Aligning Business Strategy with the Customer Experience

Anyone who remembers renting movies at Blockbuster also remembers the company’s late fees, which could double or triple the cost of a movie rental if you missed the 48-hour return deadline. Blockbuster generated roughly 15 percent of its annual revenue — nearly a billion dollars a year — from those fees.

Needless to say, it wasn’t a particularly customer-friendly practice. In fact, angry customers eventually filed dozens of class-action lawsuits over the exorbitant fees. That wasn’t the main reason Blockbuster went out of business, but it certainly contributed to the company’s decline.

Technology to Cultivate a Positive Customer Experience (CX)

By contrast, enterprises today are investing heavily in processes and technologies designed to engender customer goodwill. In a recent survey, 76 percent of enterprises said improving the customer experience (CX) is among their top priorities for 2022. Market analysts say spending on CX technologies will approach $10 billion this year with double-digit growth anticipated through the next five years.

The increased focus on CX is a direct response to change customer attitudes. Research suggests that more than two-thirds of consumers rate customer experience over price when making a buying decision. Additionally, a Harris Interactive poll found that 89 percent of consumers have switched from one company to a competitor following a poor customer experience.

Digital Technologies for CX

Unprecedented challenges created during the pandemic also led enterprises to change their approach to CX. With fewer face-to-face interactions, organizations have had to shift to more digital engagements. That has created more opportunities to collect and use customer data to gain a better understanding of their desires, needs and behaviors.

To achieve this, enterprises are increasingly focused on unifying various technologies and integrating data to create a complete view of the customer. Such a profile is key to understanding how the customer engages with different parts of the organization, including the sales team, contact center, billing and service departments.

For example, hotels can use journey orchestration to enhance the customer experience. A conventional experience might involve the basics — booking, check in, check out. With orchestration, the booking process might trigger follow-up emails offering dining and entertainment suggestions, in-room extras, snacks or drinks, or other amenities. Upon arrival, the registration software might trigger text messages about loyalty program benefits. During the stay, a virtual concierge might generate text messages offering to arrange restaurant reservations, transportation or spa services.

A Cohesive Experience for CX

To create a cohesive customer experience across touchpoints, organizations must be able to collect and analyze data from multiple sources, including CRM systems, emails, phone calls, chats, surveys and social media. Voice of the Customer (VoC) and customer journey analytics are among the technologies that can help develop a comprehensive view of customers, their needs and their brand perceptions.

VoC technologies such as sentiment analysis, voice mining, text mining, online surveys and more to gather feedback about what customers think and feel about their experience. Data from tens of thousands of such interactions can then be fed into AI-powered analytics platforms to create a chronological timeline of consumer engagement. When sources of friction are identified, organizations can execute corrective actions.

Better yet, organizations can use this data to forecast and predict customer behavior, giving them an opportunity to create marketing and customer engagement campaigns that address specific demographics and buying preferences. Additionally, customer insights help organizations improve their day-to-day decision-making by maintaining a customer focus.

Capitalize on the Customer Experience

Misjudging — or ignoring — customer sentiment can lead to disastrous business outcomes, as Blockbuster demonstrated. However, today’s enterprises can use a variety of digital technologies to gain keen insights into the customer experience, which allows them to tailor their operations accordingly. The CX experts at IPC can help you leverage those technologies to improve outcomes for you and your customers.