We’re living in a changed world—a world in which driverless cars cruise through neighborhoods, packages are delivered via flying drones, and escaping reality is only a headset away. It’s a world in which remarkable advances in technology have shifted the power from business to consumer and are always raising the bar set by customer expectations. If you’re not providing exceptional customer experience, this changed world will be hard to endure.
According to Gartner research, 37% of CEOs believe customer experience is the top technology investment needed to improve overall business and beat competition. But investments in customer experience are often challenged; departments can’t find the budget, have a hard time proving ROI, and aren’t getting the necessary buy-in from leaders.
Des Cahill, CX Evangelist at Oracle, stresses that customer experience must now be baked into a company’s DNA to meet new customer demands, stating, “customer experience must be a core value [of your business], or else you’ll be the laggard [amid competition].” Cahill outlines three key reasons customer experience is an imperative investment as arguments to overcome organizational pushback: empowered customers, digital disruptors, and a slow-growth economy. Here’s how to navigate these issues.
Forbes reports that the majority of business leaders agree that strong customer relationships are “the single path to sustainable growth and reliable retention.” Investments in building customer-centric, data-driven, digital customer experiences will make it easier to engage new prospects, deliver value at every customer interaction, and increase long-term brand loyalty. Customers are smart enough to recognize when you invest to meet their needs, and they will return the favor through repeat purchases and invaluable word of mouth.
Digital disruptors are often intimidating, but there’s a lot we can learn from how they operate to improve customer experience. Investments in big data, machine learning, the Internet of Things, and artificial intelligence are all examples of how disruptors are able to morph to meet the expectations of the customer, ultimately sealing the deal. Cahill believes that the chief disrupter, Amazon, is today’s customer experience benchmark, saying, “[Amazon has] continued to innovate customer experience, constantly pushing boundaries and raising our expectations … from their drone delivery initiative, to their new physical store initiative, to their ever-expanding line of product recommendations tailored to our specific shopping behavior… there’s a lot to learn from.”
A slow-moving economy not only affects the number of ways companies usually drive revenue, but it also reduces the number of thoughtless customer transactions. Today, investing in customer experience has a huge impact on business growth and stability, especially in a stagnant economy and saturated markets. In fact, there’s a potential 20% revenue loss from not offering positive and consistent customer experiences. Customer experience is, hands down, your main competitive advantage—price and product are no longer enough to win.
Learn how to achieve peak performance in customer experience by bridging systems across your organization using our new ebook: 3 Areas of Customer Experience to Invest in Right Now.