Topic: Customer Experience and Design Essentials: Rethinking the Customer Journey

Scenario: Executive leaders are often great about coming up with business ideas, but struggle to implement them in user-friendly fashion – by being clear and up-front about value propositions and features, removing friction and action steps from interactions, and using technology to offer helping hands along the way, they can improve customer uptake and conversions and sales.

Insight: By reducing friction (action steps, minimum requirements, things you have to do as a customer), you can vastly improve an interaction, just as boiling products (and product summaries) down to their core essentials can also help improve experiences and make them clearer and more widely attractive/applicable. What’s more, every step of the way should be incentivized and provide positive reinforcement, so as to keep customers engaged and coming back for more. Likewise, the design of your solutions should aim to make the complex simple, e.g. using charts, graphs, icons, and similar visual elements to clearly convey information, answer common questions, and demystify the process of researching or purchasing or owning a product/service.

Topic: How Customer Shopping Habits and Behaviors Are Changing – and How to Adapt

Scenario: A whopping 75% of customers have changed their shopping habits in light of COVID-19 and 40% are making fewer purchases. Likewise, big purchases are being delayed, put off, or eliminated, putting the squeeze on business of every size – especially small business owners. Executive leaders need to adjust their operating and business strategies to be more creative, agile, and adaptable in turn.

Insight: If you listen closely to customers and stay well attuned to changes in the competitive landscape (a task that analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning tools can assist with), clients will always tell you what they want. Likewise, if you’re more clever and quick in how you respond to these shifts and more deliberate about keeping in tune with audiences’ shifting needs – eg pivoting your operations to focus on trending topics and product categories or repurposing shelf space usually reserved for big brands to serve as an incubator for local or community brands that are rising in popularity – you can navigate ongoing market disruptions. The key is to stay laser focused on delivering a unique and powerful customer experience, while also migrating back-end operations to more cost-effective and flexible models, using automation and workflow optimization to cut costs and create greater resilience.