The relationships between brands and consumers have changed.
The way we consume products, services, and even marketing messages is not the same as before. The proliferation of smartphones and tablets, along with the rise in value of the subscription economy, is leading this change.
Consumers are now hyper-connected across multiple channels in ways that never existed before, and the onus is on brands to evolve. This digital innovation has given consumers unprecedented levels of flexibility too. It has redefined their expectations of how brands ought to communicate with them.
At the same time, these hyper-connected consumers are creating a mass of data and information for marketers. From demographic, to social and transactional data, consumers are happy to offer personal data in exchange for a more personal service and experience.
Since much of the power rests with consumers today, keeping up with their changing needs and delivering the kind of connected experiences that today’s new breed of consumers demand will be paramount in 2020. Therefore, as brands wrestle with this challenge, what will the impact on customer experience be?
CX is no longer a differentiator: it’s a requirement
Despite the fact that great CX is one of the leading ways in which businesses can differentiate their brands today, many are still failing. In a recent survey, only 36 percent of marketers claimed they look after CX, and a majority (45 percent) said that they are not responsible for it.
In 2020, the CX responsibility can no longer live within the confines of ‘CX’ professionals or the marketing department alone. It needs to involve every individual within a brand – whether that’s marketing, sales or service.
This makes it important for brands to strive to achieve a seamless, positive, cross-departmental Customer Experience, regardless of whether it’s during marketing, billing or customer service scenarios. Dealing with this industry wide challenge is what marketers need to address.
Additionally, today’s hyper-connected customers have higher customer expectations. They expect instantaneous responses to queries. Dealing with customer impatience, therefore, is now an imperative for brands, as they seek to deliver high-value and truly connected experiences, regardless of department or channel that customers are engaging with.
As organisations look to deliver a truly connected CX, they must aim to continuously build rounded profiles of their customers; tracking available information like behavioural data, transactional data, data from social media and much more.
Only then can companies deliver highly relevant and personalised experiences for each customer and ultimately maximise the lifetime value of that customer.
Everyone’s a winner, including the contact centre
A connected CX doesn’t solely benefit brand marketers either. Take the contact centre, where delivering value to a customer at each and every interaction has an acute impact.
Today, expected customer service response timeframes are shortening: 96 percent of people expect brands to respond within 24 hours of a flagged issue and 90 percent also expect a resolution to come within 24 hours.
What’s more, 71 percent expect brands to have all the information about them during an escalated brand interaction; which highlights and stresses the importance and need for brands to develop a full 360-view of the customer.
Within this scenario brands also need to adjust their perspective of the value of the contact centre. By no longer viewing the contact centre as a ‘cost centre’, companies can empower agents with the customer insights they need to deliver value and even close sales during particular key moments with clients.
Additionally, a recent study indicates that 54 percent of consumers will abandon a brand after only two or three negative experiences. And, with the majority of a customer’s human interaction happening within the confines of customer service, brands can’t afford to deliver poor experiences in this domain.
This means that customer care reps can become important brand ambassadors, who are crucial towards maintaining and elevating that customer perception during a call, by arming them with the right data to deliver real customer value.
The incentive for achieving a truly connected CX has never been clearer. As consumers continue to mount pressure on brands, 2020 should be the year that connected experiences become standard. Over the next 12 months, the brands that succeed will be the ones who have effectively achieved cross-department collaboration and enabled a 360-degree view of the customer.
This holistic CX approach will not only win favour with consumers, but give ambitious brands the essential information they need to innovate and gain a competitive edge.