involves understanding the motivations that lead people to choose, buy, adhere to, consume and use a particular product, brand or service, as well as the contexts of this behavior.
This is where a more tactical CX plan comes in, as different users experience different journeys and moments of interaction with an organization. Therefore, these different natures of relationship between users/consumers and companies must be identified.
Finally, the last lens is, nowadays, the most important. How does the company structure envision managing the CX? What are the areas and processes involved and, above all, how does the information get clearly delivered to everyone?
5 – What are the most common challenges when companies decide to have a CX plan? Is it expensive?
GR: Define the granularity of the information, that is, if they want to do the process in a more macro way, understanding how to organize the current system, or more micro, already delving into the definition of how each solution will be developed.
The price varies according to the type of project. The more in-depth, more personas, more moments of interaction, the more expensive it will be.