Why Customer Experience is the key for Business Success?

Share this News:

22 May 2019, Mumbai,

We live in an era where acronyms are a sign of expertise or the next big tectonic change in technology. From a marketing perspective CRM was an acronym that resonated for almost 2 decades. But times they are a changing. Today marketers are in a mad race to give their customers a superlative ‘experience’ not just manage the ‘relationship’. Enter CXM. Exit CRM. Marketing can no longer operate in silos. CX driven marketing requires behavioural data (social, web, media), CRM, After-Sales, Finance.

A great customer experience or a moment is much better than 100 bonus points. The best and the most successful programs have embedded customer experience/recognition in their DNA than the unsuccessful ones. The Jet Privileges program stands out because of the entire ecosystem and partnerships that were built outside of the flying experience. One can book a flight on Indigo with Jet privilege points! MarTech players have been the first to pick up this trend and they have kind of become the pall-bearers of Customer Experience Management (CXM). This in a way does not speak well for the immense marketing talent available globally and in India. A great customer experience cannot only be ‘enabled’ using MarTech tools. The ‘thinking’ still needs to be done. What exactly is the customer experience? Why is it important? When should it be delivered? In what form should it be delivered? What is the ROI? These are fundamental questions any marketer worth his salt will ask. These questions need to be addressed from a different lens across the organisation. These are not uni-dimensional questions. Marketers have been adept at creating needs where none existed and the only differentiation that a product/service can offer today is the ‘brand’. The brand is the value generator and more and more the experience defines the brand.

Marketers need to take charge of the Customer experience. Today the premise seems to be that technology is the differentiator between a good and a bad customer experience. It is just a facilitator. With AI, ML, RPA, AR, VR, IoT, etc. we have enough jargon floating around our ecosystem to make us feel confident that we will be able to deliver a superlative customer experience and its only about investments in tools. Neeraj Pratap Sangani, Chief Business Officer at Hansa Cequity says, “That’s the trap the Marketers must avoid falling into. Marketing must be people-centric. Delivering a great customer experience is all about orchestrating and personalising the entire journey including managing convenience, micro-moments, delivering contextual communication at a touch point of the customers choice, when he is ready to receive the experience.” To enable this the entire Customer experience management framework will have to be designed. This requires a mindset change. Because this framework cannot be designed in isolation. The entire organisation and partner ecosystem need to be involved. Most organisations are not prepared for this transformation. There are multiple reasons for this –

It takes a lot of effort, application and intelligence to create a unified digital experience strategy. A lot of people can do it theoretically but have no clue of how it will unfold when it is put to practice. This is where it normally becomes a case of – Enter some marketing automation tool. Exit strategy.
The problem with tools is that plug and play never works unless the strategy is thought through seamlessly with well-defined and measurable KPIs. There are proprietary tools that need to be built that will differentiate the brand experience when tools and platforms become standard. There is a need to automate the process on scale as well as humanise the experience.
Most organisations operate in silos – CMO, CXO, CDO, CTO, CIO, CFO, Sales and After Sales. All islands of excellence and talented teams restless to make an impact. Each chasing a different rainbow, leading to a riot of colours and a messed-up painting instead of a customer experience masterpiece (CXM).
To design a great Customer Experience framework, organisations need to have –
A single end-to-end customer view across touchpoints
The capability, intelligence and the right tools to deliver insights from the wide swathe of data that exists in different siloes in different formats.
The ability to act real-time upon the insights and intelligence generated
Ability to integrate all of the above with their existing investments in people, technology and processes. (Thank you but no thank you lift and shift, rip and replace)
The key question according to Neeraj Pratap Sangani, Chief Business Office, Hansa Cequity is – “Does the customer, experience the difference? There is a need for personalizing the experience with never before moments that requires ‘process-driven imagination at scale’. That’s what differentiates the best-in-class companies from the average ones.”

With so much complexity and technological ambiguities, marketers really have their task cut out. They need to STEP up to the new world of customer experience. STEP stands for – Strategy, Technology, Empowering People, Processes. This is a Customer Experience Management framework created by Hansa Cequity, one of India’s top data-driven marketing services provider –

Strategy – includes defining organisational goals and KPIs, specific for the kind of customer experience to be delivered and why it is relevant.
Technology – Design the solution architecture keeping the unique customer journey in mind in the context of your brand/organisation and customers. One should go for best-in-class point solutions rather than buy one behemoth stack that does everything. The power is in the integration and orchestration.
Empowering People – Get different silos to collaborate and empower them to take decisions. Customers don’t differentiate between Marketing, Sales and After Sales.
Processes – Need to be robust. Governance mechanisms to review and reboot as and when required must be put in place. Measure everything but action data points that will have the largest impact and make a telling to difference to customer experience.
Globally brands like Kohl’s, Best Buy, Equinox, Air Canada, Sun Trust Bank, Mastercard and Toyota have taken big strides in Customer Experience Management. Toyota for example has a unified view across silos like Sales, After Sales, Financial Services arms and across brands/organisations including Lexus. A humungous task to integrate across the Americas but now that it has been accomplished they have a very good idea of who their customer is, having layered this with an Identity Management program and intelligence to pick up the ‘intent’ of the customer they are well poised to deliver a superlative customer experience.

According to Neeraj Pratap Sangani – “Organisations and brands in India have to traverse some distance till we get there. The CMOs role has fundamentally changed. He must be the Chief Customer Officer, the Chief Experience Officer and the Chief Growth Officer.” This is the CMOs chance to aim for glory and a seat on the Board. And of course, the success of this digital transformation lies with top management commitment, collaboration and deploying the right people for the task. This is indeed the step-up change that will re-define marketing. Long live CXM.