Expert Insight: Exploring the Disconnect Between Marketers and Customer Experience [Interview]

marketingMarketers have shifted their focus toward providing a more personalized experience, but as new research shows, many are still missing the mark. RedPoint Global and The Harris Poll recently surveyed more than 3,000 customers and 450 senior marketers in the US, UK and Canada, and their statistics showed that 34 percent of marketers believe they do an “excellent” job of delivering an exceptional customer experience – but only 18 percent of customers agree with this sentiment.

To learn more about why there is a disconnect, we spoke to John Nash, Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer at RedPoint Global.

Marketers (34 percent) are nearly twice as likely as customers (18 percent) to believe that businesses are doing an “excellent” job at delivering exceptional CX — what can marketers start doing immediately to meet customer expectations?

“The best way to start is to use existing data in better ways, to provide a more relevant, personalized experience for individual consumers.  Today’s consumers expect a personalized experience when they interact with a brand—and 54 percent are willing to provide personal data in exchange for a better experience.

While 63 percent consumers expect personalization as a standard of service, they are reluctant to give over their data to companies without knowing how their personal information is being used.

Data is such a critical component in the personalization of the customer experience, yet most brands have significant data assets they simply are not using to the fullest extent.

The data sits in silos, or is inaccessible in the cadence of the customer, or has unclear purposes – so marketers need to find innovative ways to create a unified, single customer view and activate it in the context and cadence of the customer.

There are also ways to provide a personalized experience for each customer without sacrificing privacy. As long as there is a value exchange for that data – personalized experiences that offer convenience and transparency in how data is managed – the consumer is willing to offer access to information.”

57 percent of marketers say their company has the right CX strategy in place, but is unable to execute it effectively — why is this the case? What factors are influencing marketers’ CX strategies?

“Most marketers recognize there is still much progress to be made in executing their customer experience strategy. Not only is data siloed, but most marketers also have fragmented sets of engagement systems and decision engines. This creates a lot of friction in the end customer experience that can only be overcome with a single point of control over data, decisions and interactions.

Most enterprises lack the ability to create a single point of control, creating a barrier to executing their customer strategies. Some common ways this is manifested is the inability to engage customers in real-time, or personalization that lacks relevance due to limited depths of data. Despite having tremendous amount of data in their systems, the information is siloed and inaccessible.

Some 25 percent of marketer’s report that they lack the ability to make the information actionable and meaningful.

Marketers that want to execute their CX strategy effectively need to break through information silos and create a single point of control over data, decisions, and interactions. This will require cross-functional commitment to closing the CX gap and integrating new technology that can bridge existing processes and systems.

It is also now possible to achieve this level of control along with the speed and scale required for real-time engagement, yet another big hurdle with 50 percent of marketers identifying it as a major challenge to executing their CX strategy. Without these real-time dimensions, an offer, a recommendation, a notification, or any other interaction will miss the optimal moment of engagement.

To remain competitive, todays brands must have these capabilities to provide contextually relevant, timely and personalized omnichannel experiences.”

Businesses with up to 9 engagement systems in place (61 percent) express difficulty providing a seamless customer experience — should marketers begin scaling back? Why or why not?

“Fortunately, there is way to obtain a single point of control without having to rip and replace the variety of individual channels marketers have invested in. This is possible with modern customer engagement hubs that take an open garden approach to connectivity.

Having a variety of touchpoints is a practical reality, and the number of touchpoints will continue to expand over time as consumers pursue new channels of engagement, including IoT devices.

Open garden connectivity not only enables companies to leverage their existing technology investments, it enables them to continually innovate their customer journeys as new technology emerges.

It also is a cost-effective way to counteract entrenched data silos and allow them to overcome the friction and fragmentation in the customer experience that is at odds with what consumers expect.”

About 63 percent of customers expect personalization as a standard of service, yet many believe that companies are not keeping pace with their expectations — what can marketers do to change this sooner rather than later?

“Consumers are expecting a brand to be able to consistently keep pace with them at every stage of their path-to-purchase that has individualized beginnings, middles, and ends. In fact, over half of consumers welcome companies to leverage relevant data about them to anticipate their needs and provide them with specialized offers.

Brands must expertly manage each consumer’s journey not only as a individual consumers, but also in the context of the complete customer lifecycle. Each touchpoint must be fully leveraged, with all information gathered on each consumer in turn influencing every action and decision.

A marketer that knows where a customer has been and where and when they’re going can begin to not only personalize interactions but do so with relevance to an individual customer – at the precise moment of the engagement.

Additionally, if marketers use customer engagement hub technology that can easily adapt and grow with the technologies to reach the customer, then keeping pace is a much more feasible endeavor.”

Most customers (54 percent) say that they are willing to share personal information with businesses if it will create a more personalized experience — how can marketers begin to use this data to their advantage?

“The more data you have, the deeper you understand the preferences, habits, challenges to reach each consumer with relevant messages and offers. Today’s consumers are willing to offer business to a company that personalizes its services, and for 37 percent of consumers, these types of personalized offers/messages will make them even more likely to purchase or use services from that company in the future.

Marketers should capitalize on consumers’ willingness to share personal data which, in turn, fuels a deeper personalized relationship between consumer and brand.”

Nearly 86 percent of marketers say they have made improvements in closing the gap between CX strategy and execution across all customer interaction channels over the past year — what are some of the new tactics that marketers are using to achieve this? Where is there still room for improvement?

“Most marketers express confidence that they have closed at least some of the gaps with respect to strategy and execution – and believe they are moving in a positive direction but realize there is more progress to be made. This is complicated by needing to work with a moving target as consumer expectations continue to increase, and the technology to reach them continues to change.

Marketers also understand that for consumers, personalization goes far beyond, for example, addressing someone by name in an email.

To provide a seamless omnichannel and personalized experience, marketers must establish a single point of control over all data, decisions and interactions. This single point of control provides marketers with a golden customer record of the customer across all enterprise solutions and data sources.

It goes far beyond basic transactional history or personal information; it reflects behaviors, interests, and preferences that are combined into an always-updating record that provides insight on a customer throughout the entire customer lifecycle.

Brands that work to deliver this seamlessly and in real time is where we will see the most progress in customer interactions in the near term.”

ABOUT JOHN NASH

marketingJohn Nash has spent his career helping businesses grow revenue through the application of advanced technologies, analytics, and business model innovations. As Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer at RedPoint Global, John is responsible for developing new markets, launching new solutions, building brand awareness, generating pipeline growth, and advancing thought leadership. Connect with John on LinkedIn.

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