Q&A: The 5 secrets of CX in the cloud
Businesses need to treat customer experience as their most important competitive advantage, says Inayeth Govender, GM demand generation,Tarsus On Demand.
Customer experience matters more than ever before when we’re operating in a world of functionally adequate but undifferentiated and emotionally void B2B products and services, says Inayeth Govender, general manager for demand generation Tarsus On Demand. “Businesses need to treat customer experience as their most important competitive advantage. In a world of changing technology and evolving channels to market, customer experiences that are engaging, consistent and enjoyable should be the constant North Star that gives the company direction.”
What are those five elements that make up great B2B CX in the cloud and digital era?
1. Put the customer in the centre: Thriving with B2B customer experience in the cloud age takes a completely different mindset to the traditional product/service sales approach of the past. Leading companies will put the customer and their needs at the centre of their business model. They will build marketing, sales and services teams with empathy to understand what the customer wants and needs. Agile teams will listen closely to the customers to understand their pain points—then deliver solutions that wow them.
2. Create organisation-wide alignment: Customer experience cannot be the sole responsibility of customer-facing functions like sales, support and marketing. Everything from product design and technology to logistics and human resources ultimately impacts the customer’s experience. All business functions need to be aligned behind the need to create great customer experiences.
3. Seamless collaboration: In the cloud era, customer experience is usually delivered via a network that might comprise stakeholders ranging from software vendors and hyperscale cloud providers to cloud enablers, ISVs and IT resellers. These different players may sometimes compete and often cooperate. What matters is that they can work together to deliver an experience that looks seamless to the customers. Robust technology integrations and careful partnership are key to making it work—but the customer need should always be in the centre.
4. Adopt continuous learning: Customer expectations are evolving fast and yesterday’s value-add or competitive edge can quickly become today’s ticket-to-play. Organisations need to adopt agile practices and continuous learning to stay the pace with customer expectations and demands. They should embrace a constant cycle of building, learning and measuring customer experience and its constituent elements.
5. Create an army of evangelists: Word of mouth marketing has always been powerful, but when it can be scaled to thousands or millions of people via social media and other digital platforms, its power grows exponentially. A great customer experience that customers want to share with others can create an army of evangelists that have the credibility to bring more customers on board. A company with an indifferent customer experience will need to throw far more money at marketing due to the lack of brand champions.
What does customer experience in the future look like?
As we look into the future, fears about climate change and the continued disruption of global supply chains means that the digital trend is here to stay. In this world, customer experience is the key to setting a brand apart in a world of lookalike products and services. Companies that learn how to deliver ‘wow’ moments throughout the customer journey will build customer loyalty and grow their businesses. They will thrive by putting customers right at the heart of what they do.
Main image credit: Supplied.
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