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December 9, 2019

In the Experience Economy, CEOs are Less Confident in Ability to Satisfy Customers

Results from Worldcom Confidence Index 2019 May Shine Light on Troubles Keeping Pace with Customer Expectations

Business leaders are more concerned— and less confident — with their ability to satisfy customer needs, according to the Worldcom 2019 Confidence Index Report. The issue ranked number six among 23 business topics of concern to CEOs, CCOs and CMOs.

But why the drop in confidence to satisfy customers?

While global business issues, including tariffs, may be part of the concern, delivering on consumer’s high expectations throughout the entire buyer’s journey is daunting in our “Experience Economy.”  

Caption: This is almost 50 percent higher than the average decline in confidence and demonstrates that leaders feel they may have a tougher time to satisfy customers in the months ahead. This may be a reflection of concerns about other factors outside their control, such as global trade tariffs. US leaders are the least confident about satisfying customers. CEOs are 9% more confident about customer satisfaction than CMOs. Source: 2019 Worldcom Confidence Index Report, p. 27.[/caption]

The Customer Experience (CX) Movement

Quality products and services are no longer enough, consumers expect a positive, seamless experience at every touchpoint. That’s why companies have been shifting their operations and bringing on Customer Experience (CX) officers.  Successful CX officers break down lead or customer interaction silos to develop a holistic, omnichannel CX strategy.

But this is not an easy task.

The marketing funnel has been turned on its side with people bouncing back and forth between different stages while also switching between devices, including online and offline touchpoints. In addition, there are complicated tech stacks and newer technology like Artificial Intelligence (AI) to manage.

This nonlinear buyer’s journey makes it essential that marketing, sales and client services/customer success teams collaborate. One area where that is evident is in social media. Social media shouldn’t solely be managed by and used for marketing purposes, it needs to include customer service. While Twitter has been a common platform for voicing and resolving customer service issues, we’re seeing Facebook and Instagram become a go-to for customer issues as well. That’s why we believe and training your customer service team to use social media and is just one example of how cross-team collaboration can improve the customer experience.

Related True Tip: Check out 4 Ways B2B Marketers Need to Evolve Their Facebook Strategies

While business teams need to collaborate to achieve positive customer experiences, company leadership needs to drive the CX mindset to make customer satisfaction part of the organizational culture and everyone’s responsibility.

Working backward, positive CX is closely tied to positive employee experience (EX), which remained a top concern on this year’s Confidence Index Report. Read more about the connection between happy employees and satisfied customers and tips for building employee engagement in our blog post here. Enhancing your customer experience needs to start with enhancing your employee experience.

The Role of Content in the Customer Experience

When it comes to purchasing, consumers are piloting their self-guided buyer’s journey. Many conduct their own research through blog posts, news articles, case studies and more before making a purchase — sometimes bypassing sales entirely. Research from Forrester found that the average person consumes 11.4 pieces of content before making a purchase decision.  

This demonstrates the importance of quality, valuable content across all phases of the buyer’s journey. It is also indicative of the move from one-way marketing to interactive, meaningful and personalized content and consumer engagement.

How to Start Creating a Better Customer Experience in 8 Steps

  1. First, look at your employee experience and satisfaction. Identify opportunities for improvement and engagement starting with areas where employees have the most impact on customers. This will not only enhance productivity but will create more effective advocates for your company and products and an improved CX.
  2. Next, update your buyer and customer journey maps, which will help identify key areas of engagement.
  3. From there, make sure you have the appropriate mix of technology to execute on that strategy. The focus should be on sound strategy and the technology to support that — don’t form a strategy around your technology.  
  4. Ensure your online and offline strategies are aligned. For example, determine how to use AI, such as chatbots, and when conversations need to shift from online automation to a real person on the phone or in-person to avoid fueling customer frustration.
  5. Leverage technology to automate manual tasks to allow team members to focus their time on more value-added work.
  6. Have omnichannel content to support the various buyer’s journey phases.
  7. Test drive the buyer’s process yourself to identify trouble spots.
  8. Test, monitor, adjust and optimize.

If successful, you’ll find more leads converting to customers and increased customer loyalty and sales.

About the Worldcom Confidence Index

The Worldcom Confidence Index is an annual global report on the business issues CEOs, CCOs and CMOs are most concerned about and their confidence in managing them. The 2019 report used an innovative artificial intelligence (AI) research methodology to analyze what more than 58,000 business leaders were saying online. In addition to a global report, there are six regional reports available for download. View report findings and download.

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