It's undeniable that the overall customer experience is critical to a brand's success. When executed properly, it becomes the key differentiator between organizations that can maintain long-lasting customer relationships and those who struggle to meet ever-climbing consumer expectations. According to Gartner, customer experience drives more than two-thirds of customer loyalty, more than brand and price combined. When we think about the customer's experience expectations versus the tools that marketers currently have in place to meet them, they just don't line up. Traditional marketing solutions are too siloed, too reliant on headcount and other applications to make them work properly, and too static to adapt and change as quickly as consumers do in the digital world.
Brands often struggle to engage customers in relevant, timely, and contextually-appropriate ways.
These are the bare minimum that consumers now expect when they come into contact with a brand. Traditional marketing and engagement tools are no longer able to wow consumers consistently because brands often use those tools that push pre-selected products via campaign programs. Campaigns then serve static messages to audiences based on shared behaviors, interests, demographics, etc. This approach is about the brand's needs and goals, not about the customers. And when brands sacrifice their customers’ needs in favor of their own, that's when consumers tune out; the customer experience fails, and loyalty degrades.
Artificial intelligence (AI) now makes it possible for brands to deliver not just better experiences but the Next Best Experiences (NBX). You may be familiar with Pega Next Best Action, the capability to analyze customer data in real-time and engage with them in contextually relevant, well-time ways. That's important, but it's just one part of delivering the Next Best Experience. Next Best Experience (NBX) is the capability to determine the next best experience for a given consumer and deliver it at any moment regardless of channel. NBX relies on a combination of Customer Journey Orchestration, Real-Time Interaction Management, and Customer Journey Analytics.
3 components to create Next Best Experiences
Next Best Experience results from a powerful combination of technologies and data streams that deliver decisioning capabilities driven by AI and machine learning. Brands leveraging this approach are then able to deliver more dynamic and empathetic experiences overall. Here are three of the most critical components to delivering NBX:
Customer Journey Orchestration - The concept of a customer journey isn't new and it's not that complex. The goal is to help a customer move down a specific path toward an objective, which is usually a product purchase. What customers expect from brands now has outgrown what traditional tools are capable of. It's almost impossible to predict what they will do minute to minute – especially with technologies that don't leverage artificial intelligence – much less script out an extended series of interactions. Brands are no longer in control of the journey at all – the customer is. This means brands should leverage solutions that detect and analyze data signals in real-time to predict future behavior and consistently adapt to meet customer needs as they shift.
Real-Time Interaction Management - Real-time decisioning allows brands to analyze customers as they interact in-channel, then use the insights to personalize their experience in real-time (within milliseconds) – all while the interaction is still taking place. And Real-Time Interaction Management technologies are the way that organizations facilitate it.
Customer Journey Analytics – Being able to measure customer interactions in a meaningful way lets brands refine experiences in real-time. Decisioning engines like Pega's Customer Decision Hub interpret large volumes of customer data as it is being received, using propensity models to constantly re-analyze customer context and update the "next best action" for that individual. This allows the brand to read and react instantly to customer behavior. These signals are critical for true one-to-one customer engagement because each individual customer is different with different journeys and different needs.
Next Best Experience capabilities will transform marketing and customer experience programs.
There are three areas to consider for your NBX transformation process:
Develop a new mindset and rely on new metrics. Moving to the Next Best Experience requires a mind-shift from a "sales-first" model that prioritizes short-term revenue over all else, to prioritizing long-term customer relationships. Customer churn is expensive, and it degrades brand value and reputation over time; align measures of success to customer lifetime value instead.
Audit datasets to uncover new sources. AI enables us to unify multiple sources of data. For too long, organizations have been sitting on mountains of data that they can't connect or don't feel is relevant to their customer experience programs which simply isn't true. It's important to look at activating data sets from across the organization to understand that the customer experience relies on much more than just marketing data
Transformation and "business-as-usual" aren't mutually exclusive. Adopting Next Best Experience capabilities will require an organizational change to support moving away from campaigns and toward always-on marketing. Roles may change, but that does not mean businesses need to rip and replace the existing organizational structure and technologies immediately. There can be a transition period where business as usual processes, technologies, and resources continue simultaneously with transformation with staged approaches.
The Total Economic Impact™ Of Pega Customer Decision Hub
To better understand the benefits, costs, and risks associated with this investment, Forrester interviewed four customers with up to 5 years of experience using Pega Customer Decision Hub.