CX is important, but lack of communication on its value is creating a rod for its own back.
I was lucky enough to attend the Engage Customer Summit at the Westminster Park Plaza, London on November 15, 2022. I was invited as a guest by the Customer Experience (CX) Guru that is Gerry Brown.
There were some really meaningful and engaging talks. Lots of data was shared about CX and the positive impact it is having within organisations large and small.
The good stuff
It was all good stuff. No one is going to a CX event and saying that the methodologies, technology and processes that have been implemented aren’t working. Of course, they are working.
Let’s face it, those organisations that have implemented a CX strategy over the last few years are benefitting from the increased customer satisfaction, loyalty, and uplift in revenues that a good focussed company brings. We heard from Tarv Nijjar, McDonald’s Global Senior Director, Global Strategic Insights CX & AI as well as a fireside chat with Gerry Brown and Tom Kirby who is the Senior Customer Experience Manager at Huel. A pragmatic and intriguing look at how Huel lives and breathes its brand values with customers.
There were equally excellent speakers, including William Agnew, the Experience Lead of Video Banking at NatWest as well as Nathan Sanders, Head of European Contact Centres at Ford Motor Co. Both talked about new integrations and trust built by CX and call Centre teams.
But it’s not all rainbows and unicorns
Ange Johnson De Wit , Lloyds Banking Group Commercial Banking Technology Leader, gave us a very balanced view of the marketplace. She talked about the uptake of the cloud, the challenges large organisations have of moving their legacy infrastructure and mainframes to the cloud, and some real eye-opening stats and predictions – not all of them complement the state of CX moving forward.
Equally fascinating was Mark Chamberlain of Lokulus. Over the past twenty years, Lokulus have developed and implemented customer engagement solutions that have almost exclusively targeted the overall reduction in the human effort to resolve customer queries. With the latest AI and Bot technologies, this human interaction is now able to be reduced to zero, or as the stat from Gartner below states – virtually zero.
Gartner predicts that within the next 2-3 years Virtual Assistants will automate 80% of call centre agents tasks.
Clouds on the Horizon
The killer punch was delivered at the end of the event. Karine Cardona-Smits, a Senior Analyst at Forrester punctured the CX balloon…but gave some light at the end of the tunnel.
There is no doubt that CX is an investment in the organisation. But with interests on the rise, the austerity budget mark 2 from Jeremy Hunt on its way as well as the conflicts in foreign lands and energy and tax rises, there is a light shining on CX departments in companies that may turn the investment in CX looking more like a cost on the PL spreadsheet.
So what are we talking about here? Well, according to Forrester, 1 out of 5 CX programmes will disappear in 2023. That’s massive. Not only that but it could also undo a lot of the excellent work CX professionals have been doing through the tough times, like the pandemic, to turn the fortunes of their business around.
How marketing can help
Marketing is many things, however, the core of the discipline is communication. CX professionals and the excellent programmes they run can sometimes seem siloed. There is not always full buy-in from organisations and in these times of belt-tightening, sometimes it can be seen as a nice to have.
The intersection between CX and Brand
This is the crux of where the grey areas lie. With so much of CX and other departments siloed in organisations, the need for marketing and Customer Experience to collaborate more is essential. The two could feed well off each other as well as giving back valuable data both ways.
In today’s world, customers expect everything fast. If you’re slow, you’ve already lost. A digital first approach means a marketing-led approach, with the customer at the centre of the triangle. Digital-first conversations have become the default – but not at the expense of human hierarchy.
With the right positioning, CX can become the leading competitive differentiator for the organisation. It is vital that businesses ensure that their CX strategies are aligned with their marketing and brand culture which feeds into the overall objectives of the business.
Working in harmony, Marketing and CX can deliver personalised interactions at every customer touchpoint – internally and externally.
To learn more, contact the team at Digital Clarity.