Executives Are Turning to Customer Experience as a Differentiator

Rob Daleman
Posted by Rob Daleman VP, Corporate Marketing Monday, April 16, 2018 - 23:15

Rob brings over 18 years of industry experience in technology marketing – both direct and channel, to his position at Quadient. Previously, Rob led Marketing at Avaya Canada, go to market for medium businesses at Dell Canada and brings marketing, finance, manufacturing and logistics experience from his time at Maple Leaf Foods. An avid composer and musician, Rob continues to combine digital and social media to drive awareness and consideration in the B2B marketplace. Rob holds an MBA from the Schulich School of Business.

Customer Experience Update
Executives are turning to CX as a differentiator

Think about your enterprise and how you might have a bigger impact in your market today.  If you were to change one major item about your offering to market, to better compete and grow your market share, what would it be?  More diverse product offerings, cloud-based delivery models, lower prices, a faster supply chain? 

These traditional answers fail to hold up in a market that is increasingly defined by one key area – customer experience.  If you are like most enterprises out there, your marketing and sales teams have spent a lot of time and money focused on building exceptional experiences for prospects, but a lot less time looking at how you can provide great experiences for customers.

In his upcoming book “Never Lose a Customer Again”, Joey Coleman looks at the phenomenon of the first 100 days that a customer interacts with your brand.  His research indicates that very few companies spend any time focused on interacting with their new customers in the first 100 days after they sign a contract or sign up for a service.  This leads to an attrition rate between 20 and 70 percent!

 

Executives are turning to CX as a differentiator

It's no wonder then, that business executives are focusing strongly on customer experience as their biggest factor in driving more wins – they understand that being close to customers across their journey is the number one way to ensure that customers stay with your brand – and become advocates to help spread the word regarding your products and services.

Executives are turning to CX as a differentiatorIn the podcast listed above, Mr. Coleman estimates that this strategy is extremely valuable for companies to pursue.  He states that:

If you can keep just 5 percent of the customers who are leaving, it will increase profits by 25 to 100 percent!

Focusing on the customer sounds both intuitive and easy – unfortunately, this isn’t always the case.  Most businesses are struggling with three elements as they look to bring better customer experiences to market – data that is stuck in various silos and is of questionable quality, fragmented / disconnected systems that do not allow teams within the organization to get a strong end to end view of the customer journey and finally, a disconnect between the maturity of the marketing team’s ability to execute and that of other teams across the business.  These issues are evident even in the retail sector – largely considered among the most advanced industries when it comes to customer experience technology implementation.

Data driven CX strategy

So, what is driving the challenge for most organizations?  A lack of unified systems thinking.  Many marketers are building out stacks of marketing technology – but few of them include significant support for the customer phases of the journey – acquisition, purchase, retention and advocacy.  The very best do and are recognized each year at the “Stackies” – an awards category focused on awarding exceptional marketing technology design.  Here is an example of a winning submission from technology provider Cisco:

Cisco martech stack

The challenge for many traditional businesses - including banking, wealth management, insurance, telco and others – is that replacing all offline processes with new digital tools is simply not an option.  There may be many reasons why it is challenging to replace older systems or processes with new digital tools – here are a few that come to mind:

  1. Ongoing integration into legacy systems is a requirement
  2. Compliance regulations required paper-based processes to be supported as part of the onboarding and customer support cycle
  3. Line of business owners are siloed and do not share a common centralized infrastructure for data or customer communications

Traditional CCM Grows Up to Help Close the Gap

While print-based processes and communications have been the domain of customer communications management providers for the past 30 years, it is only in the past 3-4 years that CCM providers, like Quadient, have truly been able to provide full end to end digital experience support. This allows companies to build out customer engagement programs that start on print channels and extend all the way out to digital and mobile customer engagements - this includes interactive capabilities to engage front-line workers – whether in the office or in the field – through web and mobile apps. 

These digital experience capabilities allow you to build low code apps where required to make it easier to build out communications on emerging digital channels, while still integrating into core systems and bringing together data into one place to eliminate silos.  These capabilities were recently mentioned as leading customer engagement priorities for retailers in North America in 2018 – a key indicator that these capabilities will grow in demand over the coming 18 months – and should be on your long-term development plan.

Customer engagement strategies for 2018 for top retailers in North America

What steps can you take?

Start by learning more about how you can leverage customer experience across your enterprise – from transforming communications, to being a strategic element of your approach to market, and to develop a platform to support holistic collaboration across your enterprise.

Keys to enriching the customer experience

Source: Quadient, 2017

To learn more about next steps that you can take, download the complimentary Gartner report “Three Steps to Enrich the Customer Experience with Contextualized Communications