3 Signs That Your Customer Experience Might Suck

If you’re on par with your competition in terms of price and quality, that only gets you in the game. But stellar customer experience (CX) wins the game.

As Brian Solis echoed in his interview, The Future of Business with the CMO of SDL, CX is becoming more important than the product itself.

Customers have always had the control to vote with their feet or with their wallets; but they now have increasing influence not only over what they buy, but also what others buy, throwing the traditional path to purchase into disarray. Indeed, the empowered consumer has gone beyond simply consuming products and services; they are formidable critics and creators as they become more informed, more connected and more demanding.

How do businesses close the gap when dealing with millions of individual expectations? Quite simply, you must bring your A-Game when it comes to customer experience as it becomes the new currency of power.

So, how do you ensure your customer experience doesn’t fall flat? What are the red flags you should be looking out for? Here are 3 key signs that your company is failing at customer experience management:

1) You have no holistic view of your customers

From personalisation to segmentation, there are a variety of ways to optimise CX strategies and maximise results. As highlighted in a recent report by Customer Experience Manager, Omer Minakra, 58% of companies currently use at least 8 channels to capture consumer data. However, a wealth of data alone is not enough to succeed; it is the capability to capture and use data effectively that is the key differentiator between the organisations that are winning the heart and mind of the modern consumer from those that aren’t. Failure to synthesise the data in a way that allows you to create a complete picture of the consumer leads to failure during CX delivery.

Moreover, by using analytics, companies can take back some of the power from the consumer by analysing historical and real-time data captured across all channels to uncover hidden trends and correlations. In the words of best-selling author Don Peppers in his recent post, Big Data Tells You What, Small Data Tells You Why, “Ignore it at your peril”.

2) Your segmentation is not personalisation

It’s clear that we’re living in the age of Big Data and walking amongst Digital Giants. So why are only 5% of businesses fully satisfied with their ability to deliver truly ‘data-driven customer conversions’? Data driven customer conversion refers to businesses using historical and real-time customer data, captured across several channels, to personalise every conversion and ensure a seamless CX.

While traditional methods of segmentation that rely on historical data is better than no customisation at all, this falls short compared to following a ‘one-to-one’ model where conversations are personalised on an individual level using real-time data.

In a 2017 study by the Aberdeen Group, companies not utilising a real-time personalisation approach fell considerably behind companies that do.

Indeed, businesses using real-time personalisation grew customer profit margins by 14.5% year-over-year, compared to 1.9% by those using traditional methods. Moreover, these businesses improve cross-sell/up-sell revenue by 2.6x more than those using traditional methods; a result of a deep understanding of their customers and the factors that drive unnecessary costs.

The same study also identified that businesses with real-time personalisation saw 28.9% year-over-year growth in return on marketing investments compared to only 0.5% by others; as well as 4.6x greater annual improvement in customer satisfaction rates and 3.4x greater annual increase in customer retention, compared to those using traditional methods.

A great example that demonstrates the effective use of real-time personalisation in CX are chat bots, an application that 34% of online retail companies have already incorporated.

_“The idea of traditional marketing segmentation is dead […] We want to provide every customer with a completely unique experience.” as said by Russell Fisher Head of Customer and Digital Strategy at Zurich UK_ in a recent report

3) You don’t deliver omni-channel interactions

According to a blog post by the CEO of Invesp, Khalid Saleh, companies without a strong omni-channel customer engagement strategy only retain an average of 33% of their customers, compared to 89% for companies with strong omni-channel strategies. Customers expect companies to interact across multiple channels – online, offline, social media and so on. More specifically, a _consistent_ omni-channel communication is expected.

Further, a Business Insider article reports that 47% of shoppers who engage with brands across 10 or more channels make purchases from their preferred retailer’s website at least once a week, compared to just 21% for those who engage across 1 to 4 channels.

With a data-driven understanding of your target audience, you can integrate the buying experience across channels to create a consistent brand image. Indeed, a recent publication by Aberdeen Group found that companies with extremely strong omnichannel customer engagement see a 9.5% year-over-year increase in annual revenue, compared to 3.4% for weak omnichannel companies.

_“Our prospects don’t think of Virgin Media online, Virgin Media telesales or Virgin Media retail. They just think of Virgin Media and expect to have a joined-up experience.” said Christopher Coleman Head of Multi-Channel Sales, Virgin Media_ in a recent report

So yes, customer experience is definitely important. It’s critical in understanding your customers. With this in mind, what can you do to surpass your competitors in customer experience?

Content originally used a promotional social media post on Linked In and **can be found here **