Traditionally, to win and retain customers, businesses would put significant resource into quality and brand reputation. Fast forward to today, and with the advent of digitisation, the modern customer demands flawless service, seamless interactions, and curated experiences across every touchpoint. Companies must therefore meet and even exceed these expectations to continue on the path of success. But how can they achieve this?
Understanding customer experience
In a crowded space, organisations can no longer solely rely on their product or service as their main competitive differentiator; they must compete on the basis of delivering a superior experience. To achieve this, businesses must be wholly customer-centric. But what does being “customer-centric” truly mean?
The customer must now be put at the centre of everything you do. This means:
- Recognising each customer’s unique habits and preferences
- Focusing on customer needs and wants as drivers of all strategic decisions
- Connecting with customers on a deeper level to build trusted, enduring relationships
Great customer experience therefore becomes the cumulative result of a customer-centric organisation, and its effort towards driving positive, meaningful interactions.
Importance of personalisation and customer loyalty
Throughout the customer lifecycle there are steps or “touchpoints”, from visiting a bricks-and-mortar store to interacting via a ChatBot. With more knowledge than ever before at their fingertips, customers have more control over when, where and how they interact with your organisation.
And it isn’t just the variety of touchpoints available. Customers will now expect interactions that are uniquely personalised too. Gartner notes that businesses stand to lose 38 percent of their customers from poor personalisation practices and efforts. When organisations can successfully cultivate leading customer experience, they stand to reap the rewards with the potential of revenue up to 8 percent higher than their competitors.
But, whilst most businesses recognise the advantage of a truly personalised customer experience, why do so many fail to capitalise on this opportunity?
Challenges to delivering value
In short, you need a single source of truth to deliver great customer experience. And whilst many are striving for this reality, achieving this end state proves costly, time consuming, and full of hidden challenges.
As organisations experience organic growth, the number of systems across their ecosystem increases. And with each new system, governance, management and BAU processes feed into the creation of an increasingly fragmented landscape. By the time many global organisations prioritise data consolidation, the predicted time, effort and money it would take leads many to abandoning their customer experience strategic objectives.
Embracing change: a single and integrated customer view
But, for those who decide to venture on, what is available to manage the risk and produce a truly leading customer experience?
For this you need a connected business approach which integrates your ecosystem into one unified platform, creating a single, unified view over all your customers.
This allows you a full end-to-end perspective of your customer interaction points, both at an organisational level and with each product and service you offer. Allowing you to drill down and analyse the details of purchase insights, event statistics, campaign results and much more. In the past few years platform providers have come to realise this need, releasing products to help support you in delivering on customer success. These have included features that can analyse each of the individual channels your customers are using to reach out to your organisation, to artificial intelligence that can uncover your customers on commercial and emotional levels to predict their future buying behaviours.
At KPMG, we partner with platform providers to provide accelerated results and deliver value. Recently becoming part of our alliances network, Salesforce have released the next generation of this solution, called Customer 360. You can read more about the solution here.
Crucially, an integrated and connected approach to your customers is not just about technology or systems. It requires a culture of customer-centricity throughout an organisation. Through this approach, organisations can track structured and unstructured data benefitting everyone, from marketing to sales to customer service - to capture, analyse and respond to your customers’ needs.
Find out more about out Powered Customer approach