There’s a prevailing view that customer-centric experiences are all about managing touch points. True, touch points matter. However, there are challenges with this model. As a creative events agency, we’ve come to believe the best experiences are developed around understanding and shaping the ‘emotional’ customer journey. Here’s why.
The first challenge is, looking at the customer journey in terms of touch points often fails to recognise the non-linear relationships customers have with brands and organisations. In an omnichannel communication’s world, customer experiences and interactions are anything but linear.
The other challenge with focusing on touchpoints is they tend to cross different silos in the organisation. Consequently, each department applies its own lens to how the brand should be experienced.
There’s a third challenge. Very often massaging different touchpoints is seen as an exercise in applying digital and social technologies. For sure, technology has its place. However, overlay a lot of technology and the humanity in relationships is doubly stripped away.
Brands that strike an authentic tone, establish intimacy and convey emotion will always outperform the market. You’re five times more likely to convert a sale if there’s an established rapport and if you communicate consistent values and a shared vision.
And yet the digital eco-systems brands now inhabit and nurture, often purge any experience of its humanity.
Thinking in terms of the customer journey and then integrating a humanist approach, the experience becomes more holistic, more emotionally engaging, and more authentic. It breaks through the organisational silos. Consider how the journey for the customer can be re-organised around a unifying idea. An emotional journey can take on many forms. It can be conveying the promise of fresh thinking, or implying agility, playfulness, adventure, pragmatism, bravado, craft, to name a few themes. Working towards such higher order themes creates a more seamless, emotional customer journey. The experience or live event becomes less bitty and contrived, and more inspiring.
And sure, creative technology can still play a part. Indeed, today it’s vital to the customer journey, nurturing a dialogue and experience customised to the individual through AI and data-driven content. A world where data is captured on the guest’s interests over multiple interactions with the brand.
Andrew Reid is strategy director at Shelton Fleming, a full service, creative events agency. Operating across a global canvas, Shelton Fleming design customer journeys that connect emotionally with audiences, and inspire them to act. They do this through deep cultural insights and clever use of design, technology, content production, and data.
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