How CX incites value creation in companies?
Digitization and data have had a disruptive effect on our business models and the economy, both on a local and international scale. This impact is so large that some believe we are on the brink of the fourth industrial revolution. And they’re not wrong. Changes that used to take place over the course of a decade are now happening in a span of 12 to 36 months! And our business models – if not industries as a whole – that we took for granted, have had no choice but to reinvent themselves (think of print media or the music industry, among others).
Given this reality, companies often find themselves struggling to keep up, and some departments in a single organization get out of sync. Taking into consideration existing operations, budget cycles and legacy systems, the question becomes this: How do you define a viable and consistent business vision that applies to everyone? Here are a few ideas to help enhance your knowledge about CX and entice you to create value for your business using CX.
Customer experience: support before, during and after purchase
Today’s consumer has completely different expectations about shopping experiences than they did just 10 years ago. Whereas in the past it was sufficient to “push” information onto consumers so they would be guided to the right choice, the same consumers now expect brands to do part of the work and make their lives easier.
Today’s consumers want to enjoy themselves. They want a simple solution in a fluid process. They’re looking for support, a smooth shopping experience and a fast response to their questions and needs.
“Because customers expect more from companies, businesses have to adapt to this new reality. We’ve moved from push marketing to conversational advertising, with content that should draw customers in...”
The customer experience (CX) approach was developed in order to meet the requirements of this new reality. CX encompasses the sum of interactions and the relationship between the brand and the consumer, which is seen and considered to be its own entity rather than simply a user. CX takes into account what the customer experiences before, during and after the purchase. This relationship has to be sustained in order to cultivate loyalty. Its goal is to satisfy the customer to the best of its abilities – regardless of the channel used - so that ultimately, a relationship of trust is created between the organization and the customer. And even if the functional element of the product or service is indeed a fundamental part of the customer experience, the emotional element of the customer experience also plays a key role.
What can CX bring to your business?
In all likelihood, CX creates value for your customers. But how does an investment in this niche translate into value for your company? Beyond the desire to see your CX initiatives bring in real money, you can’t forget about the organization’s sustainability. Customer experience goes beyond making or losing a sale. Rather than asking yourself how much a CX shift could bring to your company, you need to ask yourself how much it could cost you to ignore the importance of customer experience for your customers.
“If you don’t periodically question your business model or if you neglect to tackle new market realities with that model, you’re going to miss the boat...even if you’re an industry giant.”
Take Apple for example. It completely transformed the music industry and undermined HMV's business model (an indisputable titan in its industry), only to experience failure after failure with iTunes. It then had to restructure its product using Apple Music to better compete with Spotify. Despite the fact that it had no liquidity issues, Apple simply did not see the technological evolution that was coming, or misjudged its speed, perhaps because it was too focused on its own corporation and its star products.
Today, companies have no choice but to adopt a business model focused on flexibility, progress and adaptation (and let’s not forget customer intelligence). This means mastering the organization’s data so consumers’ desires and complaints can be known in near real-time, and to take steps to respond appropriately and quickly.
Is the shift to CX a question of survival?
In order to stay relevant, tomorrow’s companies have to focus on the customer and the buying experience (from A to Z), rather than on their product (alone).
“The shift to focusing on customer experience becomes a question of survival. More than in any accounting logic where ROI is truly king, the value of the shift to CX has to be considered in terms of duration.”
To that end, a Forrester study showed that those who made the shift to customer experience between 2010 and 2015 generated a compound annual revenue growth rate of 17% compared to 3% for those who did not. While these figures obviously don’t reflect the reality of companies that didn’t see this change coming (say the Sears and Toys’R’Us types of this world), these establishments no longer exist in a substantial enough manner to be accounted for.
Making the shift to CX means looking to the future more than ever. It also means acknowledging that the customer has to be at the heart of the company’s concerns and decisions, in order to be profitable, of course, but above all else to ensure that the organization survives and grows, in a constantly evolving environment that is changing at a rapid pace. If you want to learn more,