Digital vs. Non-Digitial Experiences

Recently, I came across an excellent article on CMO.com, which discussed how important it is for a company to be able to identify, define and understand the digital experience (journey) that a customer may have with the company, and how, by focusing on three critical elements, the company can deliver an exceptional digital experience to that customer.

While I agree with much of what the article’s author wrote about, I believe it’s just as important to realize that companies and marketers should not act with digital blinders on. Sure digital plays a huge role in today’s marketing mix and the brand/consumer experience, but traditional (i.e., non-digital) experiences still take place from day-to-day, and these need just as much attention and understanding.

For example, when calling an organization like Empire BlueCross/BlueShield, should a customer have to spend 5-8 minutes working through the welcoming menu options only to have to wait another 20-30 minutes to speak with a live representative, and then be told that they were reaching the wrong representative and need to be forwarded to another department, whereby the hold time for another live representative is about 5-15 minutes (yes, this has happened to me on more than one occasion)? Or, what about when a customer goes to a retail store, needs to ask for product information and finds the sales representative to be less than helpful? Or, when a consumer receives an unsolicited catalog in the mail? Or, when something fouls up the home delivery of a product? What do experiences and situations like these say for and/or about the company, brand, product or service? Do “journeys” like these really move a consumer that much further along the path to purchase, turn them into life-long customers, want to make a referral, etc.? Hardly. And, what about the social sharing/word-of-mouth aspect of all of this, which often takes place via a digital medium, so it comes full circle in a way.

In reality, any experience that a consumer has with a company, B2B or B2C,  should be studied and designed, so that the consumer (i.e., client or prospect) comes out ahead (i.e., gaining value, benefit, meaning, etc.).

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