In today’s highly competitive economy, 100% customer satisfaction and experience is more than a post service afterthought. According to Salesforce, 8 out of 10 customers say the experience provided by a company is just as important as their products and services. And by experience, they’re not necessarily referring to interactive ads or immersive content. Rather, more and more customers now expect personalized service, added convenience, and more importantly – consistency in each and every process.
There are more touch points encompassed in these experiences ranging from a single ad all the way to product support or even your company’s sales process. As a rule of thumb, anything that happens to your customers counts as an experience; be it good or bad. Therefore, being an experience focused brand means working hard to create great experiences throughout your customers’ lifecycle, and not just in one single process or moment. So, how can marketers up the ante and embrace the ever important experience focused approach?
Tips for Embracing and Adopting an Experience-Focused Approach
1: Head Honcho Buy- ins
In a past State of Marketing report carried out by Salesforce, several key differences between high and low performing marketing companies were identified. Chief among them was executive buy-in to a whole new idea of marketing. Now, please note that this does not mean new marketing ideas, but rather a refocused or brand new marketing model.
The research surfaced some very intriguing patterns across numerous companies. Whenever executives noted this pattern (how the power of refocusing the marketing model created even more cohesive experiences all across the customers lifecycle) and saw marketing as more than a way to increase sales, most of them achieved true breakout success. But this has to go hand in hand with the right budget investments and allocations.
2: Customer Experience Focused Budget Investments
Experiences are very powerful, especially when they’re good, grand, and unique. Unfortunately, creating them is not easy; and it definitely isn’t any cheaper. Research shows that the number of data sources preferred by marketers could jump in a few years. But on the flip side, the increase in sources and technologies that collaborate in real time to create bespoke experiences could prove an impediment to meeting high customer expectations.
The question now becomes, just how much should you invest to create the ideal customer experience and the technology that makes this feasible? The general congruence amongst numerous CMO’s, venture capitalists and marketing experts seems to be quite a specific figure. On average, companies need to spend between 7 to 13% of the gross revenue with roughly 15% of that amount dedicated solely for marketing technology.
Without step #1 (executive buy in to the new idea of marketing), there’s simply no way to achieve step 2 and get the required funds to invest in customer experience.
3: Promote Cross Functional Collaboration
When companies leave marketing in charge of promoting better customer experiences, they begin to see an even stronger collaboration between all other departments. So in a way, marketing is the glue that holds the entire customer experience together.
Encouraging cross functional collaboration between the following teams is essential.
- Marketing and Sales – Sales and marketing teams have a lengthy history of butting heads. But with the current rise in new account based marketing methods, these two might just have to work closer than ever.
- Marketing and Commerce – These two departments already share a lot of common goals and metrics. With even more collaboration, companies can create true cross channel buyer experiences that bring together individual campaigns and physical stores for harmonic cohesion.
- Marketing and Service – A unified customer view means that marketing and customer service teams will naturally operate as extensions of each other. For example, about 60% of marketing teams now track customer retention and overall satisfaction. When marketers transform into customer experience advocates, they can empower all departments to serve modern customers even better.
4: Getting the Right ‘Bridge Builder’
With this new definition and an overhauled ideal of marketing, it’s clear that how marketing is executed, viewed and managed has completely changed. As such, brands will need new marketing leaders (bridge builders) who will create links between other departments to guarantee consistent and optimized customer experiences.
Even big brands like Publicis and Motorola have all placed new executives in charge of driving customer experience. Since the role of these leaders is to ensure consistent customer experiences across the entire business, CXO’s tend to be the heads of marketing in many cases. Without these bridge builders, each department will work towards self-serving goals instead of rallying together for better customer experiences.
With more and more startups starting to wise up, big companies stuck in their old ways may soon find themselves in stiff competition with the smaller guys. And it’s all because of one simple, universal truth. See, a company may define its own brand promise, but it’s the customers who will decide whether or not you delivered in the end. It’s high time we realized just how much we have riding on the delivery of good customer experience.
So as we train our staff and hire new leaders, it’s just as important to give them the necessary tools required to deliver a CX that both meets customers expectations and makes them return customers. Veloxy mobile and Veloxy inbox can help you make the most out of Salesforce by helping you keep track of your customers’ activities and get forecasts that will help improve the overall experience of your services.