Customer experience (CX) and marketing automation: the building blocks for boosting revenue

According to McKinsey, top-performing customer experience (CX) and loyalty programmes can boost revenue by 15-25% annually by increasing purchase frequency, basket size or both. Hard to ignore, right? But before we delve into what great CX looks like, let’s have a reminder of what CX is.

At its most basic, CX is about giving customers a great experience with your brand at every touchpoint. And that’s no mean feat given that today, customers expect to engage with their favourite brands via multiple channels – online and offline, 24/7, 365 days a year. And as consumers, we don’t want any old interaction. Instead, we expect those brands to understand our needs and serve up relevant content, offers and experiences at precisely the right time.

In short, customers want to feel connected to their favourite brand, so it’s up to you to create that all-important emotional connection throughout their journey.

Why CX and why now?

CX is no longer a ‘nice to have’– it’s crucial. Increasing numbers of new players and established brands bringing new products to market means competition is fierce. A great service or product is no longer enough to become the brand of choice or guarantee a repeat purchase. In a crowded, competitive marketplace, customer experience is your differentiator.

That means CX shouldn’t ever be a ‘one-hit wonder’. It’s easy to go all-in at the start of the customer journey when you’re bringing them on board, only to lose them further down the line because of sub-standard CX in your customer care. Exceptional, personalised customer experience must span pre-sales, sales, after-sales and beyond to reduce churn and increase revenue. Putting the customer at the heart of your marketing strategy and consistently delivering the best possible CX is a must to reap its benefits.

Talking from experience

Of course, I’m talking here from professional experience, yet I’ve recently been on the other side of the fence as a consumer questioning my loyalty to a favourite brand. A short while ago, I bought a second-hand car. I did my research and settled on a make with an impeccable safety and reliability record. So when it broke down recently, I was more than disappointed. And when I was told half the engine needed replacing at a significant cost, I lost all faith in the brand I’d bought into. However, it turned out I’d underestimated the manufacturer’s CX! Soon after resigning myself to a hefty bill, the mechanic called, telling me the manufacturer was willing to pay the cost and provide me with a replacement car while the work was being done. There in my inbox was all the info I needed to navigate the next steps and just like that, my faith was restored. The fact was still the same – the car wasn’t as reliable as I expected. Yet I’m still an advocate of the brand because I had a great experience with them when it really mattered.

Effective CX made easy

With multiple touchpoints comes consumer data, and lots of it. On the one hand, that’s perfect because it gives you the best chance of creating genuinely personalised customer experiences. But on the other, combining that data from several online and offline sources is laborious, and manual delivery leaves you at risk of errors which could be costly.

This is where marketing technology comes into its own. With the toolsets to manage segmentation, personalisation and more, you can save time and remove the risk of mistakes that could cost you your customers. And with comprehensive programmes to manage automated messages, content and other communications across multiple digital channels, you can deliver tailored experiences to your prospects and customers at precisely the right time.

Where to start

Getting started with CX can be a minefield, but it doesn’t have to be. And the same goes for improving what you already have in place. My advice is to look at the experiences created by ‘grudge’ purchase industries such as insurance and finance. Changing consumer behaviour and increased competition prompted them to step up their approach over recent years to deliver more innovative, user-friendly and, importantly, individualised customer experiences. I’ve seen new channels being added to communicate with customers about policy queries and claims, the introduction of entertainment experiences via corporate partnerships and vitally, engaging with customers throughout the life of their policy – not only when it’s due for renewal.

What next

Combining insightful consumer data and efficient marketing technology gives our clients the ability to build, analyse and maximise their interaction with prospective and existing customers, and optimise CX across ever-increasing digital channels quickly and easily. The result is a personalised, seamless customer experience that builds loyalty in the face of competition.

Working with some of the biggest brands worldwide, we understand what it takes to deliver successful marketing technology programmes. If you want expert input on how you can introduce or improve your CX and increase revenue through advanced marketing automation, get in touch.

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By Brian Combes
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