While most businesses have refocused on improving the customer experience, many are still struggling to win over the consumer. So where are businesses going wrong?
We know that in today’s digitally-driven society, customers expect more – 77% of B2B customers say technology has completely changed their expectations, and 58% of B2C customers agree. Businesses are being challenged to provide seamless, omnichannel experiences, and give customers the personalised, relevant brand messages and offers they desire. Yet, for many, this can be an uphill battle.
Here’s some common stumbling blocks on the path to improving the customer experience, and ways to overcome them.
Traditionally, customer relationship management has fallen to marketing, sales and customer service, with very few others participating in the ideation or implementation of customer-focused business practices. And, typically, each of these teams manage the customer relationship independently, within independent IT systems that don’t communicate with one another.
In recent years, new positions, like ‘CX analyst’ or ‘customer lifecycle manager’, have been added to the company org chart, but it isn’t enough to add a singular role and think that person will be able to transform the customer experience alone.
While it’s vital to have someone take the lead on implementing customer-focused changes, building strong customer relationships that inspire loyalty requires a company-wide commitment. It’s only when all employees recognise their own responsibility in customer experience initiatives, that companies will start to see real impact.
Companies that keep customer relationship ownership in silos are limiting the business benefits of those relationships. How can a company commit to improving the customer experience across the board if only a segment of employees have access to certain information about those consumers, or if each department has a separate, disconnected view of the same customer?
In order to meet customer expectations, businesses need to break down internal silos and share the same customer knowledge across the entire business – from initial brand engagement to post-purchase service.
Businesses must also invest in ways to interact with customers, so they can understand why and how they make the decisions they do. When businesses proactively and consistently reach out to customers for their opinions, reflect that customer-derived insight in their decision-making and share what they’ve learned back with the customers who provided the feedback, a new type of relationship is formed between the brand and the customer.
A mutual respect is created and customers are more inclined to continue to share their opinions. All aspects of the organisation, from product development to marketing to IT, can use this insight to ensure the organisation is run with a customer-centric mentality and that no business change is ever made without the customer ‘in the room’.
A customer-centric operating model requires a company’s technology stack to evolve alongside the demands of the modern customer. Brands must invest in technologies that enable them to cultivate deeper customer relationships over time.
For example, artificial intelligence – like Einstein – helps businesses automate outreach and leverage customer data in ways that mimic human decision-making. This allows businesses to streamline and automate standard customer-facing procedures, while reserving manpower for more complex and personalised interactions.
Winning with today’s customer is a multi-faceted effort, and it takes a commitment to customer-centricity from all departments to succeed.
Find out how to connect and build loyalty with the customers of today. Download the We Are All Trailblazers e-book.