It has been another eventful month for customer experience innovations and advancements. There is a lot to process from the month of May. So let's dive right into it and look some of the biggest customer experience stories and trends for May 2016.
Post-purchase experience matters
Brands consider customer retention to be a core metric, but according to a recent article from Harvard Business Review, many companies do not pay close enough attention to the post-purchase experience, allowing their loyalty and retention numbers to fall short of their potential.
Contributor Amit Sharma explained that online retailers, especially, should put more thought and effort into the interactions that take place following a purchase. Such as customer service and further marketing initiatives. He suggested that brands should continue the conversation with customers by providing personalized information about relevant products and services, and try to turn bad experiences into memorable ones through a great experience.
Heavy investments in marketing tech
Big news: advertising budgets are being surpassed by marketing technology spend, according to an article from Chief Marketing Technologist. The source cited Gartner's CMO Spend Survey, highlighting key statistics from the study. For instance, marketing technology now accounts for 33 percent of marketing budgets, on average.
Infrastructure components such as servers, storage units and networks take up 28 percent of marketing technology spend, proving that organizations are focusing on more complex data aggregation and analysis efforts. Smart CX advocates will take advantage of this trend by leveraging next-gen tech for their programs.
New standards for customer expectations
Channels are expanding and diversifying, but what are the consequences? A new eMarketer report, "The Customer Experience Mandate: Brand Strategies to Meet and Exceed Customers' Always-On Expectations," suggests that brands are struggling to deliver strong experiences as interactions and touch-points change and advance.
This is largely due to customer expectations being sky-high, which is a by-product of an always-on, digital world. Brands that can master interactions across channels and deliver a stellar customer experience will stand to benefit massively in this era of retail, but the challenges are real. It's all the more reason to implement a dedicated CX initiative.
Introducing "total retail"
There's no shortage of buzzwords surrounding the customer experience, yet according to Marketing Mag, Best Buy Canada's senior vice-president of ecommerce Thierry Hay-Sabourin is adding something new to the lexicon: ‘total retail’. With this idea he hopes to break down the traditional boundaries between in-store and online experience.
As Hay-Sabourin explained, "We don't see the customer as the in-store customer or the online customer. They're just the customer." He aims to solve problems that exist in the omni-channel customer experience - which he believes is still prone to silos - through the total retail model.
Beacons burst onto the scene
There's a substantial level of hype surrounding beacon technology, and as CMO.com pointed out in a recent article, organizations are finally looking to move forward with its implementation. From the retail world to the hospitality and transportation industries, the applications for beacon technology seem to be without limits.
Now it's a matter of leveraging beacons in an experimental yet risk-conscious way, trying to see what avenues yield results and which are best avoided. Brands that track customer feedback and satisfaction as they incorporate these technologies will know exactly what is necessary for success down the line.
Infographic of the month
Engagement is a key success factor for businesses that put the customer experience first, but a recent infographic from Localytics indicated that brands are failing to engage consumers through a very important platform: mobile.
The infographic drew from data revealing that people are simply not satisfied with the mobile experience, whether in apps or in mobile browsers. Customer-centric brands should check out the graphic and aim to boost the mobile experience.
iperceptions blog of the month
What's happening to the in-store experience? Duff Anderson covered this topic in depth, highlighting the various ways in which brands are bridging the gaps between brick-and-mortar and online retail experiences. Anderson also explores the role of digital influence in decision-making, as well as the methods brands are employing to identify and improve weak points in the customer experience.