Why customer experience is a top opportunity for growth

To achieve CX objectives in 2021, the right mix of technology and personnel must be in place

A man looks at his tablet with a happy expression

Customer experience (CX) optimisation is quickly becoming an area of opportunity for businesses. In fact, the 2020 ‘2020 Digital Transformation Trends Report’ from Adobe saw C-suite executives rank it as their greatest avenue for growth.

Thanks to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, people are spending more and more time online – on social media, on e-commerce sites and service-led destination – and with that comes a captive audience. With CX now a top business priority, this represents a shift away from focusing solely on product and service innovation, towards providing unique experiences along the customer journey. Personalisation, frictionless payment, and data-capture processes are just a few critical touchpoints which should be fine-tuned.

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Now that we have a vast array of digital options available, any organisation that gets CX right will be able to successfully retain and capture those customers’ attention. While customer focus and a data-first approach are recurring themes in company missions, can often struggle to successfully marry the two to achieve effective personalisation and lift CX.

One area in which the benefits of enhanced CX in action are visibly apparent is in customer engagement, conversion, and loyalty. Here, organisations reach out to existing customers with value-added propositions that are mutually beneficial. As consumers trust businesses with which they are already familiar, the customers are more likely to accept the engagement and offer feedback in return. Simply, customers share their needs, and the company works to provide an improved product to service them.

Adobe’s aforementioned digital transformation research, which was restricted to companies with a turnover of at least £10 million, found that over half of those surveyed are planning to increase their CX spending in light of the commercial benefits such a strategy brings to the table.

Paul Roben, Adobe's President, said in the report's introduction that "brands are entering a new age of customer connection, where digital experience can either be the downfall of a brand or its competitive advantage".

"If leading brands can take that all-important step toward delivering exceptional creative experiences with expert precision, they’ll find themselves ahead of the competition, and winning what I call the new customer experience battleground," he noted.

One warrant concern is simply, why are organisations only shifting their focus towards CX now?

CX has been gathering momentum for years. Its potential has always been apparent, yet barriers prevented widespread adoption. Historically, the message that CX optimisation is worth diverting spend from other initiatives fell on deaf ears. Even today, C-suite executives face an uphill battle with the boardroom to obtain investment.

Fortunately, Adobe’s research shows that it is a battle that can be won. Executives should present strong business cases for the kinds of ongoing investments that support CX strategies, working closely with CEOs who in turn must provide top-down guidance. All departments must be aligned for a CX strategy to bear fruit.

Further, advancements in technology are exponentially upping the value of CX enhancement. 

AI is increasingly powering customer journey management and is helping to provide the most relevant real-time experiences to customers at scale,” Adobe’s 2020 report explains.

“While senior executives are typically tuned into a wide range of AI use cases within their organisations, many companies have been slow to recognise the opportunities in areas such as data analysis, automation, optimisation and personalisation.”

With transformative technology available, it’s time to take full advantage.

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