Wednesday, October 31, 2012

What is a Digital Customer Experience?

Digital Customer Experience is a term that I've heard discussed often over the past three years or so. It's different than how we used to think of User Experience or web Portals because in its name there is an implicit implication of multiple converged customer channels. What has happened over the past three years is that Mobile and Social Media have both become mainstream from an IT perspective and have done so more or less simultaneously. Thus, it's no longer a question of the web on one's desktop - we've now entered the Web of Things - some smarter - others not.

The challenge is how to manage this disruptive convergence while maintaining expectations for more traditional outlets and capabilities. Obviously, this question has more meaning for organizations that have a strong customer-facing mission, like Retail for instance. However, the need for a Digital Customer Experience really spans across most organizations.

The Web of Things is transforming our expectations for IT and Business

So let's take a stab at defining this. What is a Digital Customer (or User) Experience?
  1. It is the unified presentation of capabilities from an entity or organization to any potential audience of that entity or its capabilities.
  2. Unified presentation refers to the ability to coordinate offerings and message across a diverse set of provisioning platforms and dissemination channels.
  3. Digital Customer Experience implicitly encompasses not only coordination between offerings and messages but also some level of integration across provisioning platforms. (the integration challenge here is even more complicated than the one IT is still working to solve from older paradigms).
  4. A Digital Customer Experience is by nature, interactive. This doesn't mean that all elements of the experience are interactive, but some must be. (the most obvious candidates for interactivity right now are smartphones and social media but this can also include kiosks and other interactive displays and more)
  5. A Digital Customer Experience is also by nature, more user-driven and less organization-directed than previous paradigms.
So, if we accept even a portion of this extended definition, the implication is that Digital Customer Experience crosses every silo in IT; process, application and services, data, hosting infrastructure and more. It also requires an even closer relationship with the business and in many cases will lead to business leadership becoming "experience" developers themselves.

Copyright 2012  - Technovation Talks, Semantech Inc.


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