While many brands and businesses will claim to always put their customers first, there can be a stark difference between what a brand thinks their customers want versus what they really need. To create the best connections with customers, this means putting them and their experience above anything else. In this article, we explain why customer experience is still king and share top tips on how to create a consumer-centric marketing strategy.
Read on to discover:
- Why prioritizing people over products makes smart business sense
- What consumers are looking for with their brand experiences today
- The Winning Formula: How to create a consumer-centric marketing strategy
Ask any brand if they are customer-centric and you’re sure to be met with a resounding ‘yes’ - but while many will claim to always put their customers first, there can be a stark difference between what a brand thinks their customers want versus what they really need.
It’s a matter of experience. If you aren’t talking about customer experience (CX) as part of that broader conversation, then you are missing a trick. In fact, it’s not just a trick that you’re missing, it’s a vital part of every marketers’ toolkit to ensure that every interaction with a consumer - whether acquiring or retaining them - is truly customer-centric.
To be customer-centric isn’t just common sense, it’s smart business sense - customer-centric companies are 60% more profitable than those who don’t focus on their customers. But the reality is that businesses still aren’t doing enough and it could be costing them valuable customers who will go elsewhere in search of a better experience.
Where Are Brands Going Wrong?
According to PwC’s Future of Customer Experience Survey, 73% of consumers say CX is an important factor in their purchasing decisions - yet only 49% feel that companies provide this. One in three (32%) will walk away from a brand they love after just one bad experience.
So how best to avoid this? It requires having a two-way conversation with your customers. Yet 42% of companies don’t listen to their customers. It’s one thing to say you are a ‘customer first’ business but another to act on it and take necessary steps to show that you truly care about what your customers think and how you can adapt to that. The same study highlighted that 42% of companies don’t survey their customers or collect feedback; 43% don’t track customer satisfaction or happiness; and 52% don’t even monitor online review sites and social media posts to track consumer sentiment.
A PwC study confirms that only two in 10 businesses strongly agree that they can dynamically capture real-time customer feedback and have a clear understanding of the customer journey from their customer’s perspective - which is key to achieving great CX.
Customers Hold All the Power
CX Network’s ‘The Global State of Customer Experience’ report polled CX experts to understand how the power has shifted. The majority of them agreed that customer expectations are rising (68%), customers are more impatient than ever before (43%) and more willing to switch brands if unsatisfied (52%). Overall, 47% believe that it is becoming harder than ever to please customers. That’s where CX and Customer-centricity come in.
To help understand how consumer behaviour is developing, Forrester identified five core behaviours (ie. dimensions) that define the empowered customer today. They include: a willingness to experiment, device usage, digital-physical integration (ie. blurring the lines between digital and physical experiences - omnichannel), information savviness and self-efficacy (ie. customers’ motivations to be in control of their choices and experiences).
With digital consumption on the rise, brands have an opportunity to take control and respond to the needs of the new digital consumer, who believe that online experiences will be more important (53%) as we emerge from the pandemic. The same study found that 44% of consumers expect more digital experiences from brands, 45% expect brands to improve their existing digital product and service offerings, and 84% expect brands to offer a seamless experience between online and in-store.
As a result, over 80% of companies have invested in an omnichannel experience since 2020, according to PwC. Further, Forrester found that 27% of brands took steps to improve their CX in 2020, almost double that of the previous year (14%) - owing largely to many having established or advanced their core CX competencies.
How to build a Consumer-Centric Marketing Strategy
To create the most meaningful experiences for consumers, brands need to be thinking about how they can build a richer, more emotional customer journey that seamlessly integrates multiple touchpoints. To ensure that brands are ready for this digital future, there is a clear demand to put the consumer at the heart of this digital transformation.
To do this requires four key steps:
- Link action to results - Develop a company-wide understanding of what customer-centricity means to your company and look for opportunities to apply it across every department and touchpoint.
- Anticipate your customers’ needs - Listen to your customers and collect valuable feedback across all platforms, including social and reviews, to adapt your communication in a way that is personalized to each individual.
- Be accessible in the right place at the right time - Customer Service plays an important role to reach peak customer experience. Always make sure you are available when and where your customer needs you.
- Put CX at the heart of everything you do - Offer speed, convenience and consistency across all channels to create seamless experiences across the board.
Now, more than ever, customers need to be central to every aspect of your business. In today’s fast-moving digital landscape, this means fostering a positive customer experience across each stage of the journey to build loyalty and satisfaction. Put your customer at the core of your business and you’re already one step closer to success. Invest in top-notch CX and it won’t be long before you see the impact that will have on the bottom line.
What Should I Do Next?
Circus Street offers a range of tailored lessons focused on empowering brands and businesses to take their customer engagement to the next level. To find out how Circus Street can help your business learn how to build the right strategy and provide a best-in-class Consumer-centric marketing experience, sign up for a free trial today.