CMOs be prepared: The connected customer is here

Let’s check out the three critical elements that will feature in your data-driven journey this year

Updated: Apr 17, 2017 11:00:46 AM UTC
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Customer is king, is no longer an overstatement, and businesses need to serve the king to survive and to win. More than ever, today customers are more in charge of their engagements with brands. Brands that understand their customers’ needs and wants, will succeed and remain relevant.

Let’s check out the three critical elements that will feature in your data-driven journey in 2017.

1. Personalisation is passé, say hello to IndividualisationIndividualisation is achieved when customer intention is anticipated, understood, and actioned in the moment,” says Krisi Mansfield, CX Strategy & Transformation Director, Oracle APAC. This means giving the customer the experience they want and desire to a segment of one.  Though the concept of Individualisation has been around for some time now, yet, the number of organisations who have the level of CX maturity to deliver this, are very few.

Here are some Do’s and Don’ts for creating Individualized experiences:

Structure experiences around customer journeys: To do this, CX Leaders need to identify the journeys their customers take, the data that indicates a customer is on a given journey, and the content and functionality they need to move closer to their goal.
Ask how customer data can inform each interaction: Don’t start individualization efforts by trying to come up with uses for available customer data. CX Leaders should start by asking how a specific interaction can be individualized for the customer. After articulating how the interaction can be improved, ask what customer data is required to make it happen.
Get agile: Individualized experiences are an emerging category of experiences. As a result, best practices and design patterns are still being defined. This means that CX Leaders interested in creating individualized experiences need to take an agile approach that focuses on rapid prototyping, failing fast, and quick release cycles rather than strung-out processes.

2. Internet of Things – new ally to CX
By 2020, everyone is expected to own at least 20 connected devices, which means that brands cannot afford to ignore the phenomenon called Internet of Things (IoT).

In one of its reports, Forrester has emphasised that while everyone understands that CX lies at the heart of digital engagements, lesser people understand the connection between great CX and operational excellence. In a nut shell, IoT will bring in the speed to operations and processes that, will lead to great customer experience.

On the flip side we will soon have trillions of connected devices, we should also be able to explore how the information from these IoT devices will allow CX pros to better understand how customers interact with different platforms and channels by directly tapping into data from the devices they are interacting with. These insights are reframing the way we do business, from re-active to pro-active and predictive, and are increasingly changing how consumers behave and what they expect.

3. Chatbots will become a major part of CX by 2020
A recent Oracle report found that by 2020 Artificial intelligence (AI) and Virtual Reality (VR) are set to reshape customer experiences as we know them today. More than three quarters (78 percent) of brands say they have already implemented, or are planning to implement AI and VR by 2020 to better serve customers.

Chatbots are one of the most recognisable forms of AI – 80 percent of sales and marketing leaders say they already use these in their CX technologies or plan to do so by 2020.

Consumers and B2B decision-makers want relevant content at the right time and that exactly is the promise of AI, which in turn, is powered by data. Whether it’s an AI chatbot or a social community manager acting on behalf of the brand, the customer data profile that is being drawn on to inform customer interactions must be complete and accurate. With information on a customer’s previous purchases, recent service issues, social media interactions, and preferred channels for interaction, a brand is better armed to serve them.

2017 is going to be an exciting, change-filled year. To succeed in this CX-obsessed world, companies must get closer to their customers and put in place the right processes to empower data and analytics to take more driven decisions. To sum up, the companies that show a deep understanding of their customers will be set to win the CX race in 2017 and more years to come.

- By Brian Donn, APAC VP of CX for Oracle

The thoughts and opinions shared here are of the author.

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