Digital transformation is upon us. The Internet has empowered customers and created a tectonic shift of power from the hands of sellers into the hands of buyers.

To survive and prosper digital businesses need to transform and become obsessed with customers.

A key aspect of such transformation is customer experience optimization, or CXO for short.

CXO or F*?@☹☺! mean the same

We know that the last thing one needs today is yet another three letter acronym. There are way too many of them already used in digital marketing circles, like CRM, DSP, CRO, MVT, …

That is why we coined a new F* word as a synonym to CXO. Once you fully understand what’s behind each of the symbols you will recognize that this cryptic word represents a framework for building long term success of your company and your professional career:

F – feeling the pain

It is quite ironic. Every digital commerce site is using at least one web analytics solution and every company is talking about a commitment to become a data driven business.

In practice, brands are quite challenged with proper implementation of web analytics solutions and they are even more challenged in their ability to hire talent capable of interpretation of the online data. That is why actionable insights or accurate attributions are in such short supply.

This poor state of affairs is obfuscated by the double digit growth of e-commerce companies. Everybody is happy and nobody is bothering to separate the organic growth, which would happen even if brands didn’t do anything, from the growth generated through actions taken to improve the existing business.

How otherwise can we explain that industry professionals are resigned to the fact that the average  conversion rate is 2% or that the average online cart abandonment rate is north of 70%.

* – digital business as tactics or core strategy

Is your online business treated as just a channel of distribution? For a large percentage of brands the answer is yes, which explains why digital commerce initiatives are not properly funded or staffed.

Being tactical in the midst of the digital transformation is a very risky proposition because the online opportunists are going to be ‘eaten’ by brands that are  super busy right now investing in technology and people to develop new ways for engaging and serving the customer.

? – understanding the playbook

Customer experience optimization is not ‘a one trick pony’. To succeed one needs to engage the entire company and to use a variety of tools. This requires understanding of key methods, best practices, and technologies. That is why we are seeing an emergence of a new and highly paid professional class of people who are able to interpret and action customer data.

@ – establishing priorities

At the outset, the prospect of needing to optimize customer experience could be quite daunting. The list of things that should or could be done is way too long. That is why it is super important to develop an optimization roadmap. This will help to establish priorities so you can focus limited resources on one area at a time. By taking this approach you will generate early successes and get organization wide buy in for your efforts.

– preparedness to experiment and fail

It is highly unlikely that your first optimization campaign will produce a big win. That is why it is essential to establish proper business expectations through education of your team  that customer experience optimization is a journey of learning and continuous improvement. This is not a quick-fix-and-we-are-done project.

Otherwise, your risk is that management will give up too soon and retreat to instinct-driven decision-making and distrust of optimization products and those (meaning you) that promised so much in the beginning, but then failed to deliver.

– achieving sustainable results

You need two ingredients for sustainable results: continuous learning and smart technology. Customer feedback will enable you to continually improve your optimization variables and overall lift. As you are experimenting you need help from smart technology that adapts to visitor preferences in real time. This will maximize the impact of good optimization variables while filtering out bad ones.

! – breakthroughs and strategic influence

The ultimate goal of your optimizations efforts is to uncover unique customer patterns. This kind of knowledge will then be used to drive your general business decisions and to build a long term competitive advantage.

Don’t be left behind

F*?@☹☺! or CXO terminology doesn’t matter if you fully understand the importance of the digital transformation and the impact of the new industrial cycle called “the age of the customer.” If you ignore this shift, both your brand and professional path will be taking an unnecessary risk.

Start your own customer experience optimization journey

An essential starting point is the development of ‘customer experience views’ through customer experience web analytics. Knowledge about customer experience friction points will help your brand intelligently allocate resources and help you commit to a customer experience optimization plan from a holistic point of view.

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