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A new day, a new Prime Minister. And the big question is whether Boris Johnson will lead the UK out of the EU without a deal.
The ancillary question is what businesses should do to prepare. And that’s where customer-centric thinking comes in, which means customer experience (CX) is key to post-Brexit success, deal or no deal.
The Brexit climax comes amidst a challenging economic climate
Concerns about Brexit and a no-deal scenario have plagued British business this year. Indeed, surveys show businesses suffering a confidence crisis, with 55% expecting Brexit to have a negative impact.
Consumer spending is at its weakest since records began in the mid-1990s. Retailers have borne the brunt, with total sales falling by 1.3% in June and the annual growth rate slowing to just 0.6%. A no-deal Brexit is predicted to exacerbate this. According to an analysis from the British Retail Consortium and KPMG, prices will rise and choices shrink on shelves if the divorce bill is not agreed.
But Brexit-related uncertainty isn’t the only factor affecting business performance. Digital transformation, channel proliferation and changing expectations are all affecting spending habits. And competitiveness is rooted in customer experience – no matter the political situation.
Customer experience excellence will help insulate you from Brexit fluctuation
To thrive post-Brexit, businesses need to focus on their customers. And the C-suite is aware of this necessity. Research from Engage Hub and Sapio found that 90% of businesses are reviewing CX metrics at board level.
Customer experience excellence means investing in the right technology and harnessing data. It means finding ways to strengthen customer relationships while promoting operational efficiency. And in challenging trading conditions, revenue generation and lean operation equal profitability.
A Forrester briefing paper for CIOs summed it up nicely: “Brexit makes customer-focused innovation imperative. While uncertainty continues, focusing on innovation is your best chance of success.”
Innovation is an evolution, not a disruption
Innovation doesn’t have to mean large-scale digital transformation. In fact, evolution works better than disruption, based on our experience helping enterprises and SMEs improve CX.
The best place to start? Data.
One of the greatest difficulties for struggling organisations is siloed data. Opportunities for synergy and efficiency are missed because people can’t see what’s happening across channels and departments.
You need a centralised way of viewing data from across the customer lifecycle. Then you can map out the entire customer journey across touchpoints to see where you can improve and automate. This visibility also gives you more cost transparency, which ensures your innovation strategy is boosting profitability.
Having that complete view also helps foster collaboration across the business and with customers. From an employee engagement perspective, it’s easier for everyone to focus on your shared mission and drive positive changes. And from a customer relationship perspective, consumers feel valued because you’re making it easy for them to buy from you on their terms.
The best offence is a good defence
We may yet exit with a deal, but businesses still need to be prepared. And CX-related improvements aren’t specific to Brexit. They’re essential to long-term – and will help you boost revenue and operational efficiency no matter the Brexit outcome.