How can retailers compete in challenging market conditions? This article looks at practical ways to foster customer relationships and improve customer experience.
In Engage Hub’s Customer-Centric Organisation research paper, 51% of organisations said they ranked customer experience (CX) as a top objective, above net profit and revenue growth. 78% said they’d allocated budget to improve CX.
As we hit the half-way mark for 2019, it’s clear that businesses are putting their money where their mouths are.
Customer experience investment is cutting across sectors
Zurich Insurance Group just announced the appointment of its first Chief Customer Officer. CEO Mario Greco said: “The digital era is driving significant change and a transformation of customer experience in the marketplace. This is a transformation that has already begun, delivering a number of company-wide initiatives to improve customer satisfaction and to drive profitable growth.”
Now we go from insurance to restaurants.
Pizza Hut recently announced the creation of an in-house customer experience team, with specialists drawn across user experience, data analytics, design and marketing. Beverley D’Cruz, Sales & Marketing Director at Pizza Hut Europe and UK, said: “The team has changed our approach to marketing, helping us put our media strategy together and act on it. We are now more targeted, we know our customers better, we know what their media choices are and we can personalise our communication to them.”
Corporate language has changed to reflect the importance of customer experience
You can see it in the quotes above. Zurich’s CEO reveals the company’s direct link between digital transformation, CX and growth. Pizza Hut’s marketing director is looking at ways to understand customers better, so the business can communicate in a more personalised way.
These 2 examples show how organisations have moved from a perception of CX as the purview of customer service to a fundamental element of their competitive advantage and sustainability as a business. It’s why you have 90% of organisations reviewing CX metrics at board level. And why companies like Zurich are giving CX a place in the C-suite.
We’ve reached a tipping point for customer experience prioritisation
The Zurich and Pizza Hut examples reflect vital progress in this area, and follow successes other companies have experienced across banking, retail, telecoms and leisure (among others).
For example, MBNA implemented a digital communications hub to enable two-way dialogue with customers for everything from marketing to fraud alerts. This revolutionised its approach, and surveys revealed a 100% customer delight score as a direct result of the new system. And the icing on the cake: the company won Best Technology Initiative of The Year at the prestigious Annual Card & Payments Awards.
The trend will only gain momentum. By 2020, CX is predicted to overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator. So the question then becomes: Are you willing to let competitors overtake you in this crucial area, or do you want your business to seize the opportunity?