The Altimeter Group is embarking on an ambitious attempt to understand and define the evolution of the customer experience, what they have coined “The Dynamic Customer Journey.” As they summarize it:
“The customer journey has evolved, yet organizations have failed to recognize and adapt to the change. Today, the new customer is empowered to make faster, smarter, more-informed decisions using technology, for instance, by accessing real-time information on their mobile devices or connecting with trusted peers across open and closed social networks. To respond to a dynamic customer journey, organizations must transform their rigid sales, marketing, and customer service programs and adopt an intrinsically more flexible organizational, technological, and go-to-market approach”
The Dynamic Human Journey
Their observations focus on organization, technology and process – but I hope they will also include, and invite others to comment on, core issues of human communication that arise from the often-bewildering challenges listed above. In fact, I submit that customers may not always be so “empowered” as “challenged” to “make faster, smarter, more informed decisions.”
Are Your Customers Developing a Complexity Complex?
Altimeter may be nodding in this direction when they note in a heading “The Factors that Impact the Dynamic Customer Journey Multiply Complexity.” Of course, we face more than just the question of how to control, minimize and seamlessly integrate structural complexities – we face the challenge of how to ensure that the composite end result amounts to useful, usable, human relations and communications.
Not surprisingly, “useful” and “useable” correlate well with “simple.” Siegel+Gale has been tracking the need for, and benefits of, simplicity for some time, and their latest Simplicity Index points out the paradoxical blessing/curse of technology:
“On the one hand, the steady stream of innovation continues to make it easier for consumers to watch, listen, share and communicate. But many companies in acquisition mode have expanded their profiles and portfolios and incorporated such a sea of product models and technology types that many customers feel lost as they attempt to navigate their way to a simple purchase.”
Simply Put, Brands Need to Put it Simply
The upshot seems to be that brands must embrace a unifying and simplifying approach to technology and communications. Easier said than done? Perhaps. Nonetheless, I suggest, and invite comment on, two guiding principles:
- Brands that take the complexity burden off of consumers will step to the fore.
- Of those complexity-defying brands, the ones that learn to also communicate in
the simplest, most communally human terms will be the long-term winners
Human-to-Human Communication vs. Brand to Prospect
Do you agree? Disagree? And do you believe that considering the dynamics of honest human communication – alongside organizational, technological and process-oriented factors – would enhance the Altimeter discussion?
Please leave a comment, and join in the Altimeter discourse.