3 strategies for improving CX in 2022
Consumers today have a wealth of options; this puts immense pressure on organisations to ensure they deliver a consistently great customer experience to ultimately build long-term and profitable customer relationships.
But studies show that brands are falling down on the job. According to figures from PwC, 59% of global consumers feel that companies have lost touch with the human element of customer experience (CX), while global SugarCRM research found 56% of UK companies say their customer churn has increased in the last 12 months.
While the pandemic has introduced new customer experience trends and reminded us of the value of relationships, we are increasingly seeing businesses prioritising service-driven over sales-driven agendas. Now is the time to get ahead of your competitors on the customer experience front and provide a first-class customer journey.
Here are three essential strategies for improving your customers’ experience in 2022.
1. Using AI to create empathy in marketing strategies
With the pandemic shifting buying behavior to online channels, the demand for rewarding and streamlined experiences online is critical. To perform here, empathy and personalisation are key – all now easily in our grasp thanks to advances in technology.
Marketers are now juggling mass amounts of customer data to interpret and make personalised, empathic communications, something too laborious and time-consuming a task for humans to complete. We want to give that local corner shop experience, but it’s just not possible to scale up.
According to Gartner, “63% of digital marketing leaders still struggle with personalisation. But only “17% use AI and machine learning across the function.” Until recently, many believed AI is solely used for assumptions and predictions. In reality, AI now has multiple uses and is not limited to just administrative and data-driven tasks. And it is only getting better.
With the introduction of new tools and technology for automated sentiment analysis, AI is now replacing conventional feedback surveys to understand customer sentiment and respond in real-time, with a focus shifted to prioritising human emotions. AI can sort through voluminous data sets and can help identify the next-best actions and opportunities to connect with customers and take their journey one step further. Using a combination of Natural Language Processing (NLP) and AI, each customer’s emotional state can be analysed and passed on to the appropriate support. Ensuring that empathy is at the forefront of marketing strategy leads to an increase in new customer generation as well as increased trust amongst existing customers.
2. Embracing a data-driven strategy
Gone are the days when marketers can work solely on experience and intuition. Becoming a data-driven marketer is the way forward to create experiences tailored to each customer.Analytics can create detailed and accurate customer profiles that can help understand customers behaviours and preferences so that they can then produce predictive insights to anticipate their behaviours and identify real-time solutions and opportunities.
Having clear insights into customer behaviours, needs and contextual data are crucial. However, Sugar research has revealed that up to 50% of sales leaders admit they cannot access customer data across marketing, sales, and service systems, leaving customer-facing team members without a clear picture of their customers,.
This can be achieved by integrating a CRM platform that focuses on marketing automation and data collection. Data captured must include all touchpoints and key activity, such as calls, messages, emails, enquiries, competitor mentions, website interactions and activity logging to name a few. This captured data should be logged automatically and linked to the lead, opportunity, or customer account.
A refined CRM platform will also have data collection techniques that will help fill in the blind spots and this will ultimately help organisations make accurate predictions about future campaign efforts. This process involves an array of teams including sales, marketing, customer success, customer service and professional services. Having a common platform will easily link data captured across teams and will support an integrated revenue management approach.
3. Creating a holistic customer journey
Digital customer journeys nowadays are complex and continually evolving. There isn’t a straightforward ‘one size fits all’ route to follow and there’s often only one shot to make a lasting impression. Maintaining customer retention is more sensitive (and difficult) than ever. According to PwC, one in three customers say they will walk away from a brand they love after just one bad experience.
Companies that focus on improving customer experiences across a holistic customer journey are more likely to succeed and retain customers. This needs to be underpinned by flawless customer support. To achieve this, your frontline support agents need to be armed with the right technology, resources and shared knowledge to diagnose and solve problems quickly.
A service-driven agenda that delivers a consistently personal customer journey both online and in-person will be the difference between long-term customer loyalty and losing these customers to the competition. Technology and data need to be part of that process as they are integral to any modern sales and revenue management playbook. Analytics and advanced techniques such as AI can facilitate and contribute to forging memorable relationships with customers. Intelligent technology helps teams understand what a “good” customer experience looks like, and subsequently allows sales processes to become repeatable motions.
Businesses should today ask themselves: How do we optimise leads and ensure we are providing the best possible experience for our customer across all their customer journeys.