Tackling the Customer Experience Challenge
Digital has never been so easy and accessible. It has become ‘the norm’, raising customer expectations in a way no one could have expected, and increasing the number of ways to reach consumers, wherever they are. This is why creating a seamless and effective customer experience (CX) should be central to any digital strategy.
CX is a top digital priority
In 2014, customer experience emerged as one of marketers’ top priorities. In 2015, it dominated that list, and as Adobe’s latest Digital Trends report reveals, in 2016, it has actually started to define wider business priorities.
When asked about their single most exciting opportunity for 2016, the top three answers from the 7,000 marketing professionals surveyed were ‘optimising the customer experience’, ‘creating compelling content for digital experiences’, and ‘data-driven marketing that focuses on the individual’, stressing how CX is well and truly front-of-mind.
This also shows how businesses are recognising that, along with creativity, data has the potential to drive a competitive advantage, and should be underpinning any customer interaction. This is indicated in the report where, when asked to identify their strategic priorities for 2016, more organisations chose ‘data-driven marketing’ (53%) than any other. Here we can see that companies are prioritising data-driven marketing _because _of CX, not instead of it, a sign of promising things to come.
Of course, the other side of data is content, and experiences only work if businesses can create and deliver this efficiently. The Digital Trends respondents agreed, with 94% saying that improving the process behind content creation and delivery will be important in delivering a great customer experience in the year ahead.
The CX challenge
We also know that, while the aspirations are clearly there, many companies are still struggling to provide a seamless experience. According to our latest Quarterly Digital Intelligence Briefing: The CX Challenge, ‘complexity’ was cited as the greatest barrier preventing organisations improving CX. 48% of European respondents also rated their company as ‘immature’ or ‘not advanced’ in terms of CX maturity.
This shows there is a gap between the knowledge of what needs to happen and companies having the right tools and skills to put these CX priorities into practice. Given this issue, here are the top CX trends we’ve identified which businesses should consider:
- Cross-functional collaboration: Today’s consumers engage with businesses and brands across many channels and therefore expect a seamless experience. The responsibility for delivering effective CX has to be carried across the whole company in a cross-functional collaboration that combines data, systems, strategy and workflows.
- Mobile-only: Mobile is not only the most important channel, as for many markets, it’s the only channel. And this trend is growing, with the Digital Trends report revealing half of marketers see mobile as a top 3 area of priority for their organisation. It starts by shifting your strategy and resources from a web-centric to a mobile-centric foundation, with a focus on apps and mobile web.
- IoT strategy: CX managers have to start thinking about an Internet of Things (IoT) strategy. It’s no longer simply about ‘things’, rather the connected consumer using those things. This connected ecosystem is set to revolutionise people’s understanding of CX in the future.
- Integrated technology platforms: The CX Challenge report found that thirteen different touchpoints were regarded by at least half of survey respondents as central to CX. With these touchpoints ranging from bricks-and-mortar stores, websites and mobile, to advertising, email and social – companies need integrated technology platforms that allow them to have a single view of the customer.
Most of us realise the business impact of creating compelling, personal and useful experiences, wherever our customers are. It’s now about putting that understanding into practice and making sure we have the right tools, skills and strategies in place to make CX successful.