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New Research from Execs In The Know, Braze, Clootrack, Telus International, and PwC

New Research from Execs In The Know, Braze, Clootrack, Telus Int’l, and PwC

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EITK: The Customer Remained Top of Mind for CX Leaders in 2022

CX leaders believe that they kept customers firmly in mind in 2022 despite challenges and years of unremitting change for the industry, states the new CX Leaders Trends & Insights: 2022 Corporate Edition report from Execs In the Know (EITK), the Arizona-based group of global CX professionals.

The report on last year’s findings brims with optimism, says Susan McDaniel, the group’s co-founder and chief operating officer. “Certainly, the industry has its share of challenges to overcome as we head deeper into 2023, but more and more organizations are finally finding firm footing after several years of unpredictable and unrelenting change. It’s reassuring to see that, even during times of tremendous change, many organizations have managed to maintain the customer as their top priority,” she says.

The research, produced in partnership with Advanced Call Center Technologies, is built around the experiences and perspectives of 111 senior CX leaders, and includes content on various topics, including CX technology, CX strategies, workforces, workplaces, and touchpoints.

According to the findings, 86% of CX leaders felt their organizations were generally meeting the care needs and expectations of customers during the past year. At least 77% say the shift to a work-from-home (WFH) model is having a “very positive” or “somewhat positive” impact on meeting customer needs and expectations, up from 66% in 2021. Moreover, 74% of CX leaders believe their organizations are already taking significant or modest actions to address economic uncertainties, but only 31% are “very satisfied” or “satisfied” with their CX technology stack.

Braze: More Marketers to Invest in Customer Retention

Despite soaring customer acquisition costs and enormous pressure for marketers to deliver results on the back of constrained resources, a new report from customer engagement platform provider Braze indicates that more marketers than ever before are investing in tools and strategies aimed at customer retention.

In its third Global Customer Engagement Review, Braze says marketers are using customer retention as a strategy to defend their base and build brand value and loyalty over time. Last year, 45% of brands said they spent more than half of their marketing budget on retention, up from 33% in 2020. And among surveyed companies, 83% say their marketing budgets will increase in the next 12 months, suggesting a major surge in marketing spend will take place compared to 2020, when only 60% said they would increase their budgets.

Leveraging personalization can help marketers break through the noise to reach consumers, the report notes, because personalized engagement provides customers with more relevant experiences. As consumers tighten their everyday spending, brands and marketers that deploy personalization will be well-positioned to connect with customers and enjoy growth. Brands that leverage cross-channel strategies can also drive a 55% higher retention rate across a 90-day span, compared to engaging via just one channel.

Finally, the report says that to execute personalized retention strategies, understanding real-time data is crucial. Without a thoughtful data management strategy, marketers will struggle to create revenue-driving consumer experiences, hindering overall performance. Instead, marketers must be intentional about the data they collect or risk ending up with too much information that they cannot use. Brands also need to break down silos and strive to build closer relationships with their data counterparts to evolve CX and improve business outcomes, the report asserts.

Clootrack: Measuring ROI on CX is Necessary

A new study from CX analytics platform provider Clootrack declares that measuring the return on investment (ROI) on CX initiatives is crucial in order to demonstrate to stakeholders the value of investing in CX. The study, which used input from 20 global CX leaders, also demonstrates the financial benefits of business growth through CX—even in uncertain economic times.

While the business outcomes of CX initiatives are hard to prove because a direct correlation of the initiatives to tangible KPIs is often not established, defining CX in a specific business context is necessary before CX effectiveness can be measured. Calculating the ROI of CX efforts could also be challenging because visible metrics are owned by marketing, finance, purchase, and quality control operations, the study adds.

“The major takeaways from the study will benefit many companies across industries in implementing effective CX programs with a method of evaluating the return on investments. Developing a model to measure ROI, capturing the right voice of customers (VoC) in feedback and CX insights, and quantifying CX improvements are valuable learnings for many sectors for seamless CX implementation,” the report notes.

The study also focuses on the importance of long-term CX outcomes by deploying the right technology with a continuous improvement process, demonstrating the connection between higher customer happiness and business objectives like customer turnover, purchase frequency, upsells, cross-sell, service cost, lifetime value retention, and the effect of referrals on conversions.

Telus International: Data and Security are Foremost Concerns in Minds of Consumers

Consumers are concerned about the safety and security of their personal data in the metaverse according to a recent survey by digital CX provider Telus International. For the majority of respondents (60%), privacy and data security concerns were the reasons accounting for their discomfort with completing various tasks in the metaverse.

With the metaverse continuing to gain traction among brands and consumers alike, 34% of respondents say their top concern is for personal data to be compromised. Additionally, 56% believe that hackers will find an easier time to steal their identity or data in this new digital space.

Related Article: Consumers Are Eager to Interact with Brands in the Metaverse

“The metaverse provides an exciting and immersive way for consumers to interact with their favorite brands. Unfortunately, with the emergence and adoption of new technologies and platforms there are also opportunities for bad actors to deploy new and oftentimes more sophisticated forms of identity theft,” says Michael Ringman, chief information officer of Telus International.

To safeguard their customers and brand reputation, companies must prioritize embedding robust trust and safety measures in the foundation of their metaverse strategy, while also ensuring that the measures are seamlessly integrated to avoid overly complicating the customer journey, Ringman adds.

PwC: Consumers Seek Frictionless Experiences in a World of Disruption

A recent survey from professional services firm PwC finds that while consumers have rising expectations on how and where they should be able to shop, nearly all will be changing their shopping behavior because of economic factors. The findings are from the latest PwC Global Consumer Insights Pulse Survey, which was conducted in December 2022 among 9,180 consumers across 25 territories. 

For the six-month period from January to June, consumer behavior will change as 96% of the buying public adopt cost-saving measures because of continuing inflation and high interest rates for borrowing, while 43% plan to increase online shopping.

Consumers, however, are not simply switching from online to in-store, but are making their selections based on the attributes of each channel. For brands, this signifies that they need to maintain a presence in both online and in-store channels, meeting consumers wherever they choose to shop. Brands should also create a seamless buying experience on either channel or risk losing customers altogether, the survey findings indicate.

Related Article: Salesforce Report: Rising Shopper Expectations Put Pressure on Brands and Retailers to Redefine Customer Engagement Strategies

For an enhanced in-store shopping experience, 50% of consumers cite knowledgeable and helpful sales associates as the top contributing factor. Meanwhile, 42% say it is the ability to use self-service checkout kiosks that makes a difference, compared to 41% who say the ability to use the retailer’s website or app in the store to browse for products is what they appreciate the most.

For retailers to drive in-store traffic, 27% of consumers say in-store entertainment will do the trick, while 24% prefer the ability to try immersive digital experiences, and 21% choose the ability to book retail appointments with a sales adviser or personal shopper.

When asked to identify points of friction in their shopping experience, 40% of consumers who intend to increase their in-store shopping identify high delivery costs as the main culprit. For 30%, it is the long queues or the perpetually busy stores that dilute the appeal of the in-store experience. And for 26%, out-of-stock inventory is their principal pain point.

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