The Customer-First Experience: Are Brands Really Prepared to Deliver?
It’s no secret that smart businesses are prioritizing customer needs above all else, and putting the customer first is imperative for them to compete. Consumers have high expectations for a great experience no matter where they interact with brands, therefore businesses are now forced to stop thinking about loyalty in terms of brand name and start thinking of it in terms of experience. This shift requires new intelligence and new leadership in order to build and maintain customer loyalty. While many brands are prioritizing the customer experience, our newly-released study identifies a disconnect between goals and execution. Recently, we surveyed more than 800 marketing and customer experience leaders from the US and the UK in partnership with global research consultancy, Morar. Today, we released the findings of that survey in our report , and the results showed that while the customer is king, many companies aren’t doing anything about it.
While many members of the C-suite continue to put the customer experience as a brand’s top priority, the challenge of creating a customer-first model lies in the lack of tools, siloed data and misalignment on job ownership. When looking at how they measure the success of the customer experience, 64 percent are using customer retention as their primary metric. Yet, 47 percent of CMOs don’t think they have the right tools in hand to really understand their customers’ greatest challenges, indicating a gap between intention and performance.
The study also uncovered tension around who owns the customer, and 30 percent of respondents noted a key hurdle is the confusion around the responsibility for the customer experience. While many brands are adding a Chief Customer Officer (CCO) role to their C-suites, a lack of clear responsibilities and siloed data presents ongoing challenges for these incoming CCOs. In fact, 50 percent of CCOs admitted they rarely use insights from the contact center and, as we know, the contact center is rich with direct voice-of-the-customer insights that can be used across the organization.
At Calabrio, we’ve seen many brands deploy successful customer-first strategies, and we know that a great customer experience is rooted in the contact center. In the midst of heightened customer expectations, brands can’t afford ignore the gold mine of contact center insights and must determine clear ownership within the C-suite. It’s important to address these gaps in order to break down the barriers and truly focus on the customer.