We would like to credit Marketoonist for stimulating our thoughts about how modern customer experience optimization efforts should be carried out to produce sustainable and reliable results for the business. The suggestion that digital marketing has become data-driven to the point of being snow-blind does not represent today’s best practices.

Customer experience optimization (CXO) is like a safety system

The purpose of customer experience optimization is to maximize the results of digital commerce. To identify and deliver just the right experience that will most likely nudge visitors, at the precise point in time, to the desired business outcome. Which for most digital commerce is to purchase for the first time, again, or additional items.

Algorithm driven customer experience optimization functions a lot like the safety control systems of your automobile. The aspects work together from multiple perspectives to enable safe and reliable operation of the business in even the most unpredictable and treacherous conditions. One aspect plays the role of the traction control system and another the role of the air bag.

Customer preferences are like road conditions

Customer preferences are like road conditions. We’ve spoken before about all the 4 different dimensions of e-Commerce that can impact customer preferences and shopping behavior.

1. Different visitors have different requirements and will behave differently: new vs. existing, mobile vs. desktop, and different channel types.

2. Visitors will also react differently to aspects of the checkout journey including: funnel length, non-linear paths, and calls to action.

3. The on-page experience, driven by how the eye is wired, and how the page elements are presented and interact, will affect behavior including: user focus, simplicity of message, and trust.

4. Finally, preferences are changing all the time for many reasons: due to time of day, or perhaps whether it’s the initial consideration visit or a follow up after some comparison shopping.

Traction Control System

A traction control system ensures that the vehicle operates safely despite the road conditions. It ensures that steering control and stability are sustainable by adapting brake force or throttle control to focus on the outcome of safe operation.

Similarly, algorithm driven customer experience optimization understands the huge space of variables in the context of what is working now, presenting visitors with the experiences that produce the best outcomes -> usually a purchase.

The adaptive algorithm, like a traction control system, adapts to changing and potentially slippery road conditions, smartly over-allocating traffic to the experiences that are working for users. This helps organizations produce consistent and predictable results as well as valuable customer insights.

Air Bag

Just like the air bag is designed to play good defense by protecting occupants in an unavoidable collision, the smart algorithms provide a similar safety system. If none of the optimizations are producing good results then the system will overallocate the baseline experience to ensure good business performance.

To drive the best business results both “Mad Men” and “Math Men” (or women) are needed. The great creative ideas represent the patterns and antipatterns which can stimulate a change in results. Of course, no one really knows how users will really respond until the ideas are implemented.

And that’s really where the smart customer experience optimization algorithm comes into play. Ensuring that variables are ranked by their affect on the desired business outcome and does so automatically, without you doing anything, delivering the right experience to the right user at the right point in their journey.