We have entered a new era of consumer/brand relationships. The modern customer not only shops differently, interacts with brands in new ways, and makes purchases via novel channels, but also demands more for their brand loyalty. Customer Experience managers, therefore, should think carefully about how the way they communicate with and engage consumers fosters devotion.

In today’s economy the power is increasingly in the hands of the consumer. Despite brand loyalty in UK consumers seemingly on the increase – with the modern customer largely considering themselves to be loyal to up to five brands – the threshold for winning over consumers is higher than ever before, particularly as customer expectations continue to grow.

Especially in industries such as financial services, where non-traditional, digitally-driven competitors continue to disrupt the market, customer loyalties are becoming increasingly fickle. And with a survey of senior financial sector decision-makers claiming poor customer loyalty in financial services results in lost opportunities for customer engagement and advocacy (45%), higher levels of customer churn (45%) and lost revenue-generating opportunities (42%), the negative business impacts are clear to see.

In an increasingly omnichannel market, customers are no longer simply swayed by price, instead they now expect more informative, relevant and timely engagement than ever before from brands, making an even more compelling case for effective customer communications and customer experience (CX) programmes.

A customer focus 

The positive news is customer experience leaders now have a unique opportunity to position themselves at the forefront of CX and cultivate deeper long-lasting connections with consumers. By doing so they can look beyond short-term transactional relationships and nurture true emotional loyalty.

With a growing number of technologies and communications channels at their disposal, CX professionals can choose when, how and where they engage customers, as well as seamlessly adapt to transitions in consumer behaviour.

Nonetheless, without first gaining a comprehensive understanding of the customer and their communication preferences, brands will be unable to offer deeply personalised experiences that keep their buyers on the customer journey.

As such, enterprises will have to attach greater importance to data, channel preference, communication content and information design if they are to create CX strategies that generate more compelling, relevant and timely engagement across multiple touchpoints.

When it comes to data, companies need to adopt a business-wide approach, unifying data from all touchpoints in order to create a journey map of a customer’s end-to-end experience. Only by doing so will brands be able to create meaningful experiences across all channels in ways that matter to customers.

Given that consumers engage across an average of almost six touchpoints, with nearly 50% regularly using more than four, understanding the channels through which they connect is also a key enabler for driving positive customer interactions.

Developing flexible frameworks that can cope with all the touchpoints on the customer journey and rapidly respond to changes in a customer’s channel preferences and behaviours is imperative to providing consistent and seamless experiences.

Centralised Customer Communications Management

To maximise success and efficiency, it is critical that an effective CX strategy is underpinned by a single, centralised, customer communications management delivery model – a “one platform” approach. Employing a system of this nature will not only provide the delivery infrastructure to support truly frictionless customer communications across a multitude of traditional and digital channels but also unify previously disjointed communications technologies across the breadth of an organisation.

Deploying a cohesive eco-system of this nature can afford CX professionals a controlled perspective of their organisation-wide communication strategy, particularly as clients increasingly engage across a wider range of touchpoints.

Such solutions have the capabilities to support heavily data-rich CX tactics by consolidating multiple data sources into a single system, integrated with legacy technologies and systems, to remove layers of complexity. This enables enterprises to push out the old and bring in the new in their bid to accelerate digital transformation.

In the case of financial institutions, which are often entrenched in complex “legacy” service models and IT infrastructures, adding an integration layer of this type delivers the cohesive benefits without touching the legacy systems, which can be especially beneficial when considering the pace of transformation.

As digitally-driven strategies prevail – and data becomes increasingly pivotal to pushing CX strategies forward in new directions – the unified view of existing customer data can present innumerable advantages. Not only can it lead to a critical understanding of customers’ unique behaviours, preferences and their stage in the customer journey, but also communication strategies that are engrained with customer-relevant messages and incisive targeting.

This seamless integration of data into a fully-integrated suite of communication solutions – especially when supported by an expert team – can enable organisations to seamlessly plan, create and deliver highly personalised communications across all channels through an easy, optimised operation from anywhere, at any time.

Complete compliance

What’s more, all this can be achieved with complete control of brand, content and compliance. From a regulatory perspective, a centralised approach unlocks new levels of visibility that can help simplify document audits and ensure communications stay compliant with changing industry regulation.

Particular pertinent for large multi-national financial solutions & investments (FS&I) organisations, centralising these processes and having a single overview of all communication efforts and compliance can empower localised regions or departments to react and work with changing market conditions, as well as adapt to specific regional and industry-specific regulatory changes to ensure compliance in real time.

Of course, having the appropriate technology in place is only part of the solution. By working alongside an experienced communications partner, like Paragon Customer Communications, organisations will be able to maintain visibility of all communications, while also having the expertise on hand to drive their digital transformation and empower CX managers to capitalise on new opportunities. 

For more information, visit: https://oneplatform.paragon-cc.com/en/one-platform

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