Customers are undoubtedly placing greater value on their overall experience in this omnichannel environment. Seven in 10 customers consider customer experience (CX) a priority over price and quality, according to a PwC report. At the same time, research in the Time to Win study revealed that for 64 per cent of people, speed is just as important as price when making a purchase decision.
A 2023 CX trends report by Zendesk found that 80 per cent of business leaders are planning to increase customer service budgets over the next year, while 59 per cent of businesses in the Asia-Pacific are increasing their CX management investments to meet consumer needs, according to a CX Network report.
In our new podcast series, Empowering Tomorrow, we exchanged insights with industry leaders Selena Nimerick, Vice President, Customer Satisfaction & Quality Secure Power at Schneider Electric; Dharmesh Malhotra, Vice President, Customer Experience, ASEAN and Korea at CISCO Systems; and Ankur Jain, Associate Vice President & Global Head at DIGO on customer centrality and the importance of CX.
Here is a summary of the key talking points, including the strategies around catering to changing customer demands and how the digital experience has changed CX.
What is CX and why is it important?
CX refers to the entire customer journey, ensuring customers receive the best service, value and experience at any touch point. This encapsulates how the business engages with the customer, from the breadth of customer channels to the type of customer interactions.
By providing intuitive brand convergence, across all its communication platforms to to deliver new positive brand experiences, businesses can position themselves favourably developing stronger brand affinity and customer retention and growth.
The convergence of digital experiences
The accelerated rate of digitalisation and the growth of digital experiences since the pandemic has resulted in a remarkable shift in attitudes towards CX standards compared to previous trajectories.
An important facet of customer experience is speed to delivery. Today, customer tolerance levels for service inefficiencies have plummeted, and new digital experiences are significantly amplifying the importance of omnichannel communications.
What technological strategies can businesses use to improve CX?
Businesses are learning to adapt to an accelerated growth path in understanding and pivoting to customer requirements. The challenge for businesses is to balance addressing the unique pain points of each segment (B2C / B2B2C) while also delivering hyper personalised, intelligent efficiencies to drive instant epiphanies across both physical and digital realms.
This means adopting a design thinking approach and taking a closer look at the technologies that companies use – from APIs to advanced artificial intelligence solutions to predictive analytics. These help build a framework of proactive customer engagement initiatives that are immersive and experiential and drive sustainable growth.
Harnessing customer input for future success
An important but sometimes overlooked aspect of CX is customer feedback and input.
How can you effectively co-create with your customers? Start by taking a step back from the solution, outcome or experience that you wish to offer and set up a specific goal. This helps businesses formulate strategies more clearly to augment current processes and develop greater capabilities surrounding existing business solutions.
With CX playing out across millions of potential touch points, businesses must take action to enhance CX and deliver the optimal experience and service quality that customers now expect to receive. With business outcomes strongly tied to customer centrality, leaders need to rethink their CX strategies to ensure the business has the capability to drive success.