3 ways to transform the customer experience

As the stakes get higher the CMO and the chief customer officer - CCO - must learn to work together to stay competitive in the customer experience arena

Chief Customer Officer

By identifying knowledge gaps, creating the right alignment within the c-suite, and implementing the right tools and technology, leaders can solidify the customer journey to build long-lasting, loyal relationships with customers

In an experience-driven world, customer service is now a top priority for brands that want to differentiate. Today, the customer journey is more intricate than ever, moving across multiple devices and channels as products are researched, compared, price matched and purchased. With every step, customers expect a seamless experience and if a brand can’t deliver, customers go elsewhere.

The shift toward a fluid, customer-first experience across all channels is what has allowed so many Silicon Valley start-ups, such as Netflix or Airbnb, to disrupt their respective industries.

Not only have these brands excelled in delivering a stellar product or service, they have won over markets by transforming the buying experience.

>See also: AI’s impact on customer experience

A “prime” example is Amazon’s ability to continually roll out new business models to meet customer needs. From Prime, Prime Wardrobe, Alexa and Echo, Amazon Fresh or the Dash ordering button, Amazon’s business model centres on delivering the things customers want as quickly as possible, and with an experience that’s smooth and easy for buyers.

One of the reasons behind Amazon’s success is that the brand has created a customer experience that caters to digital natives. Here are three ways to deliver an Amazon-esque experience that will keep customers coming back for more.

Mind the gap

Between shifting customer expectations and evolving leadership roles, CMOs are under a lot of pressure and, in a fast-paced market, many are falling behind. According to the recent report, Success in The Experience Era: Connecting Customer and C-suite, 67% of respondents see customer retention rates as a key benchmark of customer experience success, but only 35 percent of CMOs believe that using customer data insights is their responsibility.

Not only that, 51% are still using surveys as their primary means of understanding customer sentiment and challenges. This indicates a gap between the information marketers want and what they’re doing to get it.

While customer retention rates indicate whether or not the overall customer experience is a success, simple numbers don’t tell the whole story. What’s more, when compared to voice-of-the-customer analytics, surveys are nothing more than antiquated methodology.

>See also: How to improve customer experience with the internet of things

Closing the gap means that marketers get to the heart of customer sentiment at every point in the customer journey, and there’s no better way to do so than with the help of real-time data.

By claiming ownership of customer data across all channels and all touchpoints, brands can glean the right insights needed to create the experience that customers want.

Find order in the c-suite

A successful customer experience starts with a unified c-suite. However, when 30% of senior leadership place confusion around who owns the customer experience, it creates a critical business hurdle.

This is often compounded when a chief customer officer (CCO) is added to the mix, especially as it relates to the daily duties of the CMO. So how can smart leaders resolve the discrepancy around who owns what and enhance the way their business delivers exceptional experiences?

>See also: Understanding and enabling customer experience networks

While structural change is not an overnight solution, defining these roles by customer acquisition and retention goals is a decisive step toward effective C-suite collaboration and a better customer experience.

By outlining individual strengths, mapping the desired customer journey, and auditing the tech stack, the CMO and CCO can work together to leverage customer data and C-suite skill sets to exceed expectations. This approach will encourage a CCO to work closely alongside the CMO so the positions can become complementary, not competitive.

Invest in technology

Without the right technology, brands risk missing out on valuable insights that can drive customer experience strategies. However, nearly half of CMOs feel that they do not have the right tools deployed in order to understand their customers’ greatest challenges.

Given the fact that 29% of senior leadership are unsure of the number of devices customers are using to complete a purchase, it’s clear that technology is lagging.

Clearing these muddied waters all comes down to powerful analytics. The contact centre, for example, is an invaluable source of customer intelligence, yet many brands simply don’t leverage that information.

>See also: 4 factors set to impact customer experience management

Understanding customer behaviour is critical for customer experience leaders, and implementing the tools that give them the ability to quickly analyse these insights will open a world of new insights to instil best practices and guarantee better outcomes.

In today’s market, it is paramount for business leaders to realise that customer experience is the key differentiator for their brand. By identifying knowledge gaps, creating the right alignment within the c-suite, and implementing the right tools and technology, leaders can solidify the customer journey to build long-lasting, loyal relationships with customers.

 

Sourced by Tom Goodmanson, president and CEO at Calabrio

 

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