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How Technology is Changing Customer Experience and Engagement

Alex Timlin
Alex Timlin

It’s no secret that technology is changing the nature of relationships between brands and consumers. There are more channels than ever before. Competitors litter the landscape. There are more solutions within MarTech, AdTech, CRM, and analytics than ever before.

Improving Experiences Through Automation and Technology

But, is this increase in automation and technology actually creating better experiences for consumers?

I was lucky enough to spend some time at the conference in London recently. Zendesk was in attendance.  Emarsys’ European clients and leading brands from retail, finance, and utilities, including disruptors like Deliveroo, were there as well.

Mikkel Svane, CEO and Co-Founder of Zendesk, opened the conference with a simple message: successful brands see customer experience and customer service as drivers of business growth and innovation. Brands such as Uber, Amazon, Tesla, Netflix, Everlane, and Deliveroo are disruptive and innovative because they’re fanatical about customer engagement and providing experience that customers don’t expect. The reason they do this is to get repeat business from the same people, and acquire new customers at a lower cost.

Technologically Driven Customer Experiences

Satisfied customers are 60% more likely to recommend or promote a brand. This means both new and repeat business.

Detractors are 70% more likely to tell people about their negative experience, typically via social media or review site. This means no repeat business and tougher acquisition.

This is why, in a recent survey by eConsultancy titled “Enterprise Priorities in Digital Marketing”, 62% of digital marketing leaders rated “improving customer service” and “customer satisfaction” as a top priority. They also called out one of my favorite statistics – the average spend from repeat buyers is five times higher than that of one-time shoppers.

As Svane put it, “We’re entering an age of customer retention.”

Acquisition is always going to be key, but in an age of social media and real-time interaction, our modern consumer is demanding and short tempered! They want what they want quickly, effortlessly, and when they don’t get what they want they tell EVERYBODY! As demonstrated by Kevin Smith in his, “I don’t need two seats”, tweet to Southwest Airlines.

There was a lot of talk of chatbots and artificial intelligence, but the common consensus was that for businesses to really succeed, they need to look at how they’re using that technology to provide better experiences. But just as important is to find out when customers are not having a great experience via surveys, ratings, and feedback, and to act upon it accordingly – especially early on in their customer lifecycle.

Leveraging Advanced Technology in Marketing

Within our own client base at Emarsys, we’re also seeing more customers integrate NPS (Net Promoter Score) into their marketing efforts to really understand if a customer is going to be a promoter or a detractor and leverage that information accordingly.

Our client Runtastic, the world’s leading fitness app provider, leverages our Mobile Engage functionality to trigger in-app messages and gather feedback via NPS at specific points of the customer’s lifecycle. That rating is used to determine the customer’s future path, including rating and review requests which drive new downloads and organic growth.

One of the biggest use cases for integrated SMS and offline interactions is to ask new customers for feedback after their first purchase. Shiseido, one of the world’s largest cosmetics brands, talked recently at our customer event in Hong Kong about how important it is to act on this feedback if you want to drive repeat purchases. They have seen huge increases in conversion rates to repeat purchase by having their call center team call customers who haven’t had a great experience in store. Dealing with bad news makes you money!

Final Thoughts

Regardless of channel, it’s important that you use automation to improve the lives of your customers and provide them with great experiences. Perhaps just as important is finding out whether you’re actually achieving that goal and dealing with it accordingly, via the channels that suit your customers the best.

Just how key the customer experience is to driving growth was echoed in a great quote from the CEO of Ryan Air, the man who once said, in print and in public: “You’re not getting a refund so f*ck off… What part of ‘no refund’ don’t you understand?” He said of his company’s recent focus on improving customer experience to drive growth: “If I’d known being nicer to customers was going to work so well, I would have started many years ago!”

Learn more about marketing technology, automation, and how they not only play a role in the customer experience, but how each factors into the success of our clients.

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