I'M LUCKY TO BE BASED IN RURAL DORSET. i'm probably best described as A DIGITAL STRATEGIST. I EXPLORe DIGITAL AND SUPPORT BUSINESSES all over the uk IN USING IT TO THEIR AND THEIR CUSTOMERS ADVANTAGE.

Creating Humanising Experiences

UX, CX, HX — You may or may not have heard of these phrases and acronyms — the digital and customer/consumer world is full of them. 

So, this piece outlines how the customer must be at the centre of any business focus — digital or otherwise…. And blend this into what I see as the opportunities and challenges that organisations today face in this digitally-led age.

User Experience

User experience means many things to different people. Some focus on digital, some wider than that — however we see it as part of a bigger whole UX to HX! So, this is my rough definition of User Experience;

“Providing memorable, simple and enjoyable experiences to people (termed users) is proven to increase their level of engagement and commitment to an organisation.”

Some examples are;

· Ensure that people can find the information they require quickly and easily.

· Provide information that is relevant and useful to people.

· Provide information in various types — Video, Imagery, Articles, Blogs, Social Media ‘snapshots’.

· A rational measure — Can I find? Do I like? Is it easy?

Customer Experience

Customer experience is not just a rational measure, but rather how a customer feels. Emotions create a stronger memory than where a button sits!

My understanding of customer experience is;

“People are able to switch between channels (both online and offline) and receive a continuous, smooth and single view of their service(s).”

Interestingly at least 50% of a customer experience is subconscious.

Therefore, customer experience is about how a customer consciously (UX) and subconsciously (CX) sees their experience.

Human Experience

So, User Experience is rational, Customer experience is more subconscious, Human interaction is fulfilling, life enhancing, reliant and trusted…. It speaks to me on a different level. “I can’t be without….. They make me feel safe….”

This is irrespective of the channel — a key question for a customer would be;

“Are you providing me with not only a product and experience but something that enhances and enriches my life — something that is sustainable and adds value to my own and the wider environment.”

Can you really say that your brand and your products do that on a day to day basis?

Enhancing a human experience is difficult to achieve. But it is not impossible and in our opinion is the path in which all organisations need to follow. Unless of course you are at the ‘low cost’ end of a market — Lidl, Aldi, Ryanair — but even here you will see moves by these organisations to create that emotional connection. For example, Lidl clearly focus on saying to their customers “spend less with us and we’ll give you the ability to spend your money on what you really want to do with your life…”

There are many strategic routes to achieve real human experiences and real connections with people — by blending marketing comms, PR and digital solutions with the path of building from user to customer and through to enhancing human experiences this can be achieved.

Using persuasion techniques aligned with focused, consistent and concentrated social media strategies for example — one can create an initial ‘tribe’ that can be used to test, develop and grow strategies and products. Think about Donald Trump — he embedded himself in the emotional feelings of millions of Americans. You — like me — may have serious concerns over his abilities as President — but he knew how to connect emotionally.

There are several brands that have achieved some level of providing contained human experiences with customers and these can be separated into four general themes.

‘Go to’ product or brand.. — FitBit (basic exercise), Amazon (shopping), TripAdvisor (Holidays, reviews)

Emotional personal relationship — Toms (shoes and charity), Volvo (family and safety), PetPlan (pets and security)

Makes my day better — WhatsApp (debateable!, but private ranting..), Apple (efficiency, “just works”)

Making the world a better place — Unilever (yes really..),

There are other subtle layers and nuances to this — however the broad term for this relationship and the work that you need to go around delivering on this relationship and calculation is called an experience architecture.

Creating an experience architecture for your business focused on your customers and aligning your software, services, people and strategy around making sure that each is delivering on improving one or all of the UX, CX and HX components is an interesting approach to implementing change and underpinning growth — not the only way — but a smart and successful approach.

Ask a core questions of your services, software, projects and business strategies — does it enable us to offer either an improved, user, customer or human experience? If the answer is no — that consider why are you focusing on it? Even your financial and logistics systems should be able to link back to improving the experience you provide to people.

User Experience +
 Customer Experience =
 Human Experience

Customers are leading companies a merry dance. And it’s about time too. Digital has in many cases — realigned the relationship between companies (brands) and their customers. Freedom of choice driven by the accessibility and availability of competitive content, products and services has levelled the playing field.

Clearly the web is a game changer and has created and brought many new companies and many more sources of competition to market. But for those companies that are ready, aware and capable of exploiting the capabilities that digital provides it offers huge opportunities for meeting that changing need from humans (which will all change tomorrow) and create that experience on a human level.

User Experience +
 Customer Experience =
 Human Experience
 
 Provides — Products that gain Trust and Respect.
 
 Delivers — Greater Customer Lifetime Value.

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