Demystify customer experience

Customer experience can be complicated. But it doesn’t have to be difficult. Equipped with the right tools and knowledge, you can break it down into manageable pieces. You’ve arrived at the final instalment of our CMO white paper blog series. If you haven’t already, check out part one, How can you turn a moment into a movement?’ part two, Create a humanity-centred brand strategy’, part three, Make your way through the data labyrinth’, and part four, Foster connection as a two-way street for more customer experience insights.

Karyn Furstman

When talking to CX professionals, CMOs, and business leaders who lent their perspectives for our white paper, When upheaval leads to elevation, one quote stands out: ‘Everyone knows customer experience is needed, but they don’t necessarily know how to get there’.

If you can relate to that, perhaps you’ve realised over the past two years that external factors, like changing consumer expectations and business impacts of the pandemic, have made it imperative that your brand differentiates itself. You know customer experience is important, but how do you implement a holistic, end-to-end CXM (customer experience management) programme?

CXM isn't just an experience; it's a holistic strategy

When the pandemic started, it became clear just how important the customer journey is to an organisation. Growth and retention strategies required hyper-focus to meet customers' shifting needs, expectations, and requirements. Organisations responded in different ways, and many made improvements to aspects of their customer experience without fully addressing the need for ongoing investment in this area.

So, the challenge remains: How can you create an end-to-end, fully operational CXM framework that's embedded in an organisation? Adding to the challenge, most executives still associate customer experience with user experience and think of it as personalisation across channels. This confusion is especially common in companies with less mature CXM practices. But CXM is more than just an experience or personalisation; it’s a holistic strategy.

Luckily change is happening. With their learnings from the pandemic, executives are making a tangible investment in holistic CXM. One aspect is leadership – 90% of the leaders we spoke to already have or are recruiting for a Chief Experience Officer to oversee their CX implementation and evolution.

To add to that, 71% of organisations said they planned to commit more budget to improve CX in the following year. And over the last 12 months, more than half (54%) of leaders prepared to make investments to implement and mature CX strategies and programmes. So, it’s becoming clear that leaders feel strongly about the need for change. While CXM continues to be a challenge, many leaders are doing what they can to implement a holistic, end-to-end programme.

Follow your North Star

To implement your CXM programme, you need a vision that grounds your entire approach – a North Star, if you will. With so many challenges and changes required of businesses over the last two years, they understand the importance of fostering connection, leveraging data and strategic tools, and creating a humanity-centred brand strategy. But, most of all, organisations with a North Star understand their purpose and use it to guide them.

So, what does it mean to understand brand purpose? It's about understanding your customer, producing engaging content, delivering good experiences. It’s being more empathetic, being human and real. Defining your purpose and delivering on it to unite everyone in your organisation’s ecosystem – customers, employees, partners, and stakeholders.

Get more insights from marketing leaders and CXOs in our white paper, ‘When upheaval leads to elevation'.