By Veerakumar Natarajan
For most businesses, the most common goal is expansion. However, for many organisations, there are barriers to this being feasible because of the fiercely competitive business landscape. While this competitiveness is great for economies, the objective for companies wanting to grow should be to strive for growth at scale to increase their revenues without a significant influx of additional resources.
One of the most crucial starting points for growth at scale is to focus on customer experience [CX]. CX can be defined as the comprehensive range of a customer’s cognitive, emotional, sensory, and behavioural reactions throughout their entire journey with a company. This journey spans from pre-purchase to post-purchase stages. CX can either be a catalyst for success, or the downfall of a company.
While it may appear to be an exaggerated claim, it carries substantial weight when considering that according to one report, 81% of customers say that a positive customer experience significantly increases their likelihood of making repeat purchases. Equally noteworthy is the fact that 61% of customers would readily switch companies after just one negative experience. These statistics emphasise the critical importance of cultivating and maintaining a superior customer experience.
Understanding the significance of CX is one thing, but delivering an exceptional experience is an entirely different matter. Bearing this in mind, how can organisations guarantee that they consistently deliver the utmost satisfaction to their customers? Although the answer may differ depending on the specific industry, there are several fundamental steps that any organisation can undertake to achieve this goal.
Using Contextual Data Effectively
Dismantling data silos within a company is one of the most beneficial measures to take for scaling efforts. Executives or others at the decision-making level in a business would do well to understand that information powers every division of a corporation. Providing customer-facing teams with access to contextual data, therefore, enables them to engage with customers more effectively, which enhances the experience they can deliver.
Furthermore, it enables the delivery of personalised experiences to each customer, further augmenting their perception of the organisation. In this regard, the implementation of a CX platform assumes significant importance. Ideally, such a platform should offer a seamless and contextual flow of data between different systems, single-sign on [SSO], and granular access control. At Zoho, we’ve dedicated efforts to incorporate these features into our customer experience platform, Zoho CRM Plus, which brings together sales, marketing, support, and other customer-facing teams together.
A Single Marketing Perspective
The consolidation of customer data is vital for organisations, but it’s equally crucial to have a unified perspective on their marketing endeavors. It’s vital to recognize that CX encompasses all interactions within an organisation, even those occurring before a purchase is made.
Additionally, it’s critical to keep in mind that marketing encompasses more than just advertising; it includes your branding both online and offline, your social media presence, and media and stakeholder connections.
Delivering consistent experiences across all of your marketing initiatives is essential. For this to be accomplished, entire marketing teams must be aware of and in alignment with every action being carried out by various teams. This strategy not only prevents the duplication of efforts, it also encourages transparency and gives management visibility so they can evaluate the impact of various activities.
Get the after-Purchase Service Right
After a customer makes a purchase, it’s essential to follow up with them in a non-intrusive manner to gauge their satisfaction with the product and the service they received. By collecting feedback, businesses can obtain valuable insights that can be used to further improve not just their engagement with a particular customer, but their offerings as well. Any company that is listening and acting on their customers’ feedback will sooner or later outperform its competitors.
Feedback on the customer experience serves as the foundation for further enhancing the post-purchase experience by enabling accurate recommendations of other relevant products from the inventory. This iterative process ensures that the customer experience continues to evolve and improve, fostering long-term customer loyalty and driving repeat purchases. Even a simple survey tool can help a company gather valuable insights, which can then be used to improve overall CX efforts.
Build a Foundation of Excellence
Although there are many factors that go into creating a stellar customer experience, the core concepts mentioned here are undoubtedly essential. Businesses can deliberately create an environment that fosters long-lasting customer relationships and achieves sustainable growth by establishing these basics.
Veerakumar Natarajan is the Country Head, Zoho Kenya