There is a shift in power going on, fuelled by greater access to information in the digital age, new technology and a broader variety of brands, products and services to choose from, today’s consumer are empowered like never before.
Rachel Bradbury Head of CCB Client Relationship & Development at Paragon Customer Communications discusses the strategies driving effective customer experience (CX) and brand loyalty efforts.
In the past brands have typically sought to earn loyalty from customers, but in a competitive and evolving environment, that is being turned on its head. With an expanded consumer choice, customers no longer base their loyalty on price or product alone. In fact, 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience. While, 96% of customers say customer service is important in their choice of loyalty to a brand.
As a result, modern consumers now expect brands to demonstrate loyalty to them, by delivering an enhanced customer experience and meaningful interactions across all touchpoints, making effective customer communications and customer experience (CX) programmes an absolute priority for brands that wish to succeed.
To position themselves at the forefront of the longer-term transitions in customer dynamics, Chief Customer Officers (CCOs) and customer service managers need to be more reactive and flexible around customer preference and touchpoints. This means developing flexible communication frameworks that can cope with all touchpoints on the customer journey, be that online or offline interactions, and which can react to changes in a customer’s channel preferences and behaviours.
To achieve such a level of customer-centric communication proficiency, CCOs need not only a comprehensive understanding of their customers, their communication preferences and unique behaviours, but also a suite of increasingly advanced technologies and communications channels to engage consumers.
Understanding the customer
Market leading customer communications and CX initiatives are entirely reliant on good data. By bringing together all customer data, standardising it and garnering actionable insights from the information pertained, brands can deliver communications that resonate best with their customers and drives positive results.
Of course, achieving this can prove a seismic challenge for many organisations. Today’s businesses often have a number of legacy systems in place, each generating their own unique disparate datasets, hindering the ability to unify data from all touchpoints and create a clear and accurate journey map of a customer’s end-to-end experience.
Without such a clear view of consumer behaviours and stages in the buying journey, brands often fail to invest in the appropriate communication platforms and technologies to effectively engage their consumers. Indeed, organisations run the very real risk of missing key customer engagement points and having siloed communication channels, leading to particularly damaging prospect of customer journey disconnect.
Standardising data, therefore, is arguably the most critical step in creating the delivery infrastructure to support heavily data-rich CX strategies and customer communications management (CCM) delivery models. It can, however, be an extremely time consuming and draining step for even the largest global organisations.
While retiring multiple legacy systems and replacing them with a single solution would be the ideal solution, understandably, this is not always feasible. This is particularly prevalent for organisations that have multiple ongoing contracts with different vendors, often across localised regions or departments.
A centralised approach
Employing an intelligent, single, centralised customer communications management delivery model – a ‘one platform’ approach – can provide a standardised view of all data no matter what systems are feeding it. The result is the ability to maintain legacy systems, while at the same time consolidating multiple data sources and previously disjointed communications technologies to work from a single system and viewpoint.
By removing layers of complexity an intuitive system of this nature provides the delivery infrastructure to support truly frictionless customer communications across a multitude of traditional and digital channels.
By centralising the management of their inbound and outbound customer interactions, and empowering teams to work from a single system, organisations are given total control of their brand, content and compliance. From a regulatory perspective, a centralised approach unlocks new levels of visibility that can help simplify document audits and ensure communications stay compliant with changing industry regulation.
As data becomes increasingly essential to pushing CX strategies forward in new directions – the unified view of existing customer data can present innumerable advantages. Not only can it lead to a critical understanding of customers’ unique behaviours, preferences and their stage in the customer journey, but also communication strategies that are entrenched in customer-relevant messages and incisive targeting.
This seamless incorporation of data into a fully-integrated suite of communication solutions can enable organisations to effortlessly plan, create and deliver highly personalised communications across all channels through an easy, optimised operation from anywhere, at any time.
Particularly critical in the modern age, where customer journeys can transform virtually instantaneously, the resultant centralised view of how organisations communicate with their customers makes deploying changes at pace across all channels much easier.
Of course, having the appropriate technology in place is only part of the solution. By working alongside an experienced communications partner, like Paragon Customer Communications, organisations will be able to maintain visibility of all communications, while also having the expertise on hand to drive their digital transformation and empower customer service managers to capitalise on new opportunities.
For more information, visit: https://oneplatform.paragon-cc.com/en/one-platform
About the Author
For over 20 years, Rachel Bradbury has been a leading authority in marketing and client strategy in the omnichannel communications space. Currently serving as Head of CCB Client Relationship & Development at Paragon Customer Communications, the UK’s leading provider of end-to-end omnichannel services for marketing, transactional, operational and workplace solutions, she has extensive experience in customer experience (CX), brand experience and digital and physical customer communications. A highly skilled senior leader and client director, she has a proven track record of helping businesses and brands to develop highly engaging strategies and experiences that set them apart from the competition.