As more and more businesses invest in improving the experience they deliver online, in response to growing customer demands and expectations, the baseline of what makes a ‘good’ digital experience is rising.
Today, simply having an online presence is no longer enough to stand out from the crowd, as digital leaders seek to differentiate themselves in areas such as multi-channel experiences and service design, as well as with technologies including augmented and virtual reality, voice interfaces, and personalisation.
It’s clear a sophisticated digital strategy supporting the delivery of modern, dynamic and intuitive experiences is vital to business success – yet for organisations starting out on this journey, the scale of the challenge can be intimidating.
To explore this topic further Box UK Managing Director Benno Wasserstein spoke to senior industry professionals about how they’re learning about and responding to customer needs, hosting Jayne Rotheroe, Head of Marketing & Communications at Linc Cymru Housing Association, and Steve Wilson, Chief Digital Officer at Admiral for an insightful online discussion.
Highlights from the session include:
Both panellists highlighted the impact COVID-19 has had on the way customers interact with organisations, driving an increased uptake of digital. For Jayne and her team at Linc Cymru Housing Association, pandemic restrictions required immediate changes to how they worked, in order to react to new guidelines, provide customers with the information the needed, and maintain service provision in a drastically different landscape.
For Steve and Admiral, the pandemic accelerated trends that were already underway, with more and more customers seeking the convenience of being able to manage tasks themselves online. The challenge is for businesses to raise their game in response to this demand and align the digital experiences they deliver with leaders such as Amazon and Google – as Steve called out, these are the competitors customers are comparing against, rather than looking exclusively at like-for-like brands within a particular sector.
It was really interesting to see how both Admiral and Linc Cymru have adapted to new digital demands, and how this has been received by customers and the wider organisation.
Maintaining speed and accuracy of communications was crucial for Jayne, leading to a shift away from relying solely on print materials for tenants and towards phone calls directing them to social media and microsites hosting the latest information in an easily digestible format.
Steve spoke about a wide range of initiatives in place at Admiral, from the introduction of chatbots to policy changes, which has helped increase Net Promoter Scores, with customers more satisfied using digital than any other channel.
As Steve highlighted, making assumptions about digital capability based on age and other factors can be misleading – but there are customers who may be more vulnerable, with less access to the internet, and the key is to ensure that digital experiences are brilliant and enticing for all the customers who can and want to use them.
Educating customers about the quality of the modern digital experience has been key – particularly during the pandemic – and Steve also spoke about the need to keep more traditional channels open to customers that need and want to use these.
These points were reinforced by Jayne as she talked about the process of reviewing what formats and channels are used for each piece of information they put out, thinking about the audience first and working back from there to ensure accessibility for all.
As Benno highlighted, the challenge for organisations is to integrate these disparate touchpoints to enable data-sharing and create joined-up user journeys – drawing on Box UK’s experience supporting organisations in creating a single, holistic experience for their customers.
Both Admiral and Linc Cymru have done great things around the digital experience – and both are committed to continuing to listen to and learn from customers in order to remain ahead of future trends and innovations.
Jayne spoke about the move away from past marketing and communications efforts, which were focused on ‘churning out press releases and cutting out articles’, and towards dynamic, responsive campaigns that truly engage customers.
For Jayne the priority is to understand what the customer needs are, and make it as easy as possible for them to achieve their goals. This includes making information instantly accessible while retaining the valuable human touch, requiring an holistic approach to the full customer service journey.
Responding to needs and delivering a brilliant customer experience is also a priority for Admiral, with Steve defining a ‘brilliant’ experience as one that’s increasingly tailored to the customer, using the data available to present them with relevant content and information, and remove friction from their experiences and journeys.
Steve also spoke about how improvements to digital are never done – we are behind the days of a one-off digital transformation project you can do and say it’s ‘finished’. The world doesn’t stand still, and it’s crucial for organisations to be on the front foot, able to respond to where customer wants, needs and expectations will be in a few years’ time, rather than where they were a few years ago.
With a forward-focus on the customer, it’s an exciting time for Linc Cymru, Admiral and indeed any organisation seeking to evolve its digital strategy.
Both Jayne and Steve are planning further improvements to the experiences they deliver and the journeys they support, and both panellists also emphasised the importance of maintaining a flexible and responsive approach to get their organisations ready for the next generation of technologies and behaviours.
At Box UK we’ve helped clients across a diverse range of sectors use digital channels to differentiate themselves and provide added value for users – delivering expert consultancy services and powerful web and software solutions future-proofed for future growth and success. Find out more about the work we do, and get in touch with a member of our team to learn how we can help you take the next step in your digital evolution.