In the last few years, there has been a lot of talk about improving the customer experience (CX). One study, from the consulting firm Gartner, says that 89 percent of companies expect to compete mostly on the basis of CX this year.
CX is the new marketing battlefield. Realizing that customers have more choices and more opportunities to speak their minds, smart companies are investing in tools and resources that will allow them to provide a more seamless and enjoyable experience for their customers. Here are three reasons why revenue-driven companies now put CX on top of their lists.
- CX is now ubiquitous.
The annual Gartner CMO Spend Survey shows that “customer experience related investments ranked relatively low compared to last year,” but it’s not because CX is suddenly less important for marketing leaders.
“Customer experience is a broad mandate, encompassing all branded interactions, pre-sale and post-sale,” explains Chris Pemberton, a marketing consultant working with Gartner. “Investments in customer experience become hidden within other categories of spending. Customer experience then becomes everything.”
Delivering an exceptional customer experience drives profit by increasing brand preference, loyalty and advocacy, says Pemberton, and marketers should “take a long view of customer experience technology strategy and focus on creating longer term customer value.”
- Customers drive revenue.
In an article for Digital Marketing magazine, Robin Collyer, a marketing specialist at Pegasystems, argues 2016 is the “time for action” for companies that want to provide a consistently positive customer experience.
“Realizing that customers, not products and services, drive revenue will be a key turning point for organizations in 2016,” Collyer says.
Context is crucial for companies that want to use CX to drive more revenue. Adds Collier, “The campaign approach to marketing of old is being usurped by contextual engagement, which is subsequently better for the customer, better for the business and more human.”
“Businesses which are able to turn the massive amount of data into context and find patterns will ultimately be able to service their customers better using these insights to drive actions.”
- CX reduces attrition.
Elaine Fogel, author of the book Beyond Your Logo: 7 Brand Ideas That Matter Most for Small Business Success, explains in a recent article why customer obsession makes business sense. Among the many reasons why a strong customer-centric mindset is powerful: its ability to reduce customer attrition and increase retention.
“As long as customers continue to see the value of patronizing or working for your business, they can become brand loyal and stick around longer,” Fogel explains. To support her claim, Fogel cites some recent studies, including one published in the Harvard Business Review in 2014 that shows that customers who have the best experience spend 140 percent more compared to those who had the poorest past experience.
Concludes Fogel, “When your business develops a solid brand reputation for being customer-centric, it can entice more inbound leads, referrals and buzz, enabling it to grow. Because people are attracted to success, the company can experience even more growth opportunities.”
Improving CX is not just about doing what’s right for customers. As the three articles we highlighted above show, revenue-driven companies are investing more in CX because doing so makes business sense. Companies must be willing to engage with their customers and use their insight in order to provide a more seamless customer experience.