Everyone these days seems to be undergoing “digital transformation.” Labs are popping up everywhere, and it’s all about customer experience? Or is it? Do a quick Google search of “transformation journey,” and you’ll find plenty of digital buzz words and over-used, or mis-used industry terms that are often lacking in substance. This makes it hard for businesses to figure out the real-world actions they need to take to make improved customer experience a reality.
A new approach to action
There is a huge push by many agencies today for upfront customer research. However, I have a different point of view. What if you didn’t do an initial phase of primary interview research? Instead, what if your time was used on web analytics, to make decisions insights and data driven, and then onto doing, rather than planning?
Forrester predicts that this new breed of insights-driven business will steal $1.2 billion in revenue from their competition by 2020.
As Wipro Digital’s Global Head of Ecommerce & Optimisation, I’ve spent the last decade doing exactly that: more doing, less thinking. During this time, I’ve seen a lot of trends. Some stay and some go, however the one thing that’s remained constant is that data doesn’t lie. Which is why I’ve brought data-driven design and customer experience to our clients, enabling them to adopt a testing culture to see what works and what doesn’t before heavily investing upfront.
In a recent Gartner survey, more than one-third of respondents said “increased revenue” was a Top Three measure of success. The survey findings show a clear bias in favor of value creation over risk mitigation as the key measure of success for a Chief Development Officer (CDO). The survey also looked at how CDOs allocate their time. On a mean basis, 45 percent of the CDO’s time is allocated to value creation and/or revenue generation, 28 percent to cost savings and efficiency, and 27 percent to risk mitigation.
One way to ensure continuous iteration and improve experiences while mitigating risk as much as possible is through a test and learn culture – one that employs testing tools to run experiments on live traffic (rather than trialing and conducting tests within sandboxed environments).
5 top tips to start testing and continuously iterating:
1) Include your entire organisation
Continuous evolution and creation of better customer experience isn’t a siloed activity. Business, IT, HR, and Store staff all need to contribute and share ideas for effective improvements.
2) Have a rock-solid testing plan
Although testing and experimentation can seem spontaneous, it only works with a strong foundation and proven process. Ensure that your roadmaps are run through tests first, your ideas include possible variations, and you’ve created hypotheses for each of your tests. Those are just some basics to get you started!
3) Embrace a variety of tools
In today’s testing landscape there are many tools out there, each with their own unique selling points. Some tools even claim they do everything! Try tools out and see which ones work best for your organisation. Make sure to include Web analytics, Behavioural analytics, A/B & MVT tools.
4) Accept failure
You can only move forward and improve by finding out what doesn’t work. Accept failure, then adapt/iterate fast, and most importantly: set aside some time to study what caused the failure. “The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.” – Henry Ford
5) Measure and share success
Adopting a testing culture, embracing failure, and creating agility within your organisation means nothing if you do not measure your activity or share your learnings. Create metrics that matter to your business and ensure that they’re reported on and available to everyone in the organisation. (Infographics are a great medium for this.)
Don’t be afraid to try things!
Customer experience is always central, but that doesn’t mean you need to wait until everything is “finished” before interacting with your consumers. By taking a closer look at your data, you can cut to the chase and move directly into “doing mode.” Promoting a “safe to fail” testing culture within your organization can lead to innovation and allow for quicker responses to changing customer trends. Benefits include lower total cost of ownership for digital in the long run, agility within your organisation allowing you to pivot and adjust with the landscape and not to mention increased revenue and % increases above the normal rate of return on investment.
For more information on testing tools available, refer to the “Optimization, Personalization, and Testing” and “Mobile & Web Analytics” sections of this MarTech Landscape Supergraphic.