Breaking Dev: The Cross-Channel Experience

by Luke Wroblewski September 13, 2011

In his The Cross-Channel Experience presentation at Breaking Development in Nashville TN, Nick Finck outlined the importance of considering all customer touchpoints in your design. Here’s my notes from his talk:

  • Cross channel experience design is the process of designing for all the touchpoints a person has with a business regardless of channel (web site, print, mobile, etc.). 90% of businesses say the cross-channel experience is critical to their businesses’ success.
  • 70% of US online customers research products on the Web and purchase them offline. So cross-channel experiences matter.
  • Static touchpoints: physical products and their packaging.
  • Interactive touchpoints: are constantly updated like websites, Twitter, etc. These are always evolving.
  • Human touchpoints: customer service, interactions with other human beings
  • You may think of your work in the context of one channel but your customers do not. They associate all their touchpoints with a single brand.
  • Quantitative information can provide analytics about what people are doing with your products but it doesn’t tell you why. There are qualitative measures that can help you understand why.
  • Observe how people use your site and services and learn about the context of use: where and how they interact with your service. Pay attention to the details.
  • Look for hacks: see how people have adjusted products to understand where there could be experience gaps.
  • Follow the whole engagement: don’t just focus on a single channel. Watch the entire process.
  • Learn the business process: many things behind the scenes influence the customer experience. The more you know the better you can see where there are limitations or opportunities.
  • Customer Journey Map is a way to illustrate the cross channel experience of a customer. It includes what happens front-stage (visible to customer) and back-stage (behind the scenes) in a linear flow.
  • Service blueprint helps to guide back-end processes: how things fit together and what needs to be in place to create a great user experience.
  • Netflix is an example of managing the front and back stage experience of a customer’s cross channel experience. A typical experience covers: web, email, packaging, product, streaming media, and mobile.
  • Businesses need some proof that spending time on a cross-channel experience matters. But we can’t solve problems using the same kind of thinking that created them.
  • We need to cross-pollinate. To work together and make something cohesive. This requires a unified vision for the entire team to align around.