October 3, 2022

Kazuki Ota, CEO and Co-founder, treasure data.

During periods of inflation and deflation, such as what we are currently experiencing, business leaders tend to develop conservative mindsets. There is a common natural mindset that people adopt, where they believe that a company cannot innovate or allocate shrinking resources to customer engagement. While cutting costs in areas such as technology investments and marketing might have been seen as sound financial decisions in earlier eras, both should be considered uninitiated in today’s empirical economics. In short, companies really can’t step back from digital spaces now that online platforms serve most customer touchpoints.

Many of the existing brands have formally implemented a customer-focused mode across their entire organization, and some even support them with financial commitments to talent, technologies, and infrastructure. This explains why so many companies seamlessly transition to the online world and support the idea that if companies lose the customer-first approach, the entire organization collapses. Brands need to meet customers wherever they are, and they can’t do that on a makeshift tech pile and budget. Rather than scale back their investments in marketing and data to withstand inflationary and recessionary threats, companies should look to improve their marketing offerings and customer experience (CX) so that loyal customers remain happy and keep coming back.

Establishing a focus on the customer

Every buyer’s journey is unique, and tracking and optimizing a consumer’s journey requires a customer-centric mindset and approach. Brands and agencies often have a good understanding of messages and content that resonate with their target audiences, but they are not always aware of how or when these pieces affect a particular customer. The customer-centric approach allows the company to be intimately aware of the purchasing process throughout the conversion path, from the awareness stage to the purchase. If companies want to gain a deep understanding of the customer journey and even start learning how to share the experience, they need to undergo or are in the process of undergoing a successful digital transformation.

Customer interactions today are platform neutral. It doesn’t matter whether it’s through TV or in a direct message on Twitter or Facebook, customers want to interact with brands on their favorite channels. Enabling customer service on digital channels is one thing for a CPG or car manufacturer, but it is entirely another matter to ensure that all data associated with a customer’s history flows to the right places in a secure manner. Once the right customer data management platforms are in place, brands can begin to truly map out what the customer journey will look like.

Follow along on the customer journey

In order to get the full value of the customer journey, it must be carefully documented. There is more than one way to achieve this, but in general, organizations will need to start by planning the typical journey for their customers. Find data from each individual stage of the journey, which will allow for efficient customization. Depending on its business model and needs, the company will then determine the right type of mobility.

A good example of this is current state mapping, which enables marketers to gauge what their audience is currently doing. This map shows what customers do, what they think and feel when they interact with a brand, which can be very valuable for planning and implementing a customer-centric ideology.

Other examples of different types of customer journey maps include:

• Daily transfers.

• The future state.

• Service schemes.

There are differences between these three methods of course. It is important for companies to investigate which will work best for them, as this will depend on their goals, as well as where you are in terms of implementing a truly customer-centric approach to their business.

Personalize the customer experience at scale

The ultimate goal in any economic environment is to reach the largest audience available with the most relevant messages. This can be a costly endeavor, but there are some tools and strategies that can perform these two functions at scale. With the right data and infrastructure in place, brands can improve marketing and customer experience communication so that it is not only more cost-effective, but also more personalized to the customer.

Investments in technology can seem like luxuries when the markets are relatively unstable, but there are some solutions that offer instant returns on investment. When evaluating your set of technologies, it is important to evaluate each tool’s business purpose and customer benefit. Once a company has such customer-centric technologies in place, it can begin to grow, regardless of industry or economic conditions.

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