If you’re reading this blog, I hope you’re also following our social media feeds, downloading our guides, and browsing our website. Maybe you’ve sat in on a presentation or a webinar from us. Better yet, maybe we’ve had a chance to do business together. If so you may have picked up on a Perficient Digital’s tagline: End-to-End is Just the Beginning. A clever juxtaposition of opposing concepts? The mystery of some infinite loop that has neither, yet both a beginning and an end? A thought experiment to get you thinking about the meaning of life itself? A client recently asked me what it means, and I was happy to share that it’s much, much more than a tagline.
It’s the Customer: From Awareness Through Advocacy (and Back Again)
Your customers now decide themselves how, when, and where they shop you, work with you, and tell stories about you. Their journey is broad — from awareness and consideration, to the buying process, and throughout the relationship and how they decide to advocate for you – or warn others. Their journey is full of touchpoints, interactions, and moments that matter. It’s nonlinear, it can change overnight, and it’s threatened on all sides by your competitors, high expectations, and thousands of other distractions fighting for their attention. Customer empathy is everything, whether you’re imagining a screen, mining for data, or writing a test script.
It’s the Technology: Front-End to Back-End
The gap between an amazing customer experience and a gnarly computer science problem is narrower than ever. As digital experiences become more immersive, seamless, and elegant, they rely on increasingly complicated and difficult technologies being orchestrated in data centers and on devices throughout the world. It’s not enough to simply be ultra-creative or wicked clever: We have to be both. Creative ideas that can’t scale don’t see the light of day. Clever hacks and faster downloads that don’t solve customer problems don’t help anyone. Great solutions wire left brain and right brain together to see around corners and six moves ahead in a digital rush hour.
It’s the Process: From What-If? to What’s Next?
Every great idea starts somewhere: an apple falls on your head, a lightbulb goes off over your head, hours of heuristic data analysis inside your head. Peter Drucker once said: “Plans are only good intentions unless they immediately degenerate into hard work,” and we couldn’t agree more. Getting s#!t done entails research and discovery, imagining and innovating, planning and designing, building and testing, going live, learning, scaling, growing, and making it better. It takes smart people and hard work, but making it real means keeping it real throughout your delivery cycle. Our favorite teams are lean, pragmatic, and inclusive – a little bit hipster, a little bit hacker, and a little bit hustler.
It’s the Organization: From Top to Bottom
Cool tech, you know your customers, and follow the latest methodologies. Sorry, it still may not be enough. The entire organization also matters, from the board, the CxOs, VPs, middle managers, rank and file, interns, even the mail room (do mail rooms still exist?) It’s the human capital in the organization that gets work done. It’s individuals who listen, discuss, think, decide, and do. The best organizations we’ve worked with are fiercely aligned and terminally restless. We like to ask: If not me who? If not now, when? We value communication, collaboration, creativity, transparency, and responsibility in our teams and our client relationships.
It’s the end of this blog post, but hopefully the beginning of something more.
Jim Hertzfeld is Principal and Chief Strategist for Perficient Digital, and works with clients to make their customers and shareholders happy through insanely great digital experiences.