As brands re-enter the post-pandemic world, many still struggle with how they can gain a competitive advantage over their competition with all the reported changes in consumer behavior. Global Technology company NTT Ltd. conducted its 20th annual study in the latter half of 2019 and polled more than a thousand global executives representing 13 industries.

NTT’s latest results confirmed among respondents that customer experience or CX is what sets one company apart over another and is the primary indicator of strategic performance. Nearly 82% of those surveyed agreed. However, just only 12% admitted that their customers rated the brand’s CX at a good promotional level.

Consistency in interactions tops the list of what consumers expect from brands. Here are some tips on a successful strategy.

Tips

A major finding of the study revealed that the top quartile of successful respondents shared these commonalities. They defined the value of CX to them and understood why it’s a major part of their strategy and what it brings to the company’s goals.

The difference between them and those not yet engaged was significant. The successful brands scored over 28% in promoter level results versus 9.5% of those not yet into CX.
CX solutions that surpass every customer touchpoint are significant to elevating customer satisfaction.

One key element is speed in responding to consumer queries. When comparing successful CX companies with those working in silos, NTT discovered significant differences in the following venues: nearly 42% better on the phone, more than 34% better on email, 10.2% better on web chat and almost 34% better on social media.

If it’s not yet used, consider investing in a proactive CX program. Not only will it anticipate what a customer wants to know, but it will deliver meaningful content at the appropriate time. Understanding why consumers initially contacted the brand gives marketers information to tailor design content that will deliver valuable and timely content.
Instituting a program on how a brand listens to its customers is also important.

By launching a formal voice of the customer (VoC) program, the successful brands saw a nearly 65% improvement in customer loyalty compared to 51% for those who didn’t. More importantly, the difference in improved revenue/profits was 50%, versus 36%. Reducing costs saw a difference of 38.4%, as opposed to 29.6%.

Brands currently employing CX would do well to reassess how they’re currently doing. Only 10% of those surveyed told NTT they were very satisfied with their CX capability. Of those polled, 63% said they were fairly satisfied, while 24% were fairly dissatisfied, and 2.9% reported being very dissatisfied.

A self-check is particularly important because NTT’s study revealed 52% of consumers at what they called a “distractor” level or not satisfied with their customer experience. This number usually indicates not just a poor CX strategy but also the inability of a brand to assimilate services for its customers.

Conclusion

As consumers adjust to what observers are calling the new normal, CX will be more important than before the pandemic. More consumers are online browsing and shopping and will continue to do so.

Brands trying to decide on concentrating and investing in CX should consider the top business outcome findings by NTT. Customer engagement improved 29.5% at companies with a good CX strategy. Brand value and customers differentiating the brand from its competition increased 17.4%. And the always important yardstick of commercial performance improved 15.7%.

The important areas of customer trust and loyalty improved 13.2% and 11.8% respectively, while another 10% reported that it helped draw in new customers.

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Ronn Torossian is the Founder, President and CEO of New York-based 5W Public Relations. He has overseen the company's rapid growth and expansion to the Inc. 500 list, as well as provided counsel to hundreds of companies, including members of the Fortune 500, Inc. 500 and Forbes 400. His work spans global interests, corporate entities, high-profile individuals, regional business entities, government agencies and academic institutions - both on routine public relations matters and extremely sensitive issues. One of the foremost public relations experts in the U.S., Torossian is known for his aggressive, results-focused orientation, as well as his close working relationships with members of the media, influencers, decision makers, politicians and celebrities. At 5W Public Relations, Torossian's client experience has included programs for Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Anheuser-Busch, Barnes & Noble, Cantor Fitzgerald, IHOP, McDonald's, Evian, EDS, VeriSign, XM Radio, Seagram's, The Loews Regency, Bad Boy Worldwide Entertainment, Marriott Hotels, Vail Resorts, Pamela Anderson, Snoop Dogg, the Government of Israel, and others. Referred to by The New York Post as a "publicity guru," by Fox News as a "high-powered PR CEO," by Tyra Banks as a "crisis management guru," and by CNN as "a leading PR expert," Torossian is regularly featured in and quoted by the media, including by CNN, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, NBC, The New York Times, and others. CBS National News said "Ronn Torossian knows spin," and a New York Times feature story on Torossian referred to him as "The consummate hard-driving, scrappy NY publicist." Earlier in his career, Torossian was a Vice President/Group Director for one of The InterPublic Group's (IPG) largest PR agencies, where he was responsible for significant client growth and successful client programs, including work for Clinique, Fox News Channel, DHL, Hard Rock Café and others. A resident of Manhattan’s Upper West Side, Torossian was named to the Advertising Age "40 Under 40" list, PR Week's "40 Under 40" List, is a regular lecturer at universities and conferences, a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and a board member of numerous non-profit organizations.