Opinion

Putting Customer Experience at the Centre

Providing a great customer experience through reliable, personal service and a deep understanding of customer needs has been a long-standing goal across almost all businesses and iPropsect is no exception, customers need to be at the centre. As technology and consumer behaviours have evolved, so have the strategies businesses use to engage with and provide an enhanced experience for existing and target customers. 

In recent years however, the ways in which consumers can engage with businesses to meet their needs at any stage of their journey have changed rapidly.

  • 40 percent of eCommerce transactions involve multiple devices along the path to purchase (Criteo)
  • 56% of customer engagements take place over multiple days across multiple channels (IBM)
  • In 2015 27% of online adults planned to use Pinterest for festive shopping inspiration (Searchmetrics)

Consumer expectations have been set by a minority of companies which have succeeded in providing simple, highly connected and personal omni-channel customer experiences.

The complexity of meeting these expectations has made it increasingly difficult for businesses to adapt; to understand the needs and preferences of their target audiences and how and when to engage with them. 

According to eMarketer, 35% of marketers admit that they don't understand the customer journey and more than 60% said their incomplete data prevents them from personalising communications.

For those business that can however, the ability to provide a desirable customer experience has proven to have a substantial commercial impact. Research conducted by McKinsey and Forrester into companies with established Customer Experience strategies, have shown customer journey improvements see revenues increase 10-15%, cost to serve decrease by 15-20%,and 5x revenue growth over five years.

The significant impact that a customer centric strategy can have on core commercial performance has led to prioritisation of customer experience within business. Gartner estimate that in 2017 50% of consumer product investments will be redirected to customer experience innovations. The recent focus on Customer Experience and Journey Analytics by vendors such as IBM and Adobe as a leading area of marketing technology investment adds weight to this prediction.

To design more engaging, connected and personal experiences, businesses need to deeply understand their customers’ motivations, their goals, their preferred methods and their behaviours to meet these goals, as well as the context of these behaviours. It is also essential to understand the specific purpose of each brand touchpoint, channel or product and the value it can deliver to consumers.

Despite current challenges being faced in customer data integration and journey analysis, marketing teams are still in the strongest position to deeply understand their business’ customers and digital ecosystem. With ownership of or significant influence over a broad range of consumer-facing touchpoints, as well development of data management and analytics capabilities, marketing can lead the strategic design of the holistic digital customer experience.

At iProspect our goal has always been to deliver connected strategies to drive business performance. With the recent launch of Consult@iProspect, and specifically the Customer Experience Strategy service, we take a customer-first approach to meeting business goals. We create strong partnerships with clients and work objectively across channel and product teams to assess the current digital experience against the motivations, needs and preferences of their existing and target customers. We set the vision for what the experience could be and lead the design of a digital touchpoint and product ecosystem to meet these needs. We then lead the implementation of channel solutions or help to build the essential technical capabilities and cultural processes required.

Providing an engaging, connected and personal digital experience has its clear challenges. The benefits for your customers and business, however, are clear. Get in touch to learn more about how Consult@iProspect can support your customer-centric ambitions.  

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