Improving customer experience requires as much attention to how things work inside the company as how customers are interacting with the brand.

What internal initiatives do marketers feel are essential for improving customer experience from within the company?

To find out, we Econsultancy has conducted a a range of research, including a recent survey of over 300 marketers in India, Customer Experience Maturity in India in association with Epsilon. Here are the top three high-level responses to the question.

1) Improve internal collaboration

Respondents were most enthusiastic about the notion that reorganizing interdepartmental workflows will be one of the main drivers for improving customer experience.

Three in four (75%) client-side respondents indicated that 'optimising internal collaboration' between the many teams was 'very important' and nearly three in five (59%) felt the same about 'changing / revamping customer engagement related processes'. Slightly fewer, but still over half (57%) felt that 'optimising creative workflows' was 'very important', too.

These choices are interesting because they indicate that marketers are thinking about how the organisation needs to change to improve customer experience, not just the marketing department.

The least popular responses to this question reinforce this notion. 'Hiring CX-focused / digital marketing staff' and 'reorganising / changing team structure to address CX needs' were only 'very important' to less than half of marketers surveyed. (46% and 44%, respectively).

What this means is that marketers, as a whole, are much more outward-looking when thinking about how to improve CX than one might think.

2)  Become more data-driven

Another priority, according to respondents, is to make the marketing department more data-driven. More than two in three (67%) respondents indicated that 'using data more to understand customer behaviours and marketing measures'  is 'very important' and just over half (55%) said the same about 'increasing marketing automation capability'.

The ambition behind these answers is significant. What this suggests is that marketers will use quantitative solutions to customer experience issues. That is, they are looking for data to lead the way.

Marketers elsewhere agree. Delegates at a recent Econsultancy conference stated that a 'well-developed' customer relationship (CRM) tool was 'the most important system for a CX management programme'.

Additionally, in a global Econsultancy survey, marketers rated 'marketing automation' and 'joining up online and offline data' as the two single most undervalued capabilities for customer experience  excellence'.

A recent study by Forbes Insights supports the notion, too, by stating that data should a priority for those working to improve customer experience. Nearly three in four (72%) senior-level executives from their survey indicate that, over the next two years, data analytics will create 'a noticeable shift in many areas' which impact a company's ability to deliver a superior customer experience.

3) Develop multichannel marketing

When asked to think a bit further out, marketers had another idea for how to improve customer experience from within - develop multichannel marketing capabilities.

Two in three (66%) respondents believe that 'expanding channels of customer interactions' will be 'very important'  and nearly the same amount indicate the same about 'optimising the customer journey across multiple touchpoints' and 'ensuring consistency of message across channels' (63% and 62%, respectively).

Marketers, globally, agree. In our 2017 Digital Trends survey, seven in 10 marketers indicated that 'optimizing the customer journey across multiple touchpoints' will be 'very important' and two in three said the same about 'ensuring consistency of messages across channels'.

Though, for many, true multichannel capabilities may not yet be well-developed, improving marketing across channels is certainly on their radar.

So...

The combination of the interest in multichannel, the desire to be more data-driven, and the push to improve internal customer-focused collaboration suggests a compelling narrative. 

It seems that marketers are interested in harnessing data and getting workflow procedures in place now so that they are prepared to tackle the multichannel challenge over the next few years.

It follows, then, that companies without the data and interdepartmental collaboration will likely find it difficult to compete with those teams who are prepared for the multichannel consumer.

Jeff Rajeck

Published 25 April, 2017 by Jeff Rajeck

Jeff Rajeck is the APAC Research Analyst for Econsultancy . You can follow him on Twitter or connect via LinkedIn.  

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