Company leaders have realized that "getting closer to the customer" is crucial to growth. Both business buyers and consumers have more choices than ever before, empowered by online and mobile channels that provide more ways to buy, give and get recommendations, and talk back to companies. Today's customer won't hesitate to walk away from an established company relationship that doesn't meet their needs. This holds true for nearly all industries today, and is no longer limited to those serving consumers.
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Differentiated customer experiences build brand, market share and competitive advantage. They also yield analytical insight into buying behavior that can inform closed-loop marketing strategies, and work best when functional boundaries between marketing, sales and technology are eliminated. This is best achieved by an "outside in" approach that draws technology, market trends and customer needs to the center of how you do business.
Today, the customer is king. And new buying behavior demands engaging, customer-centered experiences sustained by properly aligned sales and support channels. Discover how social media, mobile apps and digital marketing can build next-generation sales. Create multi-channel brand messaging strategies in order to balance marketing goals and customer demand. Discover how behavioral economics can influence your customer experience strategy now—and over the long-term—by putting the customer first.
Social media, smartphones, tablets and the cloud now set the standard for how business is done. Customers expect more. They want evolving digital experiences and seamless interactions—with any brand—across multiple platforms and channels: integrated experiences, accessible anywhere. And, in addition to offering new ways to engage customers, earn their loyalty and win market share, the social web can add dimension to the entire product life cycle.
Attracting today's mobile, social customer requires standardized, configurable technology platforms that are available firm wide. A systematic approach to social listening works best. By offering unique customer engagement programs and compelling mobile content while improving traditional revenue models, businesses can virtually gauge the effectiveness of digital media spending in real time. But to join the social conversation you must understand that social business is more than technology. It's a culture.
Never before has there been such a powerful platform for learning about customers—what they value, how they really think, what they'll pay for, etc.—in a forum that is largely free of commercial influence. Social networks are an effective tool for turning ordinary customers into extraordinary advocates and agents of influence. While social tools create new channels to engage customer and build brand loyalty, that may just be the tip of the iceberg. The real value of social may be in its ability to add new dimensions to the entire product life cycle.
Earning—and deepening—customer loyalty is a challenge, even for established brands. But big data, drawn from a variety of sources both inside and outside the firm, can yield valuable insight into customer behavior. Though often unstructured and complex, when data is properly sorted, filtered and interpreted it can inform media and sales investments and identify customers with above-average lifetime profitability potential.
By improving data management, streamlining IT resources and closing information gaps, businesses can capture the information they need in order to market the right products to the right customers. By using tools like PwC's proprietary Experience Radar to enhance experience design coupled with behavioral economics to deduce customer choice, they can also make more accurate demand forecasts and gain analytical insight about market segmentation. When properly understood, today's mobile, social customer will point the way to a competitive advantage.
New relationships, business models and technologies are transforming how sales relate to customers and internal stakeholders alike. In order to unlock the full potential of sales resources, these changes require a structured, data-driven framework that makes it easier to identify and close information gaps, quantify growth potential and prioritize solutions. Streamlined processes can yield measurable results in revenue growth, improved sales productivity, lower sales costs and improved customer loyalty.
Sales effectiveness requires consistency of product, content and data. When it comes to influencing customer decision-making, the B2B online channel has risen to match the strategic value of the direct sales force. Stay ahead of market peers. Organize your sales functions, channel compliance and people to better meet customer demand. Use technology such as CRM, big data, automation, digital commerce and social media to support sales goals. Align your cost of selling to your business model and take better control of your margins.
Brand health is usually built by delivering on investments in superior customer experiences. But the sales and marketing costs are usually accounted for as expenses, rather than investments. This can make it difficult to gauge sales and marketing's impact on the bottom line. Integrating consumer behavioral changes, organizational productivity and financial-performance measures—as well as clarifying how shareholders benefit from such initiatives—can make it easier to determine the effectiveness of customer investments.
Strong brands and high customer-experience measures can boost profits and shareholder value. And in order to improve efforts to bolster market reputation and customer loyalty, firms must solicit greater CFO involvement in customer experience decision-making and analysis. Equally important is the need to foster communication between sales, marketing and customer-care leaders, evaluate digital marketing and social CRM efforts and improve media and trade spend. Whether you are appraising customer-experience designs or seeking new product strategies, better customer satisfaction scores, or more profitable customer loyalty programs, knowing the results of your efforts is paramount to their success.