“Because the purpose of business is to create a customer, the business enterprise has two – and only two- basic functions: marketing and innovation.”
Marketing, one of the most critical components of revenue generation and value creation, has always been a distinguishing function of a business. Today the focus of marketing has shifted from advertising and sales enablement to the entire customer experience.
The COVID-19 pandemic has only accelerated the importance of digitizing the customer experience. Today, businesses have to be listening and responding in real-time with customers. Gone are the days of old-school campaign-based, calendar-based schedules for marketing. Today’s state-of-art CMOs have built a technology stack that allows for them to be “always-on” and always responding with analytics-driven solutions to customers’ needs.
Though many businesses are still in the initial phases of creating automation within their marketing campaigns, 25% of CMOs in U.S. are already expanding their areas of responsibility to include the full customer journey. These CMOs own both marketing and customer experience, including customer care, social media monitoring, customer service and the like. They are bringing together AI, technology, marketing, and product services to deliver a better solution to their customers, with a comprehensive response. With both areas under the CMO, these companies can be more agile and nimble when dealing with customers across all channels and touch points.
The technology underlying customer experience is fundamental. It starts with an enterprise-grade Customer Data Platform (CDP) – a single, comprehensive, and connected platform for total visibility into the customer journey. As our fast-growing portfolio company, ActionIQ, puts it, “Winning on customer experience (CX) requires leaders to take decisive action on creating a new CX-centric operating model.”
The best companies run on CDPs that, like ActionIQ’s, capture all interactions consumers have with your brand including marketing messages, calls to a call center, visits to a retail store, mobile app usage, sales transaction data, etc. Simply put, in order to provide the most frictionless customer experience and meet the rising expectations of every customer, companies need to gather, measure, and optimize customer data.
This technology stack enables customer journey orchestration and optimization – what may be the best combination of products / services from a company for you is most likely going to be different for me, or the next person. Tailoring solutions that fit specific needs is at the heart of great customer care and marketing, yet many companies still lag behind on these best practices.
Inevitably, every company and consumer will encounter technical and other product issues. Businesses are now expected to not only offer exceptional products and services, but also to provide consistently flawless experiences for their customers at every touch point. That’s why companies need to turn every service glitch into an opportunity for a positive customer experience.
For instance, a customer may encounter difficulties while completing a loan application on a provider app. When the bank’s call center rep is contacted by the customer, the rep should be immediately equipped with the identity and history of the caller, understand why they are calling, where the customer got stuck in the app, and be prepared to resolve the problem. Seamless, across all touch points.
The role of AI will be paramount in bringing agility and efficient decision-making to the customer experience. AI is the next layer of investment that will activate the data and allow for fast, predictive responsiveness and engagement with consumers. Software companies like Uniphore and ASAPP are designed to do just this, leading companies to increased revenue, higher NPS scores and greater overall customer (and employee) satisfaction.
Read more about modern marketing, technology-enabled decision-making, and the explosive trend of data-driven customer experience in various posts and articles by Wes Nichols at https://medium.com/@wesnichols or on the March Capital Media & Thought Leadership page.