Historically, consumer experience (CX) has been defined as the impact of multiple key touchpoints during the consumption process, that become part of a “customer’s journey”. These increase consumer interactions with a brand, offering them a more positive experience and improving brand loyalty, as well as increasing sales. This activity was primarily the responsibility of the Chief Sales & Marketing Officer. However, CX is rapidly evolving, and limiting it to specific areas throughout the consumer journey is no longer enough to yield results or long-term success.
More than this, CX certainly became an absolute team focus.
Mindset shift to a consumer POV
As audiences are able to interact more and more directly with brands and other consumers, through both being online and being offered a greater range of competitors, they’re increasingly in control, and telling businesses what to do. These customers now expect more and more from companies before they’ll commit to interacting or purchasing from them, and it’s these expectations that are driving CX forwards. With 2020 especially focusing consumers’ attentions on online platforms, key touchpoints are no longer enough to drive positive interactions. Companies now need to operate in a way that puts the consumer directly at the heart of their business, from the ground up. Newer approaches seek to not only shift brand strategies to being entirely audience-focused, but also aim to improve the quality of life for everyone involved, from employees and business owners to customers, creating whole ecosystems built on CX.
What are the next steps to take?
At re:look, we have always taken a forward-thinking and holistic approach to CX, working with brands to identify how they can operate with a keen focus on customer needs, while at the same time delivering exceptional experiences across the organization (building the CX ecosystems). Restructuring your business in this way might seem like an extreme measure, but if you think of it as aligning all your employees to work for the consumer, then it starts to make a lot more sense. We believe that re-organising your business in a way that cultivates and encourages a consumer-centric attitude amongst your entire team (and not just the sales & marketing team) is the best way to make your brand stand out from the crowd. If your team are truly focused on keeping consumers as happy as possible, then the entire consumer journey becomes a much more positive one, making brand loyalty and repeat custom much more likely. For example, consider the success of Netflix, which transformed itself to offer an experience designed solely around the consumer, and has since gone on to transform how we now consume our TV and movies. Through business audits and extensive customer research, we’re not only able to paint a picture of who your target audience might be, but identify how you can better align your brand with their values, and then develop strategies that put your audience directly in the picture, both online and offline.
Another key aspect of re:look’s approach to CX involves EX, an often overlooked area that’s inextricably linked to producing positive CX results. A survey by the intent-based marketing company Aberdeen Group shows that companies with an employee engagement program enjoy 233% greater customer loyalty and that these programs help companies to enjoy a 26% greater annual increase in revenue. The leading experience agency, Accenture, has also found that companies that get EX right are 21% more profitable. All of these stats show that employee experience is intrinsically linked to customer experience, and is often a driving force in customer loyalty. With brands increasingly expected to be totally transparent with their audiences about their business practices, it makes sense that customers would want to buy from the companies that treat their teams well, especially in cases when there is little else to differentiate between competition. In my own personal experience of working with Marriott International for fifteen years, I have also learned to live by the quote, “Take good care of your employees, and they’ll take good care of your customers, and the customers will come back.” This truism comes from the company’s founder himself, John Willard Marriott. It is this belief in EX that has made it part of re:look’s offering to provide training, workshops and learning to all members of an organisation. We aim to develop leadership styles that nurture, develop and empower talent, as well as consumer-focused employee mindsets.
In practical terms…
There are a number of examples of forward-thinking and modern approaches to CX that have supported companies through evolved policies. Consumer-centric strategies can be used to push consumer loyalty forward, from hotel chains implementing more successful CRM strategies that improved daily life for employees while also offering up a host of more personal data, to allow those employees to better cater to their guests; to the travel brand that utilised smart digital technologies to create more convenient check-in options for guests, while capturing information to create more personalised experiences. Throughout the travel, digital and retail industries, the CX strategies that perform the best for brands not only created memorable experiences and memories for their consumers, but have paid close attention to creating a truly exceptional workforce through improved EX and CX, integrating consumer needs into organisation structures. Utilising progressive technology, data gathering systems, and intelligent operations can work to improve company’s CX from the inside out, although it should be noted that customer data is only valuable to an organisation if a) their employees know how to use it, and b) their employees care enough about guests to implement it and put this data into action.
Let’s reshape CX together…
As the above clearly shows, CX is a rapidly evolving and ever-changing industry. It’s only by keeping up to date with the latest data, trends and insights that businesses are able to utilise this to rival, and surpass, their competition. As a forward-thinking agency, formed by leading experts in their respective fields, re:look is ideally placed to provide the knowledge and practical know-how to not only audit business structures, but to ensure that their consumer-centric strategies can become both progressive and central to all operations. Our boutique nature means that we’re able to take a truly personal approach to each and every business, while our expertise allows us to develop bespoke strategies that will make your customer experience stand out as exceptional.