Simply meeting customer expectations — through mostly personalized, somewhat-timely, often-relevant interactions with individuals — doesn’t move the needle for businesses today.
Leading companies now ‘win’ by consistently exceeding customer expectations with an all-hands-on-deck approach.
Product and experience, marketing, customer service, analytics, and other teams need to work closely — and from the same unified customer data set — to deliver an exceptional customer experience (CX) and prove they’re customer-obsessed.
Fail to prioritize CX in 2021, and you open the door for competitors. That is, you allow them a greater market share — with the potential of losing currently loyal customers.
The good news? Exceeding customer expectations is easier than ever for consumer-centric companies like yours, thanks in large part to our pure-play customer data platform (CDP) — a system that democratizes first-party data across your entire organization.
Exceeding customer expectations: What consumers expect from companies today
In case it wasn’t apparent already: Consumers have always been in control of when and where they interact with companies. And that’s not going to change.
What has changed in the current business landscape is customers’ journeys have evolved considerably. In fact, they’re more complex than ever.
Your customers engage with you across multiple touchpoints. What’s more, they likely interact with you on multiple devices and in different locations both online and offline.
It can certainly be daunting to track individuals’ movement across their journeys.
But, for marketers in particular, the challenge is even greater:
They must engage prospects and customers in a relevant and timely manner in each customer lifecycle stage.
Marketing’s efforts to exceed customer expectations starts and ends with delivering substantial value to individuals while also respecting their consent and privacy preferences.
Failing to meet these conditions means consumers aren’t likely to visit your site, use your app, engage with you on social media, or — worst yet — buy from you. Case in point:
- A 2020 Conference Board survey found more than 20% of consumers said they “reduced or abandoned their use of a brand or company due to data privacy concerns.”
- Meanwhile, 45% of consumers would share their personal data and information with a business if it led to a high-quality CX, per a 2020 Broadridge Financial Solutions poll.
It’s clear a focus on CX management and data privacy can pay significant dividends.
What’s less clear are the specific ways in which business users across the organization — from marketing and ecommerce to analytics and customer support — can efficiently and sustainably lower churn, improve retention, and increase loyalty.
The simplified answer: Utilize their first-party data to deliver bespoke experiences to individuals at each stage of the customer lifecycle — ones that ultimately lead to a mutually beneficial value exchange for customers and the business.
Going the extra mile as a business to exceed your customers’ expectations
Nearly nine in 10 executives said their customers now expect personalized, omnichannel experiences, a 2019 report from Forrester and Deloitte found. Put another way:
Consumers want brands to know their interests and preferences, anticipate their needs, and serve up the most pertinent messaging tailored just for them.
But what does it take for these business leaders and their organizations to execute real-time, highly personalized, end-to-end experiences that help them exceed customer expectations?
In short, a companywide effort to make all prospects and customers feel valued at all times.
Here are specific ways in which you can take your company’s CX strategy to new heights.
Deliver timely, relevant experiences to individuals.
Time is of the essence when it comes to your customer engagement efforts.
Teams across your business need to be able to access, analyze, segment, model, and activate your first-party data in real time in order to provide a top-tier customer experience.
The days of having to rely on IT, data science, or external agencies to handle customer data — that is, package it up in custom lists to eventually hand off to marketers days or possibly weeks later — are no more.
Well, at least they are for companies that use our pure-play customer data platform (CDP).
Consider BlueConic customer RAEN Optics. The retailer uses our built-for-purpose CDP to provide one-to-one experiences to its website visitors. (Among other use cases.)
Specifically, the company serves real-time product recommendations in the form of individualized on-site dialogues that promote its eyewear and apparel to visitors based on past engagement (e.g., product pages viewed, items added to carts).
RAEN Optics Digital Marketing Manager Steven Johnson shared his thoughts on using our CDP to accelerate the company’s personalization strategy and increase revenue:
“From the beginning [of using BlueConic], we saw a lot of value. It was a no-brainer because we can craft that dynamic experience, create that personal shopping experience, and sell more product.”
Meeting individuals in their unique journeys with highly relevant messaging is a surefire way to exceed customer expectations — and do your best to ensure lasting customer loyalty.
Track your customers’ engagement in real time.
The single view of the customer has become critical to businesses’ growth today.
But this view isn’t solely for marketing. Several teams and users across an organization can benefit — especially when it comes to exceeding customer expectations.
The single customer view BlueConic offers enables consumer-oriented companies to:
- Provide excellent customer service — not merely good customer service: Resolving individuals’ identities and storing their data in persistent, dynamically updated profiles provides service and support teams with info they need to effectively interact with and resolve problems for customers.
- Easily discern who has opted in and out of allowing their data to be used: BlueConic’s consent management functionality automatically updates the consent status for each customer. This enables marketing to confidently utilize consented first-party data without having to worry about violating individuals’ data preferences (or failing to comply with data privacy laws).
- Analyze patterns and trends associated with their customer segments: Analytics professionals can more easily and efficiently access customer data to determine which segments marketing should prioritize engagement-wise (e.g., activities like cross-channel lifecycle orchestration).
- Create captivating digital experiences for prospects and customers: From building loyalty programs and premium content newsletters to developing virtual buying experiences and online events, product and experience teams have a variety of ways in which they can leverage a single view of their customers to boost engagement among target audiences.
- Make better data-driven decisions in key areas across the organization: All the aforementioned teams as well as business leaders can ultimately use the single customer view to make better decisions in their day-to-day (e.g., lifecycle orchestration, multi-dimensional segmentation) and long-term strategizing (e.g., developing new business models and revenue streams).
Executives, everyday marketers, analysts, and other business users can clearly benefit from the single customer view. And arguably the biggest benefit of said view for these professionals is the increased agility it provides them in their day-to-day roles.
Increase agility with a CDP to delight customers.
Reduce the gap between having customer data and acting on it. Experiment in a more intelligent, scalable fashion. Get tasks done faster and more intuitively. Recognize individuals and personalize experiences for them more quickly and efficiently.
These are the high-level goals for countless consumer-centric companies today.
They’re also objectives that — when fully realized — lead to far greater agility for teams across their organizations.
In 2020, companies across industries were emphatically reminded of the unpredictability and disruption that can both hamper daily operations and hinder long-term business growth.
This has sparked many organizations to recognize the need for tech that allows for enhanced flexibility throughout the business and greater speed in response to market changes.
Specifically, these companies recognized the need for a customer data platform like BlueConic. As BlueConic COO Cory Munchbach recently wrote for Forbes:
“As a central hub that connects customer data sources and delivery platforms, a CDP offers the agility and flexibility marketers and other business users need to accelerate their data and omnichannel initiatives.”
Consumers’ behaviors may continue to shift in 2021. But it’s evident customers’ expectations will remain sky high. That makes having greater agility as an organization and flexibility among all teams that much more important in the years ahead.
And that makes investing in a CDP like ours essential for executives who are looking to both enable their teams to exceed customer expectations in a scalable, streamlined fashion and, simultaneously, transform their businesses for the better.
Request your BlueConic demo today to discover how our customer data platform can help you become more agile, streamline operations, and accelerate business growth.