I’ve written a lot about the (often underestimated) role that a customer care team plays in achieving superior customer experience and long-term loyalty.
No matter how spectacular or well-funded your marketing strategy – and no matter how flawless your sales operation – you can’t get there if your customer care team isn’t delivering the your brand message. Customer care is where you seal the deal or you take it all down.
In a recent article for Forbes, Blueshift CEO, Vijay Chittoor suggests that brand leaders need to look at a “new way of marketing” that will allow “brands to create continuous, intuitive experiences that are shaped in real time by each customer’s self-driven journey.”
But, especially in a business climate that is defined by rapidly changing customer behaviors, that might not be as easy as it sounds. “Unfortunately, most marketing teams are still hamstrung by disconnected data and experiences,” he says. I would add that many brands fail to include their customer care teams in the data collection and messaging — activities that they’re uniquely poised to deliver. Chittoor’s article offers a timely perspective on how to better understand what customers need and how to bring them a better experience.
You can read more below. If you would like to learn more about how Skybridge Americas embraces our client’s brand goals and delivers on their brand promise on every customer call, please reach out. We would love to talk.
The New Role Of Marketing: Taking The Experience To The Customer
By Vijay Chittoor
Customer expectations and buying behaviors have progressed significantly in recent years, forcing brands to reimagine the customer experience. High-touch offline interactions have been replaced by instantaneous digital experiences across an ever-growing number of channels. Product selection has grown from a few well-known brand names to an abundance of choice among a growing selection of niche brands across every category. This has made it ever-more challenging to capture consumer’s fleeting attention and rise above the noise.
Naturally, as customer experience demands have accelerated, much of that load has fallen onto marketing teams, who have both a deep understanding of the customer and command over an array of channels. In fact, according to a recent Salesforce State of Marketing report (via CMSWire), “About 79% of marketers said they lead these CX initiatives in the report released last month versus the 45% who said the same in the December 2018 report.”
Marketing is now deeply ingrained in every step of the customer experience and throughout the customer journey. Without realizing it, marketers’ mission has flipped from “bring the customer to the experience” to “take the experience to the customer.”
Traditional Marketing: Bring The Customer To The Experience
Organizations have traditionally looked to their marketing departments to attract customers to their brands. With the objective of driving awareness and interest, marketers crafted Mad Men-style ads filled with enticing, aspirational copy geared to pique consumer interest and encourage visits to the brand’s properties — a store, a branch, a web or mobile product, a call center, or any other brand asset — where the customer experiences and, ultimately, transactions would take place.
Marketers planned on a campaign-by-campaign basis and broadcasted mass messages to their entire audience. This made the brand experience static and limited to a one-size-fits-all approach that treated all customers as a uniform segment. For years this remained a best practice because marketers were confined to batch channels such as TV, billboards, print, radio, social, static digital ads and newsletter-style email.
This, however, meant all the resources marketers poured into developing a deep customer understanding were wasted as insights they amassed were largely decoupled from marketing messages and tactics. It’s no wonder that marketers’ role and influence on the customer experience and within the organization was minimal.
The Marketing Shift: Take The Experience To The Customer
Fast forward to today’s digital-first, always-on world. With mobile phones always within reach, consumers have grown accustomed to relevant, connected, real-time experiences across every interaction with the brand. Adding to the demands, consumers are increasingly channel-agnostic and expect frictionless experiences with the brand wherever those interactions take place. With more choices available than they can process, consumers are increasingly selective about who receives their fleeting attention and share of wallet. And with a growing number of comparable alternatives, brands are finding that winning over customers happens through the experience.
The good news is the digital-first world also brought the rise of addressable programmatic channels, which now include traditional offline channels such as TV. This makes it possible from both cost and operational standpoints for marketers to create experiences that are contextually tailored. Now marketers can:
- Trigger messages at all the right momentsfor each customer based on where they are in their unique journey with the brand.
- Instantaneously deliver the next best actions, the most relevant piece of content for what the customer needs then and there or the right offer to drive conversion.
- Use hyper-precise audience targetingto put their deep customer understanding to use.
These kinds of experiential messages were previously out of the scope of marketing channels and could only be delivered on the brand’s properties. However, in today’s connected and always-on world, we are seeing more and more that in-store or in-product actions trigger a conversion-driving interaction on a marketing channel. Marketers are taking the experience to their customers, wherever they are. In doing so, marketers aren’t only bridging the customer experience divide, but they are becoming ever more closely entwined in it. Where a marketing channel and a customer experience channel begin and end has blurred.
Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing
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