Four must-haves when delivering great digital experiences
We picked the brains of our Platinum Partner adesso, one of Germany’s leading digital agencies
In the German-speaking world, adesso is synonymous with digital transformation, having helped manufacturers such as Bosch and BMW, financial institutions such as Credit Suisse, and Germany’s largest provider of green gas and electricity, eprimo.
Earlier this year, adesso’s Digital Experience arm won the 2022 Ibexa Partner Award Best Customer Project in the DACH market for its work on eprimo. At the heart of this website relaunch was a more dynamic and functional customer experience. Intuitive price calculator and price comparison tools are drawing in new customers while the existing 1.7 million customer base is offered handy functions such as the option to submit meter readers, change monthly payments and report changes of address.
The technology is in service of the experience. “The technical basis must, of course, fit the individual needs and function smoothly,” says Steffi Grzenia, Senior Business Developer (Digital Experience) at adesso. “But you could put it this way: the technology is good when you no longer have to talk about it.”
The four pillars that support a successful digital experience such as those adesso and Ibexa DXP created for eprimo are Content, Commerce, Personalization and Integration. In this blog post we explore adesso’s approach in how to implement a seamless technology across these pillars in service of the customer.
adesso leverages technology to provide creative functionality: “We take a holistic approach and help companies master the challenges of digitalization,” says Grzenia, “but above all our aim is to discover creative solutions that are fun and positively surprising. The boundaries between B2C and B2B are becoming increasingly blurred; in addition to getting to their digital destination quickly, people want to be just as entertained on the job as they are in their private lives.”
Storytelling is key.
Grzenia: “I once heard from an Amazon employee that they start all projects there with the creation of the press release. Because only when it’s clear what ‘the pink elephant’ is, that is: what’s special, what’s the benefit and what makes the project stand out from the rest, have you found a story worth telling. This is the best way to describe our approach.”
The customer is never a passive bystander (“it’s not a one-way street”) but is encouraged to engage through inventive CTAs. “We want to interact with the customer,” says Grzenia. “We want to get to know and understand them; only then can we give them what they need most.”
adesso holds kick-off workshops with diverse and inter-disciplinary teams for each project, where it looks individually, and from all sides, at what the customer really needs. “Our consulting approach is extremely high level,” Grzenia says. “We ask awkward and annoying questions and drill down to the smallest detail to find the best possible solution.”
One source of friction is that companies often do not want to part with content they have collected over decades. “That’s why it’s essential for us to keep the relevant personas in mind during all considerations and to only bring content onto the new platform that offers added value and is target-oriented. No relaunch without SEO,” Grzenia adds. “This is where most companies would like to save money, but this is not what they do in the medium term.”
One of adesso’s mantras is that the future is headless. The front end can be virtually anything: a car, a refrigerator, a voice assistant – and content must be made available everywhere accordingly. “No one wants to have to enter content in different places and multiple times, for different devices or countries,” says Grzenia. “For a seamless experience, you need a single database.
Unified commerce, social commerce and social listening are the absolute focus of adesso’s Digital Experience team.
This unified experience depends on a single database, a single source of truth. “People want a consistent experience along the entire customer journey across all touchpoints; only in this way is a brand credible and can the consumer assess what the brand stands for,” Grzenia believes.
In order to be able to offer this experience, a database is needed that collects, evaluates and provides all touchpoints with the brand and the company – whether online in the store, in social networks or at the point of sale.
But not everything revolves around data. A huge part of the Commerce element is recommendation marketing. “This is more important than ever, especially in the B2B sector,” says Grzenia. “People who convince with profound product and industry knowledge influence the purchase decisions of the target group.”
Successful B2B companies differentiate themselves not only with purely technical, informative data but also with the speed with which such information and feedback can be obtained. “As well as very good and simple customer service,” Grzenia adds.
The main challenge that B2B companies face in implementing a single source of truth, agile feedback and great online customer service is that their digital infrastructure is no longer fit for purpose.
“We often find customers with an unstable technical infrastructure that has organically developed over years, and a growing awareness that they are no longer competitive with this set-up,” says Grzenia. These B2B companies may have done a lot in the digital space over the years, but they’ve done it without following a unified strategy.
Grzenia: “This ‘greenfield’ state is, of course, a perfect starting point to introduce a complete solution such as Ibexa DXP. Everything that is needed is brought by this Digital Experience Platform: content, commerce, personalization and integration with other systems, such as PIM, DAM, CRM and so on – all simple to connect.
“That’s why we have already implemented so many successful projects with Ibexa, in a wide variety of industries such as retail, financial services or in the media environment.”
Personalization is an essential ingredient for a good digital experience, and can be instrumental in shortening the buying cycle. adesso also emphasizes what you might call the contractual nature of personalization.
“No matter which website you visit, you first have to give your GDPR-compliant consent for data to be collected,” Grzenia explains. “In return, however, website visitors really only want to be shown relevant offers. No one wants to be ‘tracked’ by products that have either already been purchased or that they have decided against.”
How the personalization is done depends on the industry, the environment and the possibilities. In the B2B area, the minimum should be pre-filtered according to buyer type, while regions are playing a somewhat greater role again “due to the current political and pandemic-related developments”.
“The faster one gets to the target through personalized content, the more likely a purchase is,” Grzenia says. “The choice is huge, and the competition is already waiting a click away. We recommend our customers to specify and focus as sharply as possible. The fact that Ibexa DXP brings these possibilities out-of-the-box is a clear advantage.”
Francesco Raaphorst is PHP Experience and Commerce Leader of adesso’s Digital Experience team. Integrations and inter-operability with other systems is hugely important in establishing a single source of truth and extending the customer experience, he believes.
“The standard integration features of Ibexa DXP are a great advantage,” says Raaphorst. “We can confirm from experience that the connections to third-party systems always work very well: whether core banking systems in the area of finance, booking systems in tourism, customer portals, success factors and dashboards.
“The usability of Ibexa DXP is another plus point. After implementing the system and the integration layer, editors can, for example, create and adapt individual application sections at any time that meet all security standards (two-factor authentication, identity management, digital signatures) and communicate perfectly with core banking systems – we implemented this for a client in the banking sector.
“In the utilities sector, our client eprimo is certainly a prime example [of the partnership with Ibexa]; the customer portal offers all the conveniences of document management, approval processes, role and rights management, tracking and personalization. It’s headless, and the UX and UI are simply fun, something we always strive for at adesso.”
Digital experiences do not occur in a vacuum; they are human experiences, underpinned by technology. adesso’s Digital Experience business unit is a unique hybrid between creative agency, consulting and IT service that center around the customer.
“Basically, everything we do at adesso is about people,” concludes Grzenia. “That’s why we consistently put the people who interact with the digital products, whether on the content creator or user side, at the center of all our considerations.”
Like to find out more about how adesso could help your company accelerate its digital initiatives? Just call them on +49 231 7000-7000 or visit https://dx.adesso.de/kontakt/ to fill out their contact form.