Customer experience is no doubt an important function in drawing consumers to the brand and separates it from the pack. However, Adobe's 2021 Digital Trends report earlier found that there is a lack of CX prioritisation among leaders from CX mainstream companies (30%) compared with CX leaders (12%). CX mainstream represents organisations that range from "immature" to "somewhat advanced" in their CX approach, while CX leaders are defined as companies with a very advanced approach to customer experience, where strategy and technology are aligned to a successful effect.
With the race to win consumers' hearts getting more challenging, brands will need to make tough decisions to ensure their customer experience strategy can help them succeed. According to Adobe's MD, Southeast Asia Simon Dale, there are seven questions business leaders in Asia Pacific should ask themselves to build a customer experience advantage.
1. What’s our vision for the customer experience we want to create?
He explained in a blog post that many organisations begin buying tech solutions before they are clear on what they want the tech to achieve. Hence, it is important for companies to understand who their target audience are, what actions they want the customers to take, and what an ideal customer experience would be.
"Map your customer journey end to end, and identify the pain points you need to solve for today, who you need to work with, and what happens in the year ahead and beyond," Dale said.
2. What's our cloud transformation strategy?
Shifting into the cloud is more than just a tactical move. Instead, cloud-based business models offer a variety of business benefits such as better business continuity, improved operational reliability, agility, as well as enhanced productivity. When planning a cloud transformation strategy, Dale said companies need to think about how they want to get there and how they plan to do it in a way that delights consumers.
3. What's our digital foundation for customer experiences?
A top-quality content management system is required to ensure a company's customer experience management programme is richer and more data-driven. With this in place, the marketing team will have more time to focus on its core business delivery.
4. What other technologies will we invest in to build engaging customer experiences?
Business leaders need to search for new tools that can help the company deliver the right experience to the right customer at the right time. Citing its 2021 Digital Trends survey, Dale said 46% of B2C leaders and 35% of B2B leaders said personalisation is the emerging capability that would make the most difference in improving customer experience, making it the top choice in both sectors.
For B2C leaders, “video to increase brand engagement” was the second choice (28%), followed by artificial intelligence and bots (22%) and virtual or augmented reality (20%). B2B leaders expressed a strong interest in IoT connected devices (26%), video (24%), and VR/AR (24%).
5. How will we use those technologies to deliver omnichannel experiences that help our business acquire, convert, and retain customers?
According to Dale, brands in Asia Pacific must "sharpen their focus" on the customer journey they want to create, and every part of the business has to be in alignment with it. According to Adobe's survey, 63% of B2C leaders and 57% of B2B leaders reported unusual growth in digital customers over the past year, while nearly half of all respondents noted unusual buying behaviour from existing customers.
Hence, Dale said brands need to be able to tap on customer data to offer relevant experiences in real-time, in order to build customer loyalty.
6. How will we use data in smart ways to deliver content and experiences that matter to our customers?
Companies need to go beyond just capturing data because merely doing so will not offer them the results they need. Instead, marketers need to glean insights from it and take meaningful action, Dale said. He explained that meaningful action does not only require data but also empathy to create experiences that foster an emotional bond between the brand and the customer. Doing so also requires trust and Dale said this can be built by demonstrating respect for customer's privacy.
7. How will we source the talent, develop the skills, and organize the teams that will bring our CXM strategy to life?
In the fast-changing digital world, marketers also need to be savvy in areas such as data analytics, change management, and storytelling to define the organisation's journey. Data is key in this aspect and according to Dale, having a data-driven operating model tells companies not only their story but also which customers need their help at any given moment, which is also the brand's story.
Photo courtesy: 123RF
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