Customer Experience (CX) is becoming the key differentiator in a digital world, and the currency to drive brand loyalty, reduce churn and boost revenues, as per a survey by Exotel.
With traditional brand marketing losing its lustre doing to digital disruption, the customer is now in charge. In a digital world, it is simply not enough for businesses to be able to compete on price or product features alone.
Exotel conducted a survey with Indian marketers to assess the current state of adoption of CX, organisational challenges in CX implementation, current and desired usage of various omnichannel tools and marketer priorities for 2023.
As per the survey, a majority, 65%, of marketers surveyed agree with the statement that customer experience is the new and next competitive battleground. In fact, 45% state that their brand will compete, either completely or nearly completely, on the basis of CX over the next two years.
It further reveals that the focus to enhance customer experience emerges as the #1 priority, with 74% of marketers surveyed listing this as their #1 priority for 2023. Other priorities in order of importance are improving the omnichannel experience (70%), employer branding (69%), followed by a focus on sustainability initiatives (68%), and a strategy for immersive platforms such as Metaverse (67%).
Given the concerns of an economic recession in 2023, brands are doubling down on engaging their existing customer base. With loyalty getting harder to come by because consumers have a lot more choices today, marketers are choosing to enhance and strengthen their customer engagement, working closely with the Customer Experience teams, to build lasting connections with customers.
To drive business, 63% of marketers surveyed said they are looking at increasing adoption of existing products, or introducing newer products to existing customers.
India is WhatsApp’s biggest market with 487.5 million WhatsApp users in 2022. It’s no surprise that 86% of marketers surveyed say that WhatsApp is the most important customer service channel. One out of every 2 marketers say that it is a part of their CX journey and 26% say its usage is critical to their business. 9% say they have recently integrated the channel as a part of their CX journey, and are already reaping the benefits.
Usage of other CX tools in order of deployment is SMS at 33%, Call center at 27% and chatbots at 26%, among the marketers surveyed.
The desire to prioritise CX comes with real-world challenges. Marketers surveyed, 40% cite driving a customer-centric culture and understanding CX platform capabilities as the challenges that they face in designing an optimal CX journey. Other challenges include measuring CX effectiveness and impact and collaborating cross-functionally within the organisation.
Adopting a customer-centric marketing approach is not an easy task, despite its importance in the scheme of things. While 51% of marketers surveyed say that keeping the customer at the centre of every decision is a behaviour that is challenging to drive within the organisation, 34% of marketers cite the lack of involvement of senior leaders to demonstrate customer centricity top down to being an impediment in authentically driving customer centricity into the organisation’s DNA.
Udit Agarwal, VP and Global Head of Marketing, Exotel, said, “To stand out against the competition and deliver additional value to customers, organisations need to adopt a unified approach for conducting and tracking customer engagement. Building a comprehensive understanding of the entire customer journey and the data collected from all interactions will result in valuable insights into customer behaviour and preferences. Through investing in improvements towards the customer experience, one can ultimately reap a positive return on investment in a digital market. Exotel's full-stack engagement platform assists organisations in building customer relationships, which is the most valuable currency in today's business world.”
“Organisations will necessarily need to lead from a customer-centric position. With economic uncertainty persisting, 2023 looks set to be another challenging year for businesses. Organisations will need a comprehensive view of the full customer journey across all interaction data to yield deep insights about their customers and design optimal CX journeys to connect more closely with their customers and anticipate behaviours. Those organisations that invest in experience enhancements to solidify customer relationships will be poised to receive positive ROI in a digital world where customers are spoilt for choice. Customer relationships is the #1 currency that Exotel helps organisations accrue through its full stack engagement platform,” said Angira Agrawal, Global SVP, GTM and Strategy, Exotel.