How the Role of the CMO is Rapidly Changing
Before you can truly improve CX, you need to understand the disconnects between customer expectation, customer experience, and your current CX efforts.
Most successful business leaders today understand that their customers have certain expectations of them. Most brands know that they need to meet – and, wherever possible, exceed – those expectations. And we all know what’s at stake when we don’t. While occasional, minor CX fails are understandable, a track record for disappointing customers puts revenues, profits, even the long term viability of the business at risk.
So, we know all of that. Yet, I wasn’t completely surprised when I read, in the recent Acquia report, that nearly half of consumers do not feel that brands meet their expectations – and nearly two-thirds of them can’t even remember when a brand exceeded their expectations.
That’s bad news for those brands. For the rest of us: big opportunity.
But here’s a tough question that the report, having surveyed more than 5,000 consumers and 500 marketers prompts: which brand are you?
Are you sure you know the answer? Turns out, a lot of brand leaders might not.
According to the study, 87% of responding marketers said that they are providing “engaging customer experiences.” I know they’re trying. Brand investments in customer experience continues to grow, especially in improving IT solutions.
But the consumer results suggest that some of those marketing leaders are not delivering what they think they are.
So, where’s the disconnect and what can you do to provide superior CX, keep your brand on track, and your customers engaged?
- Stop Defining CX as a Project and Embrace it as an Ongoing KPI. Too often, Customer Experience improvements are scoped as “projects” or short-term initiatives. There are kick-off activities, new websites, apps, and project teams. There are goals, reports, and celebrations. But, because these projects are run – and owned – by a specially defined, separate team, they usually fail to take hold as major cultural changes. But major cultural change is usually what’s needed.
- Define Your Customer Experience Vision. Instead of defining CX goals, go all the way to the top: your organizational vision and values. Start there. And tie your vision for what your customers do expect from you, what you want them to come to expect from you, and what kind of an organization you’ll need to be in order to deliver on those expectations.
- Set CX Goals that are Linked to the Customer Journey and Customer Value. Talk to your customers. What do they need from you – not just from your products, but also from their interactions with everyone representing your brand? What attracted them to your brand? What delivery channels do they prefer? Where have you delivered? Where have you failed? Are they thinking of leaving? What might convince them to stay?
Talk to your own employees and contractors, too – everyone who interacts with your customers. How’s it going from their perspective? If you haven’t been having these conversations, I guarantee you, you’ll be amazed by the richness of on-the-ground intelligence you gather when you do.
Know the difference between delivering “experiences” that “delight” customers and providing a reliable, ongoing customer experience that builds trust and loyalty. Based on what you’ve learned, define goals, both long term and short term. Prioritize the steps you’ll need to take and be realistic about how much time, money, and reorganizing you’ll need to invest to achieve them.
Is it a quick fix?
No. But the quicker your brand can identify your CX gaps and define your CX vision, the faster you’ll pull ahead of all of those companies who think they’re already delivering highly engaging customer experience (but aren’t).
Skybridge Americas is a leading CX partner to some of America’s most iconic brands. Talk to us about how we can help you improve your customer’s experience and drive greater customer loyalty.
by Bobby Matthews
Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing
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