The Next Frontier in Customer Experience!

By Nirav Bhatia, Head – Customer Intelligence Practice, SAS India

2020 will possibly go down as the most disruptive year in modern history, with no one immune to the impact it has had, including organizations serving their customers. This impact has been so profound that businesses have had to practically re-imagine all the facets of their businesses such as planning, manufacturing, logistics& most prominently customer experience.

Speaking of customer experience, leaders across industries have been facing an uphill task to engage with their end customers across traditional touchpoints due to multitude of reasons, and hence, the action now shifting to the digital arena. However, what we are observing is that most organizations are reacting to this new change with rather haste as a knee-jerk reaction by formulating a digital strategy in isolation with the hope of bringing back the desired engagement levels.

What many organizations fail to understand is that even though the digital touchpoints are gaining traction and a strategy to manage them is essential, the customer is still the same. Hence, having two separate strategies for engagement – digital and traditional – for the same customer ends up delivering a poor and non-contextual experience. The idea here is not to simply keep adding channels and hope your customer likes them; in most cases this has proven to be counterproductive.

The need of the hour instead is a well-thought and contextual omnichannel engagement strategy which gives customers a true sense of relevance and meaning with every conversation they have, be it across any channel at any time. Along with focus on a contextual omnichannel engagement strategy, organizations must not forget about the fact that customer behaviors keep changing. Today, customers have reduced patience levels and shorter attention spans, and hence, the window of opportunity has shrunk considerably. Organizations will need to not only focus on engagement, but also put equal amount of energy in real time engagement. Meeting the customers in the moment across any touchpoint, understanding their emotions, and leveraging that to deliver the most contextual experience will truly differentiate an organization from others in this race of Customer Experience.

Imagine if you could:
• Provide authentic, consistent & analytics powered personalized experiences to your customers in real-time.
• Be proactively present in the time and place, with the right message for your customers.
• Build a world in which you can inspire loyalty by listening and learning from each experience in real-time, thus building stronger relationships.
• Make data work for you by unleashing its power and help you automate your customers’ journeys
• Accomplish everything listed above, while also improving the productivity, efficiency, and throughput of your existing teams and resources.
• Do all of this with the peace of mind that comes when you are in total control of your data.

It’s time to think differently
Marketers have a real need to corral customer data currently residing in disconnected silos both inside and outside their organization. According to Harvard Business Review, 73% of marketers want to use all available customer data, but only 18% can do so.

You can anticipate the best interaction for each customer by understanding their needs in-the-moment. You can accomplish this by listening to every detail from every customer across every channel and adapt as you learn more from each visitor.

Understanding signals requires the ability to evaluate user interactions during the current stage of engagement. It also requires the ability to connect one interaction to the next, and add value by determining what should come next for that individual based on what has been already shared. And all of this while complying with the data privacy regulations.

Today’s modern marketing demands in-the-moment data contextualization with sophisticated identity management services that aggregate data views for sessions, anonymous prospects, identifiable traffic and existing customers all in real time as new data is captured. This implies as a marketer you need to combine the customer insight derived from real-time data collection with advanced analytics and business logic to ensure that customers always receive the best offer for them at the right time – in real time.

In a nutshell, organizations need to adopt immersive marketing technology& bridge the customer experience divide. Create differentiated customer experiences that can help deepen and strengthen customer engagement and build trust that sits at the heart of the value exchange between brands and consumers. Customers need to feel in control and assured that the data they entrust to a brand will be secured. Deploying trust-enabling technologies and backing that up with a privacy-first culture will help to deepen customer relationships.

customer experience
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