How to Implement the 10 Commandments for Superior CX with Sitecore
By Lee Pittman
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, a quality customer experience (CX) can make or break you. As Forbes can tell you, 80% of companies believe they deliver “super experiences,” but only 8% of customers agree. So, where are those companies going wrong? And, more importantly, how do they fix it?
We recently attended a session on the 10 Commandments for Superior CX with Sitecore featuring Sitecore’s Product Marketing Director Jill Grozalsky where she and co-presenter Wina Wichienwidhtaya discussed how to properly prepare, execute, and evolve your customer experiences.
They broke the commandments into three main categories:
Preparation and operations
1. Align goals
2. Be connected
3. Be channel agnostic
Innovation and execution
4. Personalize by segment
5. Test and optimize
6. Use AI and automate
7. Don’t ignore data
8. Collect customer feedback
10. Evaluate and iterate
After hearing how these foundational steps can springboard you into providing better experiences, we wanted to dive deeper into Jill’s personal take on customer experience, AI, personalization, and how to succeed in each.
Jill was kind enough to take time out of her schedule to share some excellent insights with us.
What excites you most about CX and personalization?
JG: What excites me most about CX and personalization is seeing how these two continue to evolve together. We all know that customer expectations are rising and as such, brands are continuously thinking of new and creative ways to raise the bar and redefine what exceptional customer experiences look like. With the redefining of exceptional experiences, I think we will continue to see the maturation and evolution of personalization strategies. Enhanced connectivity of data and systems presents the opportunity to really power hyper-personalized experiences and I am excited to see how this will continue to evolve and shape.
What would you say is the biggest challenge companies face when it comes to AI?
JG: This is a great question and I think there are actually a couple challenges here. The first being overcoming initial thoughts of distrust for AI. Sometimes when something seems too good to be true, it is. Companies and marketers might feel that way about AI currently which is making them skeptical about its application within their organization. However, we are seeing AI evolve in a way that it is extremely approachable for organizations (take Sitecore AI auto-personalization standard as an example).
Limited knowledge of AI’s practical applications is another challenge that companies face when it comes to AI. If teams aren’t aware or can’t envision what AI can do and where it can actually be applied, it won’t be adopted. It is important for organizations and team members to educate themselves on the various uses of AI and find one that works for them in order to adapt this forward-thinking technology. As organizations learn more about the power and use of AI they will be able to identify use cases for it and realize that there are ways to start small and test and learn in order to scale its use over time.
What question are you asked most often and why do you think that is?
JG: It in different iterations, but the question I get asked most often is “How do I get started with …” and you can fill in the blank. Whether it’s personalization, aligning business objectives, testing strategies, etc. I find that getting started is the biggest hurdle. When you are introducing a new way of working, you want to make sure to do the due diligence to make sure you “get it right” and while that is all well and good, one of the things marketers have to get comfortable with is the balance of success and learning. We so often make assumptions about customer experience, what our user’s needs, how we can meet expectations, etc., we spend all our time trying to get it perfect and exactly right before getting started.
Why is it so important to “start small” rather than jump all in when experimenting with AI/Personalization?
JG: There are several reasons why it is important to start small when it comes to AI and personalization. Just like introducing any new functionality, organizations need to determine the best uses and applications. AI and personalization provide a lot of power and it can be overwhelming when trying to figure out how to best apply the functionality in order to have a positive impact on the customer experience. Starting small (and having a roadmap) will ensure that organizations are working towards specific milestones and preventing the paralysis that often comes with having too many options or scenarios that teams want to tackle. It is also important to start small so that teams can determine how to operationalize around this new functionality that is being introduced. There will always be growing pains, but starting small will allow teams to determine what works for them and their organization, as well as ensuring team members are trained up on how to use and maximize the power of AI and personalization.
It can be tough to get started, do you have advice for teams who feel they are not ready to pull the trigger?
JG: I would say the advice is similar to the above – find a way to start small. The pace of change is continuing to accelerate and the more you fall behind, the more you have to catch up. Identifying quick wins and small milestones is a great way to make sure that teams are moving the needle. Even if it is just starting to collect more data that you can put into action later, that is a great first step to ensure that when teams are ready to pull the trigger they can make informed decisions on where to start and with what.
Do you find that empathy plays a role in personalized marketing?
JG: Absolutely – especially today when there is more digital consumption and digital noise than ever before. In order to make a connection with an end user and build a level of trust, brands need to deliver empathy. Brands need to show that they understand what their prospects/customers are going through and that they are sensitive to all of the factors that are influencing their journey and decision making.
In what way do these commandments apply to the pandemic economy?
JG: I think these commandments are applicable – pandemic or not. That being said, we know that the pandemic has accelerated digital transformation so it is more important than ever that brands focus on delivering exceptional experiences in order to attract and nurture users in order to build a loyal customer base.
What, in your professional opinion, is the best method for driving success?
JG: Knowing your audience base is critical to driving success. If brands don’t know who they are talking to or what they need in their journey, they run the risk of missing the mark and delivering poor experiences that will turn their prospects and customers towards competitors.
Where do you see personalization 10 years from now?
JG: We talk about 1-1 personalization being the holy grail of marketing and I think we will see this in action more significantly than we do today. I like to call it the “death of default content.” More and more brands are thinking about content in a much more modular and atomic fashion. As they look to achieve 1-1 personalization, I think we will see personalized experiences similar to those that are delivered through authenticated portals where the end user can inform, customize, and tailor the information they receive much more than they do today.
Are you providing the best customer experiences possible? To learn more on how Sitecore and Content Bloom can optimize your customer experiences, talk to one of our experts.
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