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Clear winners in the customer experience race

Businesses that invest in ‘experience transformation’ are much better off: APAC study

The numbers are in for B2B marketers still contemplating the wisdom of spending their budget on improving customer experience (CX). Strategically invest in CX or lose out to those competitors that do.

Forrester Consulting research commissioned by global digital company Adobe reaffirms that APAC companies choosing to invest in “experience transformation” achieve better business performance. It concluded that businesses making CX a priority are likely to see improved revenue figures as well as better rates of customer acquisition and retention.

Adobe says it commissioned the study, The Business Impact of Investing in Customer Experience – A Spotlight On Asia Pacific, to evaluate the business impact of CX investment across the customer lifestyle.

Scott Rigby, Adobe’s Head of Digital Transformation, says B2Bs in the region looking to improve their CX need to concentrate on two areas – people and leadership.

“From a leadership perspective, you need someone out front driving the program of work, making sure there is a dedicated budget, stakeholder buy-in and support around this CX focus,” he says. “[It’s about] making sure they are much more customer-centric, and that the culture can change within the business.”

The report found that more APAC companies “need to embrace a mindset of customer obsession – to build out processes that drive continuous improvements through customer feedback, and to use technology that creates easy and enjoyable experiences.”

It identified six ways experience-driven businesses (EDBs) were more successful than their counterparts that reported they were not:

* Stronger business growth: EDBs had an average 23 per cent faster top-line revenue growth (compared with 13 per cent);

* Attracting prospects: EDBs reported a 1.9 times increase in brand awareness and 1.7 times higher growth in website visitors;

* Winning customers: EDBs had twice the growth rate in acquiring new customers, with an average order value that was 2.3 times higher;

* Engaging customers: EDB customers were 2.1 times more likely to download apps, submit forms or make information requests, and twice as likely to visit their websites;

* Retaining customers: EDBs are 2.3 times more likely to grow customer retention and repeat purchase rates, as well as significantly improve their customer advocacy measures.

* Engaging employees: EDBs drive greater employee satisfaction rates at all levels.

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Rigby says CX programs fail when they aren’t clearly led, defined or supported, and when their goals and values aren’t communicated effectively.

Leaders need to start their CX journey using what Rigby calls a “digital dialogue”. “If you’re a leader, you need to talk about the performance of your business in driving customer experience,” he says. “It means making sure you’re using the digital metrics you’ve defined and educated the business around, and making sure you’re constantly out there communicating … talking about the program.”

Rigby says B2B companies should theoretically find the path to CX success slightly easier than B2Cs. “They have a much more defined audience, fewer segments to communicate through, and possibly less channels as well,” he says. “If anything, it should be easier for them to deliver those experiences.”

The Forrester results came from an online survey of 1269 global business leaders, of which 445 were based in APAC.

“It couldn’t be clearer that investing in customer experience is essential to business success,” says Suzanne Steele, Managing Director, Australia and New Zealand, Adobe. “While it’s exciting to see the impact that investment in customer experience is having, the study highlights that only 29 per cent of brands in APAC can claim to be experience-driven businesses. Companies yet to focus on the journey they provide for their customers will find it harder to compete, the longer they delay.”

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Further reading: The most compelling reason to invest in CX

Photo: Simson Petrol on Unsplash