Charlie Tango talks Customer Experience
And why it is important to your business
Consider this your wakeup call:
The customer is king, and you need to design a coherent Customer Experience, for your brand to survive. Sadly, there is no easy way around it. It is not something you can get done in a Thursday afternoon management meeting, and you cannot post a memo about it on your intranet and call it a day.
So, how do you get started with CX, then? We have been around the office to talk to our colleagues to provide you with an answer. Here is how we do Customer Experience at Charlie Tango.
What is Customer Experience?
Customer Experience — or CX as it is named in company jargon — is not just one thing. It is a plethora of strategies, products, action plans and company culture all focused on one thing:
You should deliver a coherent and positive experience across all direct and indirect touchpoints where a (possible) customer can come in contact with your brand.
Your brand, your products — both physical or digital — and your marketing efforts are not the only moments of truth with your customer. Your homepage, your social media, your customer service department, your newsletters, and your online reviews are also places, where your customer comes face-to-face with your brand. And, in this digital day and age, customers expect you to have one clear tone-of-voice across all touchpoints.
Here at Charlie Tango, we master the full digital lifecycle process from digital strategy development and innovation, over creative and technological engineering and operational services. We use insights, creativity, and technology to put our clients’ customers at the center of everything we do. With a team count of more than 200 people, we passionately believe that great customer experiences create strong business results.
But how do we approach the subject?
We have talked with three of our colleagues to get their pointers on Customer Experience.
Daniel Llorente Tabor is Director of Solutions, and he spearheads our Tech department.
What can your department bring to the table, Daniel?
Well, have you ever used a program, an online service or gotten your hands on an app and thought “God, this is really annoying?” That’s a bad customer experience, and that’s what we’re constantly battling.
These bad CX moments are the result of companies developing their digital products from the inside out. We help them do the opposite. The way you do that, is by being extremely user-centric in your approach and make products that are so good your customers don’t pay any attention to them — they should feel natural to use.
Aren’t user-focus and outside-in approaches annoying for anyone else than the end-user?
No, because you are a user as well. After you have designed and implemented a digital product, you should enjoy maintaining it. So, you should always aim to please all users — also those at the frontend and backend.
That is also why you should think of your tech team as a specialists’ unit, not just the final coding machine. They should not be positioned at the end of a development process. Instead, get them involved in projects very early on, so they can make sure that the solution they end up coding is the right solution — for all parties.
Has it always been this way?
Times are definitely changing. Three years ago, I had to tell our clients that they should focus a lot more on their CX. Now they are thinking it themselves. Before they said, “We have these systems in place, so what can you do with them?”.
Now they come to me and say, “We want this experience for our customers — which systems do you recommend?”
Martin Mostrøm is a Senior Designer at Charlie Tango and has been one of our lead designers on the new mobile payment app, Dankort app.
Do you agree with Daniel, that times are changing?
I do. Things are really moving in that direction and companies are realizing that they can no longer dictate the outcome. You hire people like me because we know what we are talking about. An ‘okay’ solution does not cut it anymore. It needs to be the best possible solution and in order for it to become that, you need to design it for the end-user.
How do you do that?
You do a lot of research! And you must take a lot of things into consideration in order to make what you are designing a natural part of the CX. But the job is not done when you go to market with your product. The happiest clients are those who leave not only with a great product but also with our continuous development process where we keep tweaking the product according to user feedback and what we learn from the data we gather.
But there is more to CX than just the product itself. We turned to our Executive Creative Director Rasmus Laumann to ask him how marketing and branding can improve Customer Experience.
Rasmus, how do you keep CX on your mind in your line of work?
When you are working with creativity, you are always focusing on the consumers and how you can give them the best possible experience, no matter where you meet them.
The way to do that is finding the right insights, that can act as the fuel for firing up ideas that the consumers find relevant.
We never come to work and say “Hey, we should make great CX today”. Instead, we always try to figure out what consumers might find entertaining, touching or just nice to know. In the end, you tie it all together to make sure it’s coherent across all media.
How do you avoid overselling something, so customers become disappointed, once they buy what the company is selling?
First and foremost, the product has to be great. You cannot sell a broken product. But today, the CX both helps shape the product and align the customers’ expectations to what it can do. You should avoid saying “This is an amazing product — go buy it!”. You should tell what the product can do and why it might be relevant for the customer.
Then, branding and communication can help add something extra, so the product will not end up disappointing them. Branding is pivotal for the way a product is received.
If you look at Yeezy by Kanye West or Beats by Dre they are not the best shoes or headphones in the world. But consumers still love them. They have hit the nail on the head in regard to tone-of-voice, content, packaging and presence — thereby they have become relevant to their target group. And when you give your customers a great experience you get loyalty in return.
We have two tools in our utility belt: Creativity and Technology. And if you understand how to use them via strong and relevant insights, you are on the right track to great CX.
So, to sum up what we’ve learned — if you want to design a great Customer Experience, you have to:
- Develop your product outside-in, focusing relentlessly on your user
- Do not look at your specialists as a machine but have them join the development from the get-go
- Do a lot of research and test your product with the end-user again and again
- Do not think you can save a lousy product with marketing
- Use branding and communication to make your product stand out amongst competitors
- Look at all aspects of your brand and make sure the CX is coherent across all touchpoints.
- Lastly, make sure that the experience you make now is technically prepared for future technologies such as robotics, voice control, AI, mixed reality, etc.