Some 6 in 10 B2C and B2B marketers believe that designing an effective customer experience is very important in gaining a competitive advantage in their market. This is per a recent report [download page] from Ascend2 which looks at the advantages of a customer experience strategy as well as the challenges marketers can face in creating one.
A high level of customer experience has a demonstrable impact on customer loyalty behaviors. As such, delivering a better customer experience is one of the top priorities of CEOs across the globe in the next few years. The good news is virtually all of the marketers surveyed report that their customer experience strategy has been very (21%) or somewhat successful (75%) at achieving their goals.
They also found that quality content is a major contributor when it comes to creating an effective customer experience, with more than half (53%) of respondents saying so. Additionally, they have found that personalization (46%), efficiency/response time (41%) and brand trust (38%) play a role in creating an effective customer experience. However, although consumers put a lot of trust in customer reviews, only 1 in 5 respondents believe that product reviews and testimonials contribute to customer experience.
Respondents have also found that customers prefer the human touch, with 9 in 10 (89%) saying that live/human interactions are most effective in meeting customer expectations. Some 8 in 10 (83%) also say this is the touchpoint style that attributes to the majority of their customer experience strategy.
The Consequences of Ineffective Design
When marketers are not able to deliver on the elements that help create an effective customer experience there are some critical consequences. About two-thirds (65%) of respondents say that one of the greatest costs associated with failing to deliver on design elements is missed opportunities for revenue. Others say that it results in wasted staff time and resources (46%), high customer churn (31%), weakened/damaged brand (30%) and inefficient use of budget (30%).
Added to this, marketers are encountering challenges when trying to design a strategy to improve customer experience. Many are faced with a lack of time and resources (42%), as well as insufficient budget (37%) to execute such a strategy. Some also face the difficulty of creating engaging content (26%) and a lack of a defined strategy (26%).
Luckily, getting support from the wider organization is less of a challenge, with only 1 in 10 (11%) saying that a lack of organizational/executive buy-in is holding them back from creating a strategy to improve customer experience.
Plans for Improvement
In the year ahead, marketers plan to focus on several areas in order to improve customer experience. The main areas of improvement appear to be in website optimization (45%), social media (44%) and personalization (44%), while others will seek to improve email marketing (30%), mobile communications (24%) and digital advertising programs (23%).
Although customers have shown a preference for on-site chat communications, fewer (15%) respondents say this is an area they plan to improve in the coming year.
The full report can be found here.
About the Data: Findings are based on a March 2021 survey of 327 B2C and B2B marketers, 35% of whom work for companies with more than 50 employees.