The world is shifting more and more to the digital every day, and as a result, customer experience has never been more key to modern marketing. As marketers, our brand is no longer being compared with others in our industry, but with those brands that are delivering exceptional customer experiences, the likes of Netflix, Apple and Amazon. According to Salesforce’s recent State of Marketing 2020 report, 69% of customers now expect connected experiences.
So what customer experience capabilities must we deliver?
- Personalised: High levels of personalisation are essential to the modern customer, and our content and offerings should reflect this.
- Fast: One of the trademarks that Netflix, Apple and Amazon have in delivering exceptional customer experiences is immediacy. Being able to respond to customer needs in real time, all whilst retaining high levels of personalisation, creates a great experience.
- Omnichannel: Email, text, social and even offline interactions need to work together and provide consistency to create seamless transitions for your customers.
The theory sounds great and it makes complete sense – we know from our own interaction with brands as consumers, those that that deliver a great customer experience win more of our heart and mind share. Marketing technology is perfectly placed to help us deliver the practicalities of this utopia, creating personalisation at scale and delivering a true 1:1 customer journey across devices. But we know it’s hard to achieve.
What stands in the way?
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 However, if your data is inaccurate, out of date or stored in siloes across multiple marketing platforms, you are at risk of alienating your customers with irrelevant messaging, especially if it isn’t in line with their customer lifecycle. This can lead to customer frustration, and as a result, loss of engagement and potentially lifetime customer value too.
There are so many channels and tactics for you to interact with your customers in the marketing mix. The key to successful customer experience is not just to utilise all the mediums that you have at your disposal, but to ensure the ones that you do use are working together seamlessly. Poor customer experience strikes when your customers receive inconsistent messaging across channels due to poor marketing technology execution.
The cost of getting customer experience wrong, and the benefits of getting it 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.
Using Salesforce Marketing Cloud to deliver a better customer experience? Find out more about how we can help here.