Customer buying behaviors have really changed over the past several years. Buyers are making decisions very differently.

Customers crowdsource decisions and rely on peer reviews. And most people do a lot of self-educating before they even contact a company.

To keep pace companies have to reassess how they connect with their customers. They need to think about the content they’re providing on all of their digital channels.

Most importantly, they need to develop an effective strategy to understand changing consumer behaviors.

3 Key Points About Customer Experience

1 Embrace personalization: Smart companies leapfrog over the get-to-know-you basics. Customers today expect businesses will know their name, their email and their basic information. They expect the way that you communicate will be very personalized.

2. Keep it interesting: As customers, our attention spans are short so companies have to be interesting. Otherwise, the customer will get distracted very quickly.

3. Be transparent: The expectations of your business customers are heavily influenced by their experiences with consumer-driven technologies. They expect you to give them as much transparency as the app for the local pizza shop, which lets them track their order from the time it’s placed in the oven all the way through delivery to their door. Business customers want to track their orders through the buying journey just as easily.

Companies that refuse to evolve will become dinosaurs. They’ll become irrelevant and uninteresting. Their competitors who have successfully improved digital customer experience will ultimately disrupt them.

Get Past the Fear

There is a lot of fear in marketing organizations and sales organizations about all the changes going on. Our goal is to help companies turn fear into action.

When we engage with a company, we help it develop a strategy. This is an actionable roadmap that replaces fear with a clear plan.

Arke engages with companies to help them develop strategy at three levels: 1) marketing and technology alignment, 2) customer experience and 3) digital transformation.

Pre-Assessment, On-Site Workshops, Offsite Analysis

We start out with a pre-assessment survey. Our interest is understanding as much as possible about the client’s business. We want to know how it perceives itself, as well as how its prospects and customers perceive it.

The first step is competitive research. Then we assess insights from the company’s web analytics. After that, we engage with clients through on-site workshops that cover people, process, technology and data.

The Arke team focuses on strategy.

The Arke team focuses on strategy.

We go through an exercise to understand the personas or the types of audience or stakeholders with which the company engages. This includes a series of facilitated on-site interviews. These typically involve senior leaders in marketing, IT, customer experience.

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After we complete the on-site workshops our team works offline. We put together the strategy, which shows the company how to leverage its technology investments. It will also include suggested future investments.

We help companies understand how they will progress on the marketing maturity scale. Over time the company’s customer experience will become increasingly sophisticated.

Seamless and Integrated

It’s very interesting when we engage multiple teams, which are often very siloed within organizations. When we bring these teams together we often have aha! moments.

We believe facilitating communication, helping companies create a common language and understanding what they’re doing across the organization are essential steps.

Change Perspective

Companies should try putting themselves in the shoes of their prospects, customers, partners and vendors.

What does your customer experience look and feel like to those who engage with it? Think about the contextual experiences and the kinds of content available.

Consider the kinds of data you are recording and how that data can be used for actionable insights.available.

Companies need to think about their marketing campaigns and a marketing content a bit differently — and put their customers at the center of everything they do.

Margaret Wise leads Arke Systems' initiatives related to their strategic technology partners including Microsoft and Sitecore. Margaret joined the Microsoft CRM ecosystem with the introduction of Microsoft CRM v1 and has been contributing her extensive CRM experience ever since. Margaret holds an MBA with a concentration in Finance from Brenau University. Margaret has also volunteered around Atlanta through Hands On Atlanta, Prevent Child Abuse Georgia, at her church and her children’s school in Dunwoody. She has been a member of TAG (Technology Association of Georgia), CRM Society for 8 years and a board member for 3 years. As a member of WIT (Women in Technology), her favorite volunteer opportunities have been to mentor through Girls Get IT. Margaret is an avid reader and runner but mostly enjoys spending time with her husband, 10 year old son and 7 year old daughter.