Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthNovember 14, 2018
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3min95

Online sellers are using e-commerce solutions to gather better data insights, yet many are failing to use it to make better business decisions, new research has found.

Whilst 42 percent are using data to improve customer service, only 24 percent are using data for buying behaviour analysis, and two thirds are not using it to improve the user experience, according to the findings by by Sana Commerce.

The survey of 559 global B2B organisations found that many are still only focused on using e-commerce for sales and improving online shopping for customers – traits associated with e-commerce 1.0 and 2.0. Forty-eight percent identified driving sales as the top priority for their e-commerce solution and 38 percent said it was to improve the user experience.

Despite having data available at their fingertips, online sellers are not using their data to achieve desired business performance outcomes. The main response to tackling competition is competing on price (47 percent) and increasing the online Customer Experience (38 percent) rather than enhancing the proposition. Only a third said they would use data to improve personalisation and 26 percent said they would use data to improve targeting and account-based marketing.

Many online sellers seem to be overlooking the true value of e-commerce 3.0 and improving integration with key business systems such as the ERP to drive broader business benefits. In fact, improving organisational efficiencies, changing technology infrastructure and improving integration and workflow automation with partners and customers all came last in the list of objectives for B2B businesses implementing or operating an e-commerce solution.

Despite appearing slow to adopt e-commerce 3.0, many online sellers are embracing new technologies in a bid to advance their digital transformation, and machine to machine (M2M) ordering is seen as a possibility for 54 percenr of respondents. However, with data seemingly having a minimal impact on operations and decisions for e-commerce businesses, it’s possible that this technology is not being used to the best of its ability.

Michiel Schipperus, CEO and managing partner at Sana Commerce, said: “It’s encouraging to see online sellers building on their digital transformation strategies and considering the implementation of these advanced technologies, but it’s important to first establish how they can be implemented strategically. E-commerce 3.0 has enabled better integration between internal systems as a growth strategy and way to improve businesses agility. M2M and other forms of automation represent a significant investment, so e-commerce businesses need to ensure they’re being used to their full potential and improving key business drivers.”


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthNovember 14, 2018
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3min113

UK shoppers plan to spend the most money on their child (£144) or their partner (£133), reserving less than £100 for any seasonal treats they might want for themselves, according to new research.

With the average gift shopping budget per person now reaching £365 just for their parent(s), a child and partner, it follows that 36 percent of UK shoppers are using Black Friday and Cyber Monday to buy gifts for others. This is according to Rakuten Marketing’s recent research report, Guess Who…Unwrapping the Global Holiday Gift Shopper.

With Black Friday and Cyber Week fast encroaching, the ubiquity of discounted mobiles, headphones, smart watches, and home appliances around this period means that in 2018 a third (33 percent) of UK consumers will be spending money on home electrical and music systems as gifts.

However, just eight percent of UK consumers want to receive such a product as a gift, pointing to significant disparity in supply and demand caused in a large part by the proliferation of consumer technology deals.

Tech loses ground

Globally, technology remains a staple part of gift shopping. Sure enough, at a global level, the types of gift consumers are most looking to receive this holiday season are home electrical and technology gifts (28 percent).

The UK, however, is one of the first countries to break away from this trend. Locally, cosmetics (16 percent), fashion (25 percent) and travel (17 percent) are what consumers most want to receive as gifts.

This complexity makes buying gifts a far more sensitive process, requiring the buyer to explore avenues truly relevant to the recipient – no surprise that over a fifth said they need ‘all the help they can get’ with making gift-buying decisions.

“Black Friday and Cyber Monday shot to fame offering the latest consumer tech goods at discount prices. However, recent research is now telling us that consumers in the UK are preferring to receive fashion, cosmetics and travel-related gifts. This shows the importance of targeting your shoppers in line with local nuances vs. a one-size-fits-all approach. Consumer behaviour does not fit one mould,” explains Anthony Capano, Managing Director of Europe at Rakuten Marketing.


Tom DownesTom DownesNovember 13, 2018
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5min169

As alarming headlines continue to emerge about some of the most established UK department stores, it’s natural that the industry is questioning the future of retail and the place of bricks-and-mortar stores.

But is retail as we know it beyond repair or is it set for a revival?

The ability to have an emotional resonance with a customer and add genuine value to their shopping experience are key differentiators that high street stores still hold over e-commerce, but these can quickly become lost.

The Core Issues

It’s obvious really but attractive stores, interesting products, and motivated staff are the lifeblood of  bricks-and-mortar retail, and always have been. Department stores that sold-up, closed down, or failed altogether were almost certainly making basic mistakes well before the internet became their newest competitor and accelerated their demise.

Sears being just the most recent example of a retailer that had it all; longstanding supplier relationships, a great distribution network and an enormous and loyal customer base, only to let it all slip through their hands like sand.

Turning the browsing shopper into a buying customer is about giving them the reasons and means to ‘treat’ themselves, and while that’s achieved partly through presentation and partly through the available products, it’s also about the enthusiasm of the store associate.

A well-trained associate creates the moment and through engaging with other team members ensures that the correct expertise, samples, products, sizes, and alternatives are produced effortlessly for the customer, creating a quick, easy, and positive shopping experience, inspiring them to spend.

A traditional human element is still a big part of what the customer wants and expects when shopping in-store, particularly so in a department store where customers would be expecting a higher standard of service than one might experience in the high street.

To provide the quickest, smoothest experience retailers need to simply connect their teams to one another. Traditional communication needs such as tannoys and radios are intrusive on the customer, don’t instil them with much confidence, and are easy for staff members to ignore.

Some retailers have adopted mobiles and tablets into their retail teams as a potential solution, but many consumers believe that headsets are more likely to improve the overall customer experience and speed of service. Using single digital channel headsets ensures that all staff are continually on message and as a result, managers can efficiently reallocate store associates to specific tasks as required. In addition, staff can also communicate with each other – asking questions of product specialists to immediately answer a customer query, for example, or quickly getting someone on the shop floor to fulfil a two for one offer for a customer already at the check-out. This immediate and shared communication enables store associates to work together as a team in order to improve overall efficiency and productivity.

Conclusion

In order to encourage shoppers to not only come in but return time and time again, department stores need to be built around the behaviours and needs of the customer, not the other way round. A good Customer Experience is the foundation of retail success and the right department stores have this in bundles.

But in order to thrive when others are dwindling, stores must realise that their secret weapon really is found in the store associates. They have an essential role to play in executing a good customer experience across every touch point and if they are armed with the tools they need in order to excel and exceed customer expectations, then the rest will follow.


CXM Editorial TeamCXM Editorial TeamNovember 12, 2018
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6min217

Travel experiences are among the most memorable we have, but too often we remember airports for the wrong reasons.

Now a leading interior design expert is urging airport operators to change that by learning from the hospitality industry.

Chris Radcliffe, head of interiors at Top 100 architecture practice maber, has advised hundreds of clients in the retail, travel, hotel, and leisure sectors.

He thinks airports of the future will have to be much smarter to compete for passengers, whose demands will not only include better customer service but also a commitment to the environment and other contemporary issues. He says the key to doing this could be in emulating the strategies employed by top hotels and restaurants.

“The hospitality industry, with its insistence on superb customer service at every customer contact point, shows the direction where airports should be going,” he says.

“The hospitality sector’s attention to detail, and above all its focus on cleanliness, illustrate how airports should be positioning themselves, not just with their customer service but in the terminal architecture and interior design of their buildings.”

Chris points out that the travelling public are increasingly concerned about issues such as the environment, sustainability, health and wellbeing, and says airports ignore these hot subjects at their peril.

“Hospitality businesses globally are already tailoring their offers to address these issues. This is more than a marketing angle to be exploited, it is a fundamental shift in our society that responsible businesses are addressing, and it has the potential to be a huge driver for change across the world,” he explains.

At first glance, an airport’s role is all about managing the movement of passengers and luggage through the terminal to or from aeroplanes. While Chris acknowledges that this will always be paramount for airport operators, there is much more to take into consideration when designing and running terminal buildings.

He urges management to think about the customer journey: “It begins with your arrival at the terminal building, complete with luggage and perhaps friends, family or colleagues to see you off. They, of course, are another kind of customer that airports should be considering.

“Entrance into the terminal building is a kind of ceremony. Then there is the journey through the terminal to the check-in counters, then to the concourse beyond the screening checkpoint and finally to the departure gate. The route through the airport for departing passengers can be stressful and complicated, and this alone is potentially the difference between a poor experience that is memorable for the wrong reasons and a great experience for the right reasons.”

Chris advises airport operators to seek to bring, order, clarity and even beauty to that journey, creating what should be “a positive sensory experience”. This will be affected by the colour, texture and illumination of the space and even by smells, which could be pleasant such as fresh coffee and baked bread or unpleasant such as cleaning fluids and toilet odours.

“These are all things that will contribute to a person’s recollection of the environment. Every vertical and horizontal surface communicates something about the experience,” Chris says.

Chris praises airport building and interior design that provides clear lines of sight, views and vistas that enable people to navigate to all the services they need. The list of these services is long: travel information, check-in points, meet and greet hubs, centres of retail, food and beverage, toilets, baby change and feed areas, accessible facilities, security personnel points, currency exchange, smoking areas, and prayer rooms.

There are also design aspects that can make the experience more enjoyable, including internal landscaping and greenery, views of the sky and viewing lounges

When it comes to terminals, size matters, as Chris explains: “Because of the scale of airport buildings, they must be well designed and considered holistically, not only in two-dimensional space but also in volumetric terms.”

Another key aspect that he forecasts will become increasingly important is integrating technology into buildings: “Equipping social and functional spaces with enabled technology will play a major role in the customer experience. Designing versatility into spaces that allow for connectivity while on the move will be an important differentiator.”

As the most globalised part of the transport sector, he believes the air travel industry has a duty to develop its offer to make fit the varying demands of the world’s diverse cultures. Gender and ethnicity, with sometimes competing sensitivities, must be catered for to avoid discrimination. Meanwhile, other factors such as age, physical and cognitive conditions that affect a person’s ability to comprehend information must be considered too. That means thinking about user and visitor demographics when deciding how to present eye-level data.

Chris concludes: “Ultimately, all of this is about thinking about the needs of customers first, designing places that improve their travel experience and making a commitment to manage customer service to the highest standards. Technology, diversity and other issues make this more complicated, but they also present opportunities to take airport experiences to a new level.”


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthNovember 12, 2018
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3min225

Almost half of all UK Black Friday customers will be purchasing from Amazon according to new research, that has also found shoppers are becoming cynical about the annual price-slashing event.

Salmon, a Wunderman Commerce company, has found that 48 percent of Brits will buy from the retail giant on Black Friday, with 29 percent of people holding back their spending until products become discounted on the day.

However, while nearly £5 billion is predicted to be spent during the sales this year (and £2.5 bn online), the shine of the shopping event may be wearing off for consumers – the majority (53 percent) say they have become sceptical about whether certain deals are genuine and represent real savings compared to the rest of the year.

James Webster, Head of Managed Services and Peak Trading expert at Salmon said: “Black Friday is one of the biggest chances in the year for brands to capitalise on consumers’ love of a bargain – with 25 million expected to open their purses for the sales bonanza this year. But the selling opportunity is mired in challenges – and the big one is the stranglehold that Amazon has on the sales period.

“Brands need to be thinking about how they can use the retail giant’s power to their advantage, but also ensure they’re not putting all their eggs in one basket and neglecting other channels; having an in-store presence, selling through online retailer sites like John Lewis and Debenhams, or tapping into other marketplaces like eBay are all important in the wider commerce strategy.”

While the research showed that smart assistants will struggle to find their voice on Black Friday, there are encouraging signs that could be set to change; a quarter (25 percent) of consumers would consider using a voice assistant to make a purchase in future.

Opportunities also exist for brands who take the leap into voice commerce, with 22 percent of consumers saying they would be more likely to shop via voice if there were exclusive Black Friday deals available through voice assistants. Entertainment products are the most likely to be bought by shoppers using voice assistants, with 35 percent saying they would buy music, video games and movies via voice.


Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthNovember 12, 2018
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3min199
Nearly two-thirds of builders have had to pass skip price increases on to clients and a fifth have had to pass on diesel price rises, making home improvement projects more expensive for home owners, according to new research by the Federation of Master Builders (FMB).
The research found that three quarters of builders have said the price of skips has risen over the past 12 months, and that the average cost of an eight yard skip has gone up by £24 over the past year, meaning an additional cost of £360 for the average extension.
Nearly two-thirds of builders have had to pass skip price increases on to clients, making home improvement projects more expensive for home owners, while three quarters of builders said that skip price rises have squeezed their margins.
The widely-reported hike in diesel prices is also starting to bite, and nearly half of construction SMEs have made lower margins on projects. Nearly a fifth (17 percent) have been forced to raise the prices they charge clients, while more than one-in-ten have had to turn down jobs they would have normally accepted as they are too far away. Ten percent have taken steps to reduce vehicle use.
Commenting on the research, Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB, said: “The increase in the price of skips and diesel is bad news for builders and home owners alike. Nearly two-thirds of builders have had to pass skip price increases on to clients and a fifth have had to pass on diesel price rises.
“This has made home improvement projects more expensive for home owners.”
He added: “We are advising builders to price jobs and draft contracts with this plethora of price rises in mind to avoid a further squeeze on already razor thin margins.”

Craig SummersCraig SummersNovember 9, 2018
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5min285

With high street stalwarts dropping like flies, traditional retailers are on the wrong end of a raft of increasingly harsh criticism from both customers and analysts.

Yet in far too many cases it is fear of failure – of making the wrong technology investment or delivering the wrong in-store experience that is at the heart of the problem. Traditional shopping isn’t broken; retailers are simply failing to recognise or deliver the new expectations of today’s consumer.

Retailers cannot hope to compete with the disruptors unless they stop playing inept catch up and instead celebrate the value of the in-store interaction with truly empowered store associates able to deliver something far more engaging and valuable than any online experience.

Lost cause

As long-established family favourites vanish from the high street it appears the pure play disruptors have won the hearts and minds of customers and the writing is on the wall for old style retail. But is that really the case?

Pure play retailers are essentially tech companies; they live and breathe technology innovation. In contrast, far too many traditional retailers remain inherently scared of technology. They talk agility and responsiveness, but then spend upwards of two years assessing and deploying a solution.

It is this fear of failure, such as creating the wrong in-store atmosphere, that is destroying the high street. The result is a catch up approach to technology investment that is always years behind the competition. What is the point of attempting to emulate pure play competition – but to do it badly?

From price match offers that take 24 hours to confirm to compelling customers to complete time consuming and irrelevant customer surveys during check-out, the high street is littered with examples of ill-considered attempts to copy slick online models in-store. It doesn’t work, especially when the technology deployed is years behind that of the disruptors. It is all wrong and it fundamentally misses the point.

Golden egg

Online retail has not removed customers’ desire to buy in store or interact with sales assistants; what it has done has been to raise customers’ expectations of that experience. It is incredibly simple: people still want to come in store and be served; they want to interact with an enthusiastic and engaged individual, someone who not only knows the products – and can share experiences – but is also able to locate any item anywhere in the supply chain in real time and get that item to the customer quickly, in any location.

They want frictionless returns, a slick journey through click and collect and they want the checkout process to be smooth and quick. But they also want the whole experience to be enjoyable. No one wants to travel into the high street only to receive a bad version of what they can get online at home. They want something different and they want something better.

And that is where high street retailers have a massive advantage over the pure plays – if only they could harness it. Rather than complaining about the pure plays’ low cost infrastructure and lack of real estate overhead, traditional retailers need to stop viewing the high street as the Achilles heel and think of the retail store as the golden egg.

And that means investing in technology that delivers the complete supply chain visibility and mobile point of sale that ensures store associates can be continuously engaged with customers anywhere on the shop floor. It means investing in high quality sales staff.  And it means doing it fast. Not over years.

Attempting to ‘become Amazon’ in two years; or replicate the model of the pure play competitor over the next 18 months is never going to work: the competition is too fast, too slick and too tech savvy. Playing catch up will result in the end of the high street. What is required is a willingness to disrupt the disruptors, to leverage the advantage of a tangible personal experience and quickly exploit relevant technology to deliver an outstanding in-store experience.


Jamie BrightonJamie BrightonNovember 9, 2018
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8min259

The premise of effective selling is simple – find out what people need and deliver a product or service that meets that need at the opportune moment.

Peter Drucker, seen by many marketers as the forefather of business consulting, famously said: “The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well that the offered product or service will sell itself.”

While the basic premise of selling may be simple, the realities of today’s market have made things more complicated. Customers are no longer a single touchpoint. They interact with brands online, via mobile, through email, in person, on social media, and over the phone. Some prefer to communicate through apps, others through loyalty programs, and others base their decisions on word-of-mouth.

There is so much noise to cut through in this endless web of channels and platforms that brands are struggling to land their message with the right people at the right time. To complicate matters even further, they need to find a way of doing this at scale and deliver experiences that feel personalised to large groups of people with different needs and preferences.

Digital marketing has come a long way, but its relevance is up for debate. For instance, an average person is served over 1,700 banner ads per month but only half of them are ever viewed. The conclusion to draw here is that while companies are spending more than ever on digital advertising much of this money is going to waste.

The missing piece, going back to Drucker, is customer intelligence. Brands need to elevate their level of customer understanding to better serve their audience across every touchpoint and channel they use. This is the key to delivering true personalisation at scale.

The question then arises of how to build loyalty with customers you never see, or engage a time-strapped audience that views digital platforms as a path to convenience above all else? There are so many degrees of separation between brands and online customers that it can feel impossible to get your message in front of the right people, much less motivate them to engage with it.

In many companies, marketers and IT teams have joined forces to run advanced customer analytics programs, collecting data and creating audience profiles to help them target people more accurately. But these profiles are still limited in most cases, created in isolation from data outside the marketing department and independently of the content that all this data will ultimately inform.

To add to this, when a new channel comes along brands tend to panic and invest in technology that is specifically designed to serve that channel, even if it does not with the rest of their systems. This only creates more siloed data streams, each painting its own partial picture of customers and leading to unidimensional decision-making. 

An incomplete customer profile will inevitably provide an incomplete understanding of your audience. That is why brands are now bridging the divide between their customer analytics and unifying all their data onto a single platform. A centralised view ensures that every department works off a common definition of each customer, their activity, and their changing preferences, giving them the insight and context they need to be more targeted and deliver experiences that hit the mark.

Corporate audiences are just as eager for personalised experiences. The major difference is in a B2B environment is that brands need to look at a broader customer base made up of both end-users and procurement managers. This makes marketing even more nuanced because companies need to target and communicate with different audiences who have different needs and speak different languages.

Dell is a good case in point for this, as it wanted to deliver an experience for its B2B customers that went beyond just products. Instead of looking at experiences at each stage of the journey, it wanted to see the customer journey end-to-end and to have a single view of its customers. It was able to integrate all its channels (including email and social) via a single experience platform, where data could be aggregated, analysed, and segmented to create experiences across all channels in a coordinated way.

RS Components, the world’s largest electronics distributor, sells half-a-million electrical and electronic components, tools, and testing equipment to customers in 32 countries. The company realised it was time for change if it wanted to maintain its relationship with a large and varied audience, so it took on a more advanced approach to data and customer analytics.

Today, RS Components works with a specialised workspace where users can drag and drop data from throughout the customer journey and easily analyse points of interest. Stakeholders get an in-depth view of each customer across channels, putting them in a position to quickly test and adapt campaigns to the preferences of any audience group.

From the retail industry to financial services, customer intelligence is evolving and giving way to deeper levels of understanding. The aim for brands is still to know their audience so well their products and services sell themselves, but as brands like Dell and RS Components are proving, this requires a more analytical approach in today’s digital world. 


Iain ShorthoseIain ShorthoseNovember 9, 2018
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6min343

Advances in artificial intelligence (AI) are changing the way we work, from supporting faster data analysis to the use of virtual receptionists to greet guests.

However, when it comes to delivering a great experience in the workplace, the power of the human touch still wins out over tech.

The technology and AI revolution is rapidly transforming our world. From the emergence of staff-less grocery shops, to Alexa voice assistants in Marriott hotel rooms that provide concierge services, we’re already seeing major changes in our consumer lives – in how we eat, sleep and unwind, pay our bills and manage our daily routines.

Now, we need to be set for a transformation in our workplaces too. The world of business is recognising the need to offer the same level of experiences in the working environment as customers and employees have in their private lives. These changes hold huge opportunities for customer experience professionals and their partners – allowing us to use technology to reduce friction in the workplace experience and gather data to help us continually improve employee performance. 

At the same time, we mustn’t lose sight of the human touch amidst all the gadgetry and gimmicks. When it comes to delivering great service, people need to remain central to how we work, using new tech as an enabler for service delivery.

From the consumer world to the workplace

Across working environments, businesses are borrowing insights and technology from more consumer-facing industries to improve the workplace experience. Take the use of chatbots as an example. Chatbots have been the rage for retail and customer support for a while, but companies are making use of chatbots in their work spaces as well, whether to greet employees or visitors as they arrive or through the addition of bots in meeting rooms to attend to standard requests such as ordering drinks and altering room temperature.

While still in its early stages, we’re seeing a similar trend in voice devices. Amazon, for example, launched Alexa for Business in November last year. WeWork, the shared office space company, was an early adopter, conducting a pilot using a voice-powered reservation system for its conference rooms.

However, WeWork’s chief technology officer has since put the trial on hold, hinting that AI in the workplace is not the all-encompassing solution some might expect. Reflecting on the meeting room example, the idea of having a voice-enabled support or chatbot system works when the questions being posed are relatively straightforward.

However, when more complicated requests need to be processed, such as asking front of house teams for guidance on catering for international visitors, the ambiguities in language and heavy dependence on context in human conversation means there’s no substitute for personal interaction. In fact, an AI device that can’t understand what you’re asking often only becomes a drain on productivity rather than a booster, causing more frustration and delays.

Empowering people

This is not to say that businesses should ignore AI at work altogether, but it’s important to focus on instances where it can add value.

Whether working in front of house, facilities management, HR or IT, AI should empower business support teams responsible for smoothing the workplace experience and enable them to concentrate on complex, higher value tasks by removing more mundane activities from workloads.

It’s the difference between using AI in meeting rooms to work out how many people are on the invite and therefore how many cups will be needed for the tea and coffee order, and needing help with the IT to get a new business presentation on screen. The first is useful to smooth the Customer Experience, but the latter calls for the help and reassurance provided by a friendly face.

AI is not a replacement for good customer service. It allows us to use new tools to help people work better together while, importantly, not losing the power of the human touch.


Sylvia JensenSylvia JensenNovember 7, 2018
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9min459

Most marketers today understand the importance of Customer Experience and often find themselves leading the charge on cross-functional alignment on CX within their organisations.

Countless studies have shown that CX drives results – Forrester found that CX leaders tend to deliver compound annual revenue growth rates of 17 percent (compared to that of three percent by CX laggards) and Deloitte found that consumers’ decisions to buy products or services are affected by their overall enjoyment of their experience.

But despite the clear and highly attractive benefits, very few organisations seem to be getting CX right, which is especially worrying because by 2020, CX will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator according to business consultancy Walker.

So what seems to be going wrong? Recently, Acquia decided to host a Twitter chat with some leading CX experts to uncover what challenges marketers are facing, the role of technology, and what organisations need to do to get it right.

These are the insights that came from the chat:

Understanding customers is still the biggest challenge to a connected CX – and technology is not a silver bullet

The first challenge for all marketers in any industry (in both B2B and B2C) is to understand the customer. Understanding customers doesn’t just mean knowing their age, location, gender or job title – it means understanding their attitudes, what drives them, and trying to anticipate reactions to certain triggers or offers. If you don’t understand your customers, you’ll never be able to create a connected Customer Experience.

Often, when an organisation knows little about its customers, they opt for an ‘omnichannel’ approach, and try to target consumers through every channel under the sun with the same offer – rather than targeting the right offer to the right person through the right channel. Very few organisations have the resources to offer an optimised experience on every single channel, and so for most companies, they find themselves spreading their resources too thinly, and leaving a bad impression or experience with customers.

Successful companies that do understand their customers well know that they need to break down data silos within their organisation to help create that ‘one view’ of the customer they need to create a more seamless experience across channels.Technology on its own does not ‘solve’ the problem of CX.

We would all love to invest in a technology that made our work problems go away, but no CX technology exists that will make the challenges of CX disappear overnight.

Although technology does help you to stay better connect with customers, storytelling is still an important ingredient. As one contributor to the Twitter chat put it, “Some of the best CX I have seen have been start-ups with little money and basic technology who know how to brand themselves and tell a story that customers deeply relate to”.

And as another person put succinctly: “It’s an enabler to assist, not the creator (of CX).”

GDPR is not a barrier for personalisation

In fact, GDPR is a positive move for personalisation. Now that you’ve had a chance to purge your CRM system of useless never-would-be customers, you can focus truly on the customers who have already indicated to you that they’re interested in keeping in touch by opting in to marketing communications.

And for new customers, look to get their permission early on in the sales process. After all, you’ve spent money driving them to your website or landing page so it makes sense to reduce your acquisition costs wherever possible so you don’t keep paying for them to come back, then nurturing them again at the top of the sales funnel.

And the key for any personalisation efforts? Honesty and openness. Customers want to know what you’re using their data for and how safe their data is in your hands. If you can demonstrate your trustworthiness and security, GDPR shouldn’t be a barrier to personalisation.

People still can’t agree on who should ‘own’ CX

This was perhaps the most surprising aspect of the conversation on Twitter. As part of the chat, we asked the question: “What teams are primarily responsible for CX, and does this need to change?”

I was fully expecting a consensus, but we had a plethora of different contradictory answers. Some argued for a dedicated team within an organisation to manage CX. Others argued that CX should be a board-level responsibility. Others still argued that CX should automatically be the responsibility of the entire organisation.

I’m more inclined to agree with the last group, as one user put it: “CX is a major contributor to conversions and revenue, and so it should be a key KPI and focus for all. Giving it to one team allows other teams to believe they are absolved from responsibility.”

After all, everyone in an organisation is a representative of the brand and will therefore have an impact on CX in some way or another.

Measuring the success of connected customer journeys need not be difficult

One Twitter user said: “We tend to think of it (CX) as something airy-fairy and hard to measure – but it’s not.”

And she’s absolutely right. The best way to measure the success of CX is to use the same KPIs you already use to measure other business objectives. Metrics like customer churn, NPS scores, spend against those who engaged, sentiment, and more are all ways you can measure CX. They key is to find out what metrics are most relevant to you, and then use them and track them over time.

Which brings me to our conclusion. What was clear from the Twitter chat was that everything should start from a sound base. First create a platform through which you truly understand what drives your customers’ behaviour and attitude. Secondly, accept that solving the problem of CX isn’t just a case of switching on some technology, and finally, get your whole organisation on board that they should be thinking about the customer in everything they do.

Then we might see some actual movement.




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