As the world becomes more digital, the customer experience (CX) has never been more key to modern marketing. As marketers, your brand is no longer just compared to your industry peers, but also with those brands that deliver exceptional customer experiences as standard; the likes of Netflix, Apple and Amazon. According to Salesforce’s recent State of Marketing 2020 report, 69% of customers now expect connected experiences. This places a premium on designing and delivering a connected and responsive CX across every customer touchpoint. Marketing Technology (martech) is a crucial component to delivering these experiences.
What does a premium customer experience look like?
Leading research into marketing technology today concludes there are three core elements to quality CX: Personalised, Fast and Omnichannel marketing. At Clevertouch, we agree and feel there is a fourth. Let's look at each of these now.
High levels of personalisation are essential to the modern customer, and your content and offerings should reflect this.
One of the trademarks leading B2C companies have in delivering exceptional customer experiences is immediacy. Being able to respond to customer needs in real time, whilst retaining a curated log of prior customer engagement with your content, creates the great experience which leads to loyalty and advocacy.
Martech of the noughties favoured email segmentation over all other channels. It's beyond question that Marketing Automation (MA) delivered upon its promise of optimising email and finding efficiencies in delivery and reporting. But email is one channel and today's customers are moving their communication preferences to Text, Social, in-App and Webinar as well as the traditional offline interactions (such as live events). Your marketing needs to cover all these channels, and record customer engagement in a central place.
- Forecast certainty
Once you have all this customer information, you need to use it to create customer journeys with a degree of certainty on how a campaign will perform. Smart monitoring and reporting of campaign performance allow you to dynamically shift resources in and out of channels. Marketing results inform baselines, which in turn inform forecasting.
As a consumer you know from your own brand interactions, that a company who delivers a great customer experience consistently, wins hearts and minds more frequently than those companies who lack CX excellence.
Marketing technology is perfectly placed to help deliver the practicalities of this premium customer experience by creating personalisation at scale and delivering a true 1:1 customer journey across devices.
What stands in the way?
Knowing what good customer experience looks like, and delivering it, are not the same. There is a good chance mature marketers know a large proportion of the above, but are unable to bring these aspirations to life. Why is that? At Clevertouch we've found, while every business is unique, there are common challenges facing Enterprise marketing departments. In order these are:
One of the biggest opportunities, and challenges, for modern marketers is data. Poor data quality or badly managed data makes it impossible to deliver a great customer experience. It goes without saying, the more data you have on a customer, the more you can tailor an experience and journey specifically for them. However, inaccurate, out of date or siloed data stored in multiple marketing platforms leads to the risk of alienating your customers with irrelevant messaging. This is especially true if the messaging is not in sync with their stage in their buying cycle. Poor, or untimely messaging can lead to customer frustration, and as a result, loss of engagement and diminished lifetime customer value.
- Omnichannel Capability
The modern marketer has many channels and tactics at their disposal to reach customers as part of their marketing mix. Poor customer experience strikes when customers receive inconsistent messaging across multiple channels, often due to poor marketing technology execution. Martech selection is an important part of good CX, but correct martech use is how you deliver connected customer experiences.
The real benefits of getting customer experience right
An engaging customer experience has never been more important in increasing lifetime value. In fact, according to the Salesforce State of Marketing 2020, 84% of customers say being treated like a person, not a number, is very important to winning their business.
Seamless, omnichannel marketing is successful because it allows customer interactions to move between online, offline, and instore channels, while maintaining that same level of engagement throughout. According to the Salesforce State of Marketing 2020, 70% of customers say connected processes, such as seamless handoffs or contextualized engagement based on earlier interactions, are very important to winning their business.
This seamless journey through different stages of the customer lifecycle, utilising up to date and accurate data, is essential in driving personal and engaging customer experiences. In fact, 59% of consumers say customer engagements based on their past interactions are very important, and so the expectation of what consumers want is becoming ever more demanding, and we must now rise to meet the challenge, creating seamless end to end customer experiences at scale, utilising the marketing technology platforms at our disposable to do this.
Are you delivering a connected CX for your customers?
If you use Marketing Cloud as part of your Martech Spine™, or plan to, we hope the information above helps to inform your thinking of what good looks like. There can be no doubt, that in this era of Digital Revolution, customer experience is critical to winning and retaining customers.
There are a finite number of channels to reach your audience and your competitors will use them alongside you. You must differentiate yourself with more informed messaging, delivered in the right place at the right time. Marketing Cloud offers the capability but are you able to unlock it?
If you want to talk through proven strategies for Salesforce Marketing Cloud that deliver a better customer experience, we can help. We are a Salesforce Silver Partner and specialist Marketing Cloud consultancy. Contact us below.