In this guest post, Jason du Preez (main photo), senior vice president Asia Pacific at SugarCRM, discusses how businesses can arm themselves with the tools to mitigate customer churn…
Customer acquisition is costly. It takes time, considerable effort and requires considerable expertise. It makes sense to keep your existing customers happy as the cost of churn is so high. New research from SugarCRM reveals that seven in every ten sales and marketing leaders agree that it is more cost-effective to keep existing customers than closing a new sale. Yet, despite the cost of churn to Australian companies, 61% surveyed admitted they don’t understand the reasons for churn and 63% struggled to quantify and track churn rates effectively.
The Great Customer Resignation is upon us. In the wake of pandemic-related forces such as supply chain disruption and employee resignations, shortages in essential resources have led to staff burnout and the organisation’s inability to catch up with or meet customer expectations. In essence, businesses have struggled to create better CX against heightened customer frustration.
Addressing customer churn in the post-pandemic world is a mission-critical activity for sales and marketing leaders. While some churn is inevitable, businesses must arm themselves with the tools to best prepare for and manage attrition.
Revisit your customer’s journey
Knowing your customer has always been important. But the pandemic has created new consumer behaviours and profiles, forcing many brands to make business model changes. The more you know about your customers, the easier it is to create a high-definition customer experience, or HD-CX, across marketing, sales, and service.
Deloitte says brands should seize this opportunity to revisit customer loyalty strategies and remove friction points in the customer journey. Brands that don’t evolve will quickly learn it’s extremely hard to keep a customer if their experiences don’t match their renewed expectations.
A unified view of sales, marketing, and service is critical for identifying gaps between a customer’s expectations and what they actually experience. Customers don’t deal with companies, they deal with people, often across multiple channels. Collaboration between customer-facing teams is more critical than before. You must regularly audit your customers’ wants and needs so you can create a HD-CX.
Reassess your toolkit
A consolidated view of customer information across the organisation is critical to delivering a HD-CX. Yet, most businesses say they don’t have the data they need to maximise the success of marketing campaigns and sales conversions. One of the biggest issues they face is losing a quarter of sales because the customer received zero follow up.
Creating a HD-CX involves digitally transforming your business so your employees are empowered with technology that helps them delight their customers and deliver an excellent customer experience. Artificial intelligence (AI) is a powerful tool as it lets you analyse and draw insights from massive volumes of data quickly. This complements the skills of your team so they can make better decisions and anticipate customer needs. Follow-ups aren’t missed because your team is ready to meet the customer where they are in their journey.
Data is the key to HD-CX
Creating an amazing experience for customers requires a bird’s eye view of relevant data, establishing mutual goals and metrics and creating a seamless handoff process to improve productivity and ensure ownership. That data can come from internal sources such as your sales system, finance and and be complemented by data from external sources. When you understand every step of the customer journey from their first inquiry through to support you can transform operations to become customer-centric. The intelligent use of technology enables you to optimise and personalise customer engagement.
Marketing and sales leaders understand that a unified view of sales, marketing and services are critical to delivering a HD-CX. When these three pillars of CX are in harmony, the customer wins. Operational silos are inefficient and make life harder for sales, marketing and support teams. More importantly, they make life harder for customers. And when customers encounter friction, they will start looking at your competitors. Great data accessed from a single source lets you take a proverbial sledgehammer to the walls between your teams.
High quality data that is easily accessed from a central system and allows teams to see a complete view of the customer is the key. That system can leverage tools such as AI to fuel actionable insights that sales, marketing, and service teams can use to act decisively at every critical touchpoint.
When you anticipate and meet your customer’s needs, the Great Customer Resignation can be transformed into the Great Customer Opportunity.
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