Customer Experience Is The New Brand Mantra
Innovations in technology and the rise of digital have changed the way marketers communicate with consumers. There is no second thought that customer experience is turning out to be the strategy for marketers. As the focus on customer experience grows in India too, brands are increasing their investments and efforts to provide customers with higher-quality experiences. According to Forrester’s India Customer Experience Index, 2016, Amazon, Idea Cellular and Bigbasket are some the brands that have beaten their rivals when it comes to dealing with customers.
Based on a survey of more than 18,000 metro Indian online adult consumers that measures and ranks the CX quality at 72 brands in India, Forrester’s CX Index 2016 reveals that Apple provides the best customer experience in the PC and mobile manufacturer categories, and Idea Cellular in the wireless service provider industry.
More Remains To Be Done
This year’s findings show that most brands in India increased their CX Index scores this year but it is the foreign brands leading the CX rankings. Of the eight industries surveyed, five had leaders that were foreign MNCs — Best Price (Walmart) in traditional retail, Amazon in digital retail, American Express in credit cards, and Apple in PC and mobile manufacturing. On the home front, Tata AIG and Bharti AXA lead amongst the auto and home insurance providers, Kotak Mahindra in banks, and Idea Cellular among wireless service providers.
The PC industry increased three spots from 2015 to share the leadership of the industry rankings for 2016 with credit card providers and banks. In the telecom services space, Idea Cellular was the provider with the highest score. The wireless service industry’s eight-point improvement in its average score was one of the biggest changes for any industry.
“Improvement in the industry is the result of steep competition. For instance, incumbent brands felt sufficiently threatened by new player Reliance Jio to offer better products, services, and rates. India’s telecom regulatory body also focused on service quality issues late last year, pushing service providers to improve their operations. Despite this, the industry only moved from poor to OK, leaving a lot of room for improvement,” Forrestor Research said in a note.
There’s a lot left to be done for improvement. Jo Moore, Lenovo’s worldwide brand director said at a recent conference, “While marketers’ core responsibilities and the fundamental aspects of marketing remain the same, the role has had to expand to accommodate the changing nature of the world that brands operate in.”
After introducing a new brand identity and repositioning to appeal to younger users last year, technology company Lenovo realised it would also need to approach marketing from a different angle in order to connect with this audience. Rather than going straight to an agency to come up with a concept, the brand instead used crowdsourcing to create a video campaign based on user-generated content.
CX central to marketers role
Customer experience and data analysis play a bigger role, and marketers today spend more time focusing on the wider business strategy than they do on advertising, according to a survey conducted by Marketing Week.
The vast majority (83%) of respondents believe customer experience is now more central to their role than it was five years ago, 54% say it’s much more important, 29% suggest it’s somewhat more important and just 15% report no change.
The survey also finds that 79% of marketers reckon data analysis has become more important, while 74% believe brand strategy plays a bigger role than it did five years ago. By comparison, just 30% of marketers believe advertising has become more important. Indeed, 27% believe advertising is actually less central to their role.
Experts believe that the popularity of digital channels and the appeal of new technology are changing the way consumers buy, interact and endorse products and services and what marketers are actually experiencing is an expansion of their roles and responsibilities rather that a complete overhaul.
The Forrester research too shows that in India while fundamentals still exist, brands that are showing success with customers are offering targeted, data-driven ways of making a product or service appeal to a customer and drive business performance.
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