It’s no surprise that businesses are focused on providing excellent customer experiences more than ever before. Customer satisfaction based on great customer experience management is more important each and every day. The goal is to satisfy customer needs and facilitate a positive customer experience that creates customer loyalty. Demanding and digitally sophisticated customers demand speed and convenience coupled with personalized engagement. Although the current pandemic has increased purchasing via low-touch/no-touch channels, customers still expect the same level of personalized interactions. This has led to the ever-growing importance of a great customer experience strategy.
The Importance of Great Customer Experiences
In a competitive market, where customers can easily find the desired product via online shopping, brand loyalty becomes increasingly important—and that is highly impacted by the customer experience. In fact, 73% of consumers said that a good experience is key in influencing their brand loyalties, according to the Forrester Analytics Business Technographics Global Data & Analytics Survey, 2019. Furthermore, 32% of customers will walk away from a brand they love after just a single bad experience, according to a PwC survey.
Studies show that excellent customer experiences pay off—with more revenue and higher profitability, increased customer lifetime value, lasting customer loyalty, and enhanced reputation. For example, 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience—and the more expensive the item, the more they are willing to pay, according to research by PwC.
What is a Customer Experience?
Not all agree on what “customer experience” is. Some see it as primarily a customer service function or the user experience. We at Reltio see it as much more. To us, the customer experience includes all interactions a customer has with an organization over the life of the relationship. From the first time a prospective customer visits your website or contacts you by phone or email, they start to form perceptions and develop feelings about your company. You want those to be positive ones that will lead to establishing a new relationship.
Positive customer interaction that meets high customer expectations will help you retain loyal customers. But how do you improve customer experience strategy?
How to Improve Customer Experience?
To improve the overall customer experience, many businesses are creating customer journey maps, which can be thought of as customer experience design, to identify areas of potential friction in the customer experience. As they focus on the journey, they identify touchpoints where they can pick data breadcrumbs and power those touchpoints with insights from captured data. However, more than just a series of siloed touchpoints, journey maps provide a visualization of what a person experiences in trying to achieve a goal. The journey map, which may touch many departments or functions, helps diagnose where the process breaks down or generates too much friction. It is no surprise that organizational data silos and fragmented data are often the root cause of disjointed customer journeys and the lack of data democratization.
Visit the webinar “How and Where Data Can Bring Customer Journey Maps to Life” for an in-depth discussion of journey mapping and how maps can enhance your customer experience strategy. In addition, you will learn how incorporating data into the maps brings them to life and allows you to design an experience that will delight your customers.
Collecting Data Crumbs for a Robust Digital Customer Experience
“Data is at the heart of designing and delivering a great connected customer experience,” says Annette Franz, Founder and CEO of CX Journey Inc. and author of the book Customer Understanding. We at Reltio agree—it’s critical to make quality data available to the right people at the right time to streamline customer journeys. And customers themselves agree—a PwC survey found that 46% of all consumers will abandon a brand if the employees are not knowledgeable.
To illustrate, imagine Jonathan Doe, a prospective buyer who has had dealings with Electro, a sizable electronics company, over the years.
- He exists in Electro’s marketing data because he had attended a webinar.
- As Jon Doe, he purchased Electro’s products for himself using a mobile app.
- Jon is also a business buyer for Electro. His wife Ava, purchasing manager for Electro’s parent company, recommends him the latest Electro product.
- As a result, Jonathan Evan Doe, in his role as Electro’s buyer, calls the contact center to request pricing for a large purchase.
Due to fragmented customer data, many companies will not even realize they are dealing with the same person, much less that Ava is an influencer from the parent company.
To deliver a connected consumer experience and give your customer organization--marketing, sales, and service--the information to deliver an exceptional customer experience, you need to provide unified, reliable, and real-time data across the organization including:
- A “single customer view” that includes the marketing, mobile sales, and prospect information (and knows that Jonathan, Jon, and Jonathan Evan Doe are the same person)
- Transactional data showing his purchases across all channels
- Interaction data showing his pricing request to the contact center
- Relationship information showing the potential influence of the parent company and his wife
- Preferences and insights about his previous purchases
- Any service interactions that might positively or negatively influence the sale
- Third-party information on the customer, such as credit information from Dun & Bradstreet
Everyone at your company should have the information they need at their fingertips to provide the personalized service Jon deserves while increasing the likelihood of additional sales. For example, marketing will want to understand Jon’s communication preferences, how Jon initially became a customer, and whether he might be a good reference. Sales will want to know what products Jon has and which additional products Jon might buy. Product owners will want to understand Jon’s satisfaction level and suggestions for enhancement. Service and support might focus also on whether service level agreement commitments are being met and how Jon might benefit from consulting services or more comprehensive support plans. In all cases, you want to ensure that the various departments are working from a “single source of truth”.
As you continue to work with Jon, you will want to use this data to fuel artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and predictive analytics. Not only will it help you work better with him in the future, but it will also help you discern buying patterns and hone targeting to generate sales to similar customers.
Power your Customer Experience with Trusted Data
To succeed in the experience economy, you need to understand your customer holistically, leveraging insights into their demographics, buying behavior, intent and preferences. This requires moving beyond traditional master data to orchestrate a rewarding customer journey with connected, real-time, comprehensive, and contextual customer information--exactly what Reltio Connected Data Platform provides.
Reltio takes an API-first approach, allowing data to be available in real-time to business applications such as ERP and CRM systems, as well as to analytical and predictive systems. The longer and more completely you use Reltio, the more robust your customer profiles and “smarter” your artificial intelligence and machine learning become. This, in turn, gives your employees the information and insight they need to provide the excellent customer experience they crave while helping the company achieve its business objectives.
For more information on why and how connected data brings customer journey maps to life, download the ebook “Connected Customers. Connected Data. Connected Journeys” by Annette Franz. CEO of CX Journey Inc.