It’s April: time to spring into action on CX

We’re now over a quarter of the way into the year: the clocks have gone forward and we’re inching our way slowly into the sunnier season. But what about our good intentions from the start of the year? Are we still pushing those big issues that were flagged as high-priority on the 2019 industry reports?

Salesforce’s ‘State of Marketing Report’ is a good benchmark. It was published at the end of last year and highlights the big issues and topics for 2019: personalisation, data, and the omnichannel experience – CX at its heart. We’ll pull out some key insights from the report, and check we’re sticking to our business resolutions.

CX is important – according to the customer themselves! 

80% of customers say the experience a company provides is as important as its products and services. Is this something that’s reflected in your budget? We’re not saying you have to divert £80 towards your CX programme for every £100 spent on the product/ service you offer, but it gives you an interesting stat to fall back on when you’re seeing how you’re spending money, and where your attention is focused.

In addition, 84% of customers say being treated like a person, not a number, is very important to winning their business. Translate this into actionable advice, and it means providing personalised experiences, and those moments that a customer or client can see that you understand them. The root of this is data, and the moments of delight that creative messaging and concepts can deliver.

But we’re not listening hard enough and acting fast enough

But apparently this isn’t enough to drive us yet. Only 54% of high-performing marketing teams lead customer experience initiatives across the business. This is your wakeup call. It’s been over 3 months since the Salesforce report was published, and if you haven’t already, it’s high time you jumped on this bandwagon.

So… what first?

 The report highlights some really key things high-performing organisations do to get ahead for you to consider:

  • They use customer data and map the customer journey
  • They integrate internally
  • They engage with customers in real time
  • They have a single customer view
  • They provide an omni channel experience

We know these things don’t happen overnight. But they are key action points to future-proof your business, and the composite parts of a CX strategy that you need to be honing. Make it your goal for the remaining eight-and-a-bit months to start tackling some of those key issues on the list.

Find the full report and its findings here.

Croc recruits paid media specialist Alex Barnicoat from WPP agency Wavemaker

Where better to learn about GDN, AdWords and Google Analytics than at Google? That’s what our latest recruit, Alex Barnicoat, did during a 15-month digital marketing apprenticeship at Google UK.

Following his time with Google, Alex further developed his paid media skills as a PPC executive at Wavemaker, one of the world’s largest media agencies.

At The Crocodile, Alex will be responsible for developing and delivering large-scale paid media campaigns for a broad range of clients including the Financial Times, Ticker and ON24.

Over the past 12 months, The Crocodile has seen significant growth in its paid media business and has been expanding its media planning and buying capabilities to match the demand.

Commenting on Alex’s appointment, the agency’s Head of Media and Technology, Paul Wright, said: “Paid media is a fast-paced discipline that is especially challenging in B2B. We believe we’ve struck gold with Alex. As a former Googler who went on to master his craft at Wavemaker, Alex has demonstrated ambition and a willingness to push boundaries – exactly the qualities our clients need to succeed in this ever-changing environment.”

Mission-critical for good CX: Getting the customer journey map right

In our second #IamCX event, we focused on customer journey mapping as a critical step towards moulding yourself into a CX-first business. It was great to see so many market-leading B2B brands there, and to help them drive the CX agenda in their organisations.

The thing is, there’s a growing market for running internal customer journey mapping exercises. It’s not new. But what came out of the event, was that these exercises aren’t leading to any real organisational change. It’s something Jason pointed out, sharing his experiences of seeing individual departments trying to run “customer-centric” programmes and seeing them fail time and time again. Frustrating right?

Most audience members raised their hands when asked if they had run a customer journey mapping exercise – but when they were asked if any had actually used the maps, only one hand remained.

What the Q&A revealed was that this was largely down to the lack of executive buy-in. As Jason put it, ‘For customer journey mapping to actually work, it has to be seen by c-level as a key part of the business strategy. Without their buy-in, the whole exercise is no more than an arts and crafts workshop.’ And it’s true.

Opening our customer journey mapping event, our own MD Jason Talbot stressed the value of customer journey mapping. His 5 key benefits were:

  1. Customer journey mapping gives a framework to support the overall customer experience strategy,
  2. It gives you key areas to prioritise and helps you guide decisions
  3. You get to see the business from the outside in: the customer’s point of view
  4. It gives you a measurement framework to understand why customers stay, grow or depart
  5. Your CX strategy goes from being woolly and intangible, to a clear plan that you can action straight away

Putting CX first is, of course, an immensely worthwhile exercise. At the event, Matt Cheung, the CEO of business consultancy firm Clarasys shared that a 1% increase in CSAT scores translates into 9% revenue growth (The Customer Service Institute). Remarkable – and proof that there is big £££££ to gain.

Adobe’s Thierry Stortenbecker provided a great digital transformation context and made a clear case for the role of tech in creating single customer views – the basis for creating hyper-personalised and contextual customer experiences.

Overall the event delved into the whys and the hows of customer journey mapping, giving clear business incentives for the exercise and then actionable advice on creating and implementing them.

So, in the way of a summary, we have one main piece of advice:
By all means do the customer journey mapping exercise – in fact we urge you to. But you’re not going to get any real value from them unless CX becomes a key part of your organisation’s strategy. Get exec buy in – or else your maps and efforts will only gather dust in the back of a filing cabinet.