Customer-Centricity: The Best Christmas Present Ever?

Estelle Lagorce

The holiday season is upon us. Black Friday and Cyber Monday have come and gone, but the rush is still on to promote and sell products and services to eager shoppers. So how do companies make their voice heard in the hubbub of activity that surrounds the holiday period?

The answer is customer-centricity. And in a recent webinar with experts from Deloitte Digital and Sprinklr, attendees learned not only why it is important to remain relevant and do well in the future, but also the key capabilities they should adopt to embrace it.

Customer-centricity matters, because it impacts the bottom line. Consider this: Customers who have the best past experiences will spend 140% more than customers who have the poorest past experiences (Harvard Business Review). And it doesn’t just impact the retail industry. Gartner estimated that 89% of companies will compete mostly on customer experience in the future.

But the reality is that companies are struggling to put the customer first. According to McKinsey, 80% of companies believe they deliver superior customer service, but only 8% of their customers feel the same way. What’s causing this gap?

Bridging the credibility gap

Traditionally, companies have created messages and broadcast them either through traditional media or digital channels such as email or the web. However, the advent of social media – the first channel with a myriad of sub-channels – has meant customers have a voice and are communicating back to various points within the organization.

The problem is, at most companies the various customer-facing departments simply aren’t sharing information among each other. Consequently, departments don’t have the full picture when talking to customers and often give out different messages.

For example, sending a marketing message to a customer who has already bought a product, or trying to sell product add-ons to a customer who has lodged a complaint with customer service can fall flat. It seems like the company is giving good service at each touchpoint, but the result is confusion in the customer’s mind.

What’s needed is the ability for companies to integrate the various departments that deal with customers in order to have unified, personal, two-way conversations that deliver a consistent experience across their preferred touchpoints. And to help achieve that, organizations need a unified technology platform.

Extending existing technology

Of course, the reality is that companies already have a whole raft of applications to help them understand and interact with their customers – customer relationship management (CRM) applications, content management systems (CMS), commerce engines, and social network monitoring solutions.

Unfortunately, these are typically point solutions. The most value comes when they are integrated in a unified architecture that delivers three key real-time capabilities:

  • Socially enhanced CRM – gaining a deeper understanding of customers by augmenting traditional data points like phone numbers and addresses with sentiments and feelings
  • Socially enhanced CMS – increasing engagement and conversion rates by understanding what customers care about and value
  • Socially enhanced commerce – increasing spend and revenue by capturing customers in the moment with relevant advertising and offers

With these capabilities, companies can start to become customer-centric, making the right decisions in the right channel at the right time to deliver engaging experiences that help inspire loyalty and advocacy and drive outsized results.

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Estelle Lagorce

About Estelle Lagorce

Estelle Lagorce is the Director, Global Partner Marketing, at SAP. She leads the global planning, successful implementation and business impact of integrated marketing programs with top global Strategic Partner across priority regions and countries (demand generation, thought leadership).