The battle for consumer attention and engagement has always been at the forefront of B2B marketers’ minds, but this challenge has become increasingly difficult to overcome in recent years. The past decade has seen a dramatic expansion of digital platforms, thus increasing both the number of touchpoints in the customer experience (CX) lifecycle and the number of channels customers are being reached through. Plus, with the rise in digital communications and at-your-fingertips’ service, consumers expect and crave more personalized, targeted interactions from brands. COVID-19 has challenged consumer norms, causing a shift in behavior that’s here to stay – customers prefer personalized self-service, when and where they want, on the channel of their choice.
I’m sure we’ve all had recent interactions with brands that left us with a frustrating experience because we had no other option. My most recent experience went like this: I needed to get a new credit card sent to me since I was informed an updated card was recently sent out, but I never received it. I had just moved and had not yet updated my address, so my card was lost somewhere in the snail mail forwarding universe. I went online to change my address and to order a new card. The option I wanted was not there so I decided to launch their online chat assistant, hoping to quickly resolve my problem. But the chatbot could not complete my action online. After a few deep breaths I took the step no one today wants to have to take – I called customer service. After going in circles with the automated menu options, I finally reached a real person. Turns out, since I’m a secondary user of this account, they could not help me without the primary user on the line, so I then conferenced in the primary account holder, hoping they were available and that I wasn’t disrupting their day too.
The customer service agent was very kind and helpful to us both. It’s not that I didn’t want to speak to him personally or that he didn’t do the best he could to solve my problem. It’s the fact that this company, and so many others like it, lack the infrastructure and technology to support their customers in their preferred manor and cause a frustrating overuse of disconnected channels. The top two preferred channels of communication today are email and website, with emerging channels like SMS, chatbots, and interactive videos growing in popularity. (Source: Precisely & CMO Council Critical Channels of Choice). Customers who don’t receive the experience they want are quick to leave and take their business elsewhere.
All of this is to say it’s no easy feat being a marketer in today’s world. Brands need to find new and creative ways to get in front of customers and potential buyers. The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the need for better and more seamless omnichannel experiences. And with global spending on digital transformation expected to reach $2.3 trillion by 2023 according to IDC, businesses are looking for ways to drive superior digital engagements to keep up with ever-changing consumer demands, but can’t afford to keep adding more disconnected systems to their growing Martech stacks. Marketers are feeling the pressure to effectively execute a multichannel approach and, as a result, many are turning to a single, unified CX platform to help them do it. In fact, nearly half (46%) of CX leaders are considering investments in integrated, multichannel CX platforms this year. (Source: Precisely & Corinium Intelligence) Here’s why:
Increase Customer Satisfaction
A single, unified platform helps businesses achieve their engagement objectives by taking a consistent and holistic approach to customer engagement, while still providing tailored experiences. A platform like this helps businesses achieve a higher level of customer satisfaction by reaching the right customers with the right messages at the right time – on whatever channel they prefer whether it be video, chatbots, email or SMS.
Increase Up-Sell and Cross-Sell Opportunities
It also contributes to greater success in closing upsell and cross-sell opportunities as you can deliver highly personalized messages, with offerings tailored to customers based on their profiles, to increase the likelihood of purchase. Additionally, data-driven content rules and preferred interactive channels help businesses fine-tune offers to suit the specific audiences that are most likely to act on each offer.
Reduce Costs and Training Time
Lastly, a single, unified platform can result in operational and IT cost savings by automating and streamlining customer communications across departments. This will save time and money by eliminating inefficient manual processes and reduce time spent learning multiple reporting systems by providing all data in one intuitive, easy-to-use user interface. Additionally, by eliminating data silos, a unified CX platform can provide additional IT cost savings by creating a holistic point of view to all data.
With my recent experience, if this company had sent a personalized email with an integrated interactive video ahead of time letting me know what date my new card would be sent out and asking to confirm the address, they would have ensured they had the right data, and not wasted my time and their resources down the road.
Recent shifts in the industry and the “new normal” demands businesses create a seamless, integrated, and personalized brand experience for every customer across channels – and a single, unified CX platform allows companies to achieve just that. By using a single, unified tool set to drive digital communications, marketers can streamline design, personalization, analytics and channel mix. This not only improves engagement and a business’s bottom line, but helps drive customer trust and loyalty as consumers feel they are interacting with a brand that “gets them.” Brands that fail to adopt this tool will fall behind their competitors at a rapid rate as they lose customer engagement and, ultimately, loyalty.