3 Ways To Build A CXM Culture
Customer experience (CX) has become a top business priority for European companies. In fact, “optimizing the customer experience” is the single most exciting opportunity among organizations, according to the “2020 Digital Trends” report, by Adobe and Econsultancy.
It’s not hard to understand why. Customers are 4.5 times more likely to pay a premium for an excellent experience, Forrester said.
This focus on CX places increasing importance on customer experience management (CXM), which analyst firm Gartner defines as “the practice of designing and reacting to customer interactions to meet or exceed their expectations, leading to greater customer satisfaction, loyalty, and advocacy.”
For its part, IDC said a few key industry sectors are leading the investment in CX. In its European CX market report, the analyst group predicted an overall 7% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) in spend up to 2022, with banking, retail, and manufacturing accounting for 33% of that investment to boost customer care, support, and order fulfillment, as well as to drive a consistent omnichannel experience for customers. And retail is forecast to have the fastest-growing CX spend by 2022, passing banking.
But whatever industry you are in, CXM can’t be an afterthought. CXM is a critical component in a company’s ability to respond and react to changing customer needs, particularly now amid COVID-19 and self-quarantining, and it is a key driver in building customer loyalty. CXM also needs to be baked into the culture of an organization.
“Speed is the most powerful attribute of the modern marketing organization,” the “2020 Digital Trends” report stated. “CX leaders can react to changes in their customers and markets more quickly than their peers because their culture reduces barriers. They invest in the capabilities to deliver digital experiences and emphasize continuous learning.”
Here are three solid ways a businesses can build a CX-focused culture.
Get Smart With Intelligent Data-Driven CX Insights
Data is fundamental to CX today, providing actionable insight and driving customer engagement. This directly impacts profitability and growth. A Forrester and Adobe report showed that companies with the strongest experience-driven omnichannel CX strategies achieved a 10% year-on-year growth, a 10% increase in average order value, and a 25% increase in close rates.
But many organizations are faced with an overwhelming volume of data that is often fragmented across different systems and business units. Therefore, it does not seem to be surprising that IT departments classify customer data management as their top priority for 2020, according to a separate Adobe report on 2020 technology trends.
Good CXM requires organizations to bring all their data—behavioral, transactional, financial, CRM, and operational—together in real time and make it actionable across functions throughout the organization. A unified customer profile that combines this data to inform actions and experiences wherever the customer interacts with the brand would be the key goal to make this possible.
Swisscom, for example, leverages insights about customer behavior to better understand its audience. By using machine learning, the Swiss telecommunications provider is able to deliver relevant content and experiences to a wide range of customers.
Indeed, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) can help spot trends and behaviors to support advanced targeting and personalization at scale, and help deliver transformative and differentiated customer experiences. Gartner predicts that by 2021, 15% of all customer service interactions globally will be handled completely by AI—an increase of 400% from 2017.
Shift IT Mindset From Operational Efficiency To Innovation And Revenue Generation
While keeping the lights on and driving operational efficiency gains remain core responsibilities for IT and their leaders, CIOs at customer-focused organizations need to go further. CEOs expect more from their IT leaders today. According to the 2019 Harvey Nash/KPMG “CIO Survey 2019” survey, 76% of CEOs said they want their technology projects to result in revenue gains rather than simply cut costs.
That trend is echoed in CIO.com’s “2019 State of the CIO” research, which found 55% of technology leaders said they are spending more time learning about customer needs as a way to create revenue-generating initiatives, and 32% are taking on more responsibility in the customer service domain.
It’s a mindset shift for CIOs and IT—from just focusing on squeezing out efficiency gains to implementing technology that can have an impact on customer-facing functions and top-line growth.
“That means thinking about platforms and technologies that can help the whole organization drive innovation, improve creativity, and provide intelligence and data-driven insights to not only improve CX, but also identify opportunities for new revenue streams or even entirely new products and business models,” explains Steve Allison, senior product marketing manager, Adobe Experience Platform.
That was the mindset behind Scandinavian sportswear and workwear brand Helly Hansen’s shift to provide a mobile-first experience. Its analysis of online data showed it has paid off: Customers spent over $50 billion using mobile devices during the 2019 holiday season. Overall, traffic to the site increased 40% and revenue tripled.
CIO And CMO Stronger Together
CX and brand have traditionally fallen under the remit of the CMO, who is under more pressure than ever to drive growth. This requires the expertise of IT. Improving CX and identifying new revenue-generating opportunities may be the remit of the marketing organization, but IT manages storing, securing, and analyzing the data that turns into the actionable insights.
The CIO and CMO are natural partners, according to McKinsey: “CMOs have an unprecedented amount of customer data, from which they need to extract insights to increase revenue and profits. The CIO has the expertise in the development of IT architectures and the execution of large programs needed to create the company’s big data backbone and generate the necessary insights.“
Swedish telecommunications provider Telenor identified this unique opportunity to join forces. The collaboration between CMO Christian Roth and CIO Christian Barrou Thrane preceded a doubling in digital sales, which they attributed to having more control over processes, improved collaboration between teams, and a more strategic approach to technology.
“You won’t succeed if you just have one team ‘asking’ and the other ‘doing.’ Real collaboration is about discussing, understanding, and doing—together,” Thrane said.
Beyond Products And Price
All of the above elements matter because CX impacts both the bottom and top line. Having a better product or a lower price than the competition isn’t enough anymore. In fact, 74% of organizations agreed that CX will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator by 2020, according to a CustomerThink survey.
A world-class CX culture is the goal for most enterprises, and the rewards for developing a culture that supports it are considerable. Fortunately, organizations are not operating in the dark. The technology already exists to allow CXM teams to gather and process the data. Now they need to shift mindset and reassess how their organizations can work effectively toward the shared goal of an excellent customer experience.