Ernan Roman, president of ERDM, which conducts specialized Voice of Customer (VoC) Relationship Research to identify Customer Experience (CX) strategies and actions, knows some telltale signs of a brand’s commitment to a personalized customer experience.  

Active consumer listening with a goal of deep understanding is a key element of CX transformation because it lets brands look at touch points and interactions from a value-driven experience standpoint that cultivates ongoing loyalty, not just an end-point transaction goal, Roman noted.

“Building CX means building trust,” Roman explained. “If consumers do not trust a brand or trust that the brand will deliver value or appreciation for their loyalty, the consumer will go elsewhere for a better experience.”
It is clear from research that profound differences exist among generational segments of our culture, including Millennials, Generation X, and Baby Boomers. What might be a solid customer engagement tactic in one segment might not be as effective in another.

Roman believes that correct data interpretation is essential in developing CX innovation.

“True understanding of who and how consumers interact with the brand will shape every strategy, communication, and the CX program’s success,” Roman said.

Companies should consider, Roman noted, assembling a customer success team with representatives from all aspects of CX and loyalty so that “your company can continually have a 360-degree view of engagement wins and losses. Cultivate consumer advocacy so that you are regularly receiving input from those who interact with the brand most.”

When it comes to data’s role in a brand’s commitment to personalizing the customer experience, Roman thinks a key question must be answered: How are consumers interacting with your brand?

“Does your data provide that answer?” he said. “If not, it’s time to rethink how you collect and interpret incoming information to be sure that the data you are collecting is useful and brings actual insights to drive marketing initiatives. Reinvent your data to put consumers into segments based on preferences, purchases, communication methods, inquiries/customer service issues, lapsed, new, loyal, etc. Then rethink communication and engagement strategies for each segment, not for customers in general.”

Brand culture and senior management need to support CX and loyalty initiatives by creating a customer-focused culture, customer-focused metrics, CX-based compensation, integrated consumer communication across all touch points, and an adequate CX budget allocation, according to Roman.

“Keep the company engaged in the CX journey by establishing formal and regular means of providing the organization with progress report cards and performance against CX metrics,” he explained. “Brands that have successful consumer engagement strategies put consumer understanding at the top of their priority lists.”

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