The problem with using multiple platforms to run your business online
When it comes to digital service, experience matters.
Covid-19 accelerated digital transformation, and now both consumers and businesses are demanding more from user experience. People expect meaningful and connected journeys, rather than one-off interactions, to inspire genuine user engagement. Also, the overall development of user engagement is seeing people wanting more personalised, more relevant, and easier interactions with their service providers. What’s more, it’s expected that everyone should be able to access it. Certainly over the pandemic, people broke the stereotype that older generations are complete technophobes, with grandchildren video calling their grandparents or vice versa.
Here are just a few statistics to show how online business success is epitomised by experiences:
- 86% of consumers would leave a brand after as few as two poor experiences. (Emplifi)
- 65% of all consumers find a positive experience with a brand to be more influential than great advertising. (PwC)
- 91% of consumers say they are more likely to shop with brands that provide offers and recommendations that are relevant to them. (Accenture)
- 61% of consumers will pay at least 5% more if they know they’ll get a good customer experience. (Emplifi)
- 86% of professionals engaged in customer experience (CX) expect to compete based on CX. (Gartner)
With more choice on the market, online businesses need to focus on building relationships with their prospects to gain truly loyal customers.
Multi-platform workflows complicate user experience
One of the biggest challenges in reaching these demands is the maze of digital solutions out there. Digital transformation was a fast-moving train and businesses needed to hop on quickly in order to not get left behind.
Businesses who typically rely on one-to-one service such as training, consulting, or social organisations, especially needed to ensure they kept up to maintain engagement with their audience. They didn’t have time to create a long-term digital transformation strategy, and this has left many with digital portfolios that weren’t planned and, as a result, are relatively disparate.
This meant businesses got the things they needed as and when they needed them – an LMS, a CMS, feedback surveys, data capture solutions, and on and on.
Not to mention the customer-facing touchpoints. Their audiences were spread out across the many available solutions, and so businesses needed to accommodate. This meant getting a website, a content solution, a social platform (or three), and professional communications tools like Slack or email.
What problems does this cause to engagement?1. Disconnected customer experiences
It’s extremely difficult to create consistent and connected experiences in these conditions. Businesses aren’t in control of how the platforms they’re using work and it's not easy to design how individuals move between them.
Think of social media for example. People can scroll their feed every day and still miss posts for pages they subscribe to see. So even if your users want to engage with you, it can’t be guaranteed they will get the chance.
It’s even harder still to create a full circle journey for people. Businesses need to think about what different platforms they’re engaging with, how they might travel between them, and then think about ensuring consistency across them.
It’s a maze to map out and design – let alone implement successfully!2. Business value is missed
Multiple platforms disguise the full picture of user behaviour.
Businesses can collect data from each place – their CRM, their social platforms, and their website. Putting it together, however, takes a whole lot more time and effort and, even then, it’s not always complementary. Plus, many knowledge-based businesses don’t have the resource or skill to properly analyse it. So, it remains disorganised.
Without being able to effectively connect different datasets or trends across touchpoints, the best bits (i.e., the insights about behaviour and desires) get lost in the shuffle. Equally, if people can contact your business through multiple different places, important messages are likely to get missed.
So with fewer insights and poorer communication capabilities, how are businesses expected to enhance their user experience?3. Platforms are unbranded
Apart from your website, none of the available digital platforms are really yours to own.
Social, customer management, LMS...they’re all solutions delivered by someone else. As a result, they aren’t fully branded, personalisation is limited, and they are truly difficult to make unique.
Imagine this was the case with other business assets. If business cards had another company’s name on them, or brochures had the provider’s branding applied.
Yes, this may be an exaggeration, and there are some opportunities to customise digital solutions, like a nice header banner or your corporate typeface. But at the end of the day, your audience is only getting a glimmer of who you are through the lens of someone else’s platform.
This can mean businesses get compared on the quality of a few interactions which don’t completely represent them.4. Not designed for your user’s experience
So, you’re paying for all these systems, paying people to manage them, and taking the time out to maintain them. They should meet your needs, right? Unfortunately, not. More likely than not, these systems will have hundreds of features, of which you’ll only ever use a handful.
They can even be more prohibitive than helpful.
In the pursuit of value and user engagement, digital platforms need to be monitored, updated, and developed constantly. They also have to adapt their content or activity to suit the platform’s specific algorithms, styles, or requirements. Understanding your users and what they like, then adapting your activity in response, is also a very manual process. This is a full-time job with experts dedicated to dissecting the rules of the game so that businesses can have any success in reaching their audience.
Because these platforms aren’t designed to work for your business. Instead, your business has to align with the platforms.
Altogether, having this sprawling digital infrastructure is a nightmare. Both for the organisation and the people they’re trying to engage with. Having to buy and manage these platforms is costly and resource heavy, while keeping track of them on the consumer side is disconnected and equally time-consuming. It all results in a disappointing user experience.
Putting your business into your own hands
The future of the customer is community. Businesses need to view their audience less like prospects and more like peers.
Consultants, coaches, and other service providers already do this in their work. They want to take their customers on a journey of development in their business, so being able to do so in their digital interactions as well is very important.
They want to give their customers something of value or something that they need in every interaction. This isn’t achievable when using the same platforms as the masses, where user journeys are naturally disparate, and a business can easily get lost in the algorithm.
Knowledge-based businesses need a platform that’s built for them. They need software that adapts to people, not the other way around.
If they could host all their digital touchpoints and all their interactions in one place that’s theirs, they can gain control over engagement. This enhances both the business’s value and the audience’s, creating a 1-to-1 line of communication where users will actually see the content they signed to see, and businesses can give it to them directly.
It also allows for genuine personalisation – with the opportunity to design content solely to help curate the best user experience, not to follow the platform’s black-box agenda.
Mindset brings engagement to life
Mindset gives you this platform.
We want to help knowledge-based businesses accelerate their aspirations and scale their expertise. That’s why with Mindset, businesses can create their own app to digitise their service offering and bring every user engagement into a single integrated platform.
The platform's AI / ML capabilities automatically create highly personalised experiences, delivered directly to your user in the way they want to see it. It’s always learning so every interaction is better than the last. Businesses can even segment their audience within the app, so each group gets the most relevant content, activities and formats for them – from your long-term clients to your prospects.
And there’s no development or maintenance needed. You just need to provide the content, and the platform does the rest.