CX expert Gregorio Uglioni talks about the future of customer experience concerning omnichannel marketing, loyalty, and predictive analytics
“Experiences are the key differentiator in business. It’s something that cannot be easily copied. If companies compete on price, everybody will lose. The prices will often decrease and the quality of the product and service will also suffer. This is not the game companies want to be in. Competing on the product itself can be pretty challenging as products can be copied overnight,” said Gregorio Uglioni, host of the CX Goalkeeper podcast.
From consistent omnichannel experiences, the need for self-service, and the power of loyalty, the CX expert with over 15 years of experience discusses the core of customer experience (CX) and the smallest shifts in business strategies that can make or break a brand.
Excerpts from the interview
How can brands build an omnichannel marketing strategy to strengthen CX?
Before talking about the “how”, it is essential to address the “why”. Customers are bombarded by messages, news and information, and they need to be able to identify what is important for them. Therefore, if a company contacts a customer through one of the channels that customers often use, it is more likely to get their attention. This is the key, grasping the customers’ attention at the right point in time (over the right channel). This is one of the traits that make GaryVee one of the most successful entrepreneurs in this decade. We need to understand where the attention of people lies.
An omnichannel marketing strategy should help to achieve that.
Brands need to focus on their target customers and find the most suitable channels to interact with them. I am convinced that we will consolidate channels in the future. It will not be possible to maintain and continuously improve 10-15 communication channels. Most companies can still not offer an end-to-end consistent omnichannel experience. It is better to provide fewer channels but in a highly consistent way.
What is your view on customer self-service strategy?
Consider the concept of the value irritant matrix, created by Bill Price, the first VP for Customer Service at Amazon. He classifies interactions between a company and a customer based on two peculiarities: “value” and “irritation”. It’s a simple matrix.
Case 1: Interactions that should be leveraged if they create value for both the customer and the company. For instance, “I want to change my subscription”.
Case 2: Interactions that should be simplified if they create value for the company but irritate the customer. For example, an address check “did you still live at this address?”
Case 3: Interactions should be eliminated if they are irritating for both. For example, complaints.
Case 4: Interactions that should be automated if they irritate the company and create value for the customers. For instance, a password reset.
For all the processes that can be automated, the “self-servicing” strategy plays an important role. If a human being, an employee, cannot really add value, then offering a self-serving opportunity with the necessary guidance makes sense. Also, it depends on which target customers the self-service is designed for in this case. Not everybody wants to or can perform some processes by themselves.
Is customer loyalty possible in today’s consumer landscape?
Sure, it’s hard to achieve, but it is possible. Think about the typical examples: Nike, Ritz Carlton, or going to the same bakery every Sunday for their fresh croissants.
Being a CX Goalkeeper, the examples I like the most are the ones related to football fans. These are the most loyal customers that exist. They also spread positive word of mouth after their team loses a match, spending money on tickets and merchandise. Even more important, they are loyal because they are emotionally and mentally invested in their club’s performance. I think we, as CX practitioners, can learn a lot from soccer.
Should brands make loyalty their objective?
Sure. I am 100 per cent convinced. Experiences are the key differentiator in business. It’s something that cannot be easily copied.
If companies compete on price, everybody will lose. The prices will often decrease and the quality of the product and service will also suffer. This is not the game companies want to be in. Competing on the product itself can be pretty challenging as products can be copied overnight.
To create long-lasting recurring customers, companies need to involve them emotionally. For example, by creating memories that last over time, customers can remember them in the purchase decision process.
How will blockchain technology impact CX?
For every question related to technology, I often provide the same answer. Experiences are humans. Technology is a critical enabler to create experience but not the experience itself. I am certain blockchain will help create even more consistent superior experiences. Several use cases, such as NFTs and crypto payments already exist, and I look forward to seeing more use cases that will improve the customer experience (CX). Some of them will be game-changing. I think blockchain is not a bet anymore; it is a reality that companies need to prioritise.
How can predictive analysis increase customer satisfaction lifetime value?
Predictions will drive a lot of business decisions. For instance, proactive servicing, proactively informing the customer about, for example, delays in the delivery of goods or similar, is a use case that will help customers understand that the company cares about them.
And predictive analysis, predicting the probability of customer churning, will help companies keep customers longer and offer more personalised products and services.
Predictive analysis is a way to improve CX. If properly averaged, it will open many opportunities to understand customers, test assumptions better, and create new assumptions. I think the field is extremely broad. In the future, there will be a customer intelligence engine, which can be matched with the already existing business intelligence to flip businesses to the next level. I think only about what Netflix and Amazon are doing with the data. It’s incredible how they are raising the bar of customer expectations in relation to personalised experiences.
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