Customer experience - the next competitive battleground for marketers and business

“By 2020 customer experience will overtake price as the key brand differentiator” Forbes Magazine

“89% of companies plan to compete primarily on the basis of the customer experience by 2016” Gartner

Welcome to the age of the customer - where value is not just derived from your products and services, but from the experience you deliver as consumers interact with your business across the whole customer journey.

In this new world the decision on what an exceptional customer experience (or CX) looks like or how it feels is not defined by you the business, but by your customers.

CX is definitely one of the hot topics of the year. Increasingly companies are coming to understand that delivering an excellent relationship and experience to their customers is vital when it comes to their ongoing commercial success.

The corollary to this is that businesses that fail to deliver expected levels of experience are likely to be ‘named and shamed. Or as a recent Oracle survey found a fall of up to 20% in annual revenues.

But what exactly is customer experience or CX?

Businesses increasingly have the ability to connect the various interactions and behaviours from the customer intelligence and data collected from across the whole business. This allows them to not only deliver a personalised real-time response to customers, but also differentiates the CX from that of its competitors.

And as the Harvard Business review recently highlighted, the rewards are great for those businesses that get it right - delivering enhanced customer satisfaction, reduced churn, increased revenue, and greater employee satisfaction.

However, implementing the changes required to turn a business into a customer-centric organisation can be a daunting task. It involves a way of thinking and working that may be alien to your business, but almost certainly works across the traditional internal boundaries of your company.

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