Guest blog: Are your systems holding your customer communications back?

Guest blog by Ross Kittlety, Head of CCM, Paragon Customer Communications

Guest blog by Ross Kittlety, Head of CCM, Paragon Customer Communications

We’re all critically aware of the business value and opportunity of meeting customers’ expectations when it comes to communication and experience – but delivering content that meets those expectations can sometimes feel unattainable.

You can take some solace in knowing that your business is not alone in its attempts to deliver an experience that matches customer expectation. While 73% of customers expect companies to understand their needs and expectations, only 51% of them feel that companies do that.

But businesses are spending big in order to better align with customer expectations – in Gartner’s 2019 Customer Experience Management Survey more than two-thirds of CX leaders anticipated budget increases in 2020.

Clearly, there’s a significant competitive edge to be found in elevating your customer experience – not just in line with expectation, but exceeding it. Nearly two-thirds (63%) of customers agree that the best brands exceed expectations across the customer journey.

So, what’s stopping you from becoming a brand that can give its customers exactly what they need, when they need it, exactly how they want it? We’d suggest that it is likely related to your current legacy systems and processes, not your possibilities or capabilities as a business. In a poll from ScienceLogic and Forrester, 86% said they still use at least one legacy tool – and only 12% of today’s enterprises have fully transitioned to modern tools.

Overcoming the issue of standardisation

Great customer communication is entirely reliant on good data – brought together and then standardised so that actionable insights can be drawn from it.

When there’s a number of legacy systems in play, each generating their own unique data values, there’s a need to take those disparate data sets and standardise them so that they are consistent across all entries.

Standardising data is a key step in data preparation, but it can be a time consuming and draining step. It can take excessive amounts of time to comb through each data entry to find variations that need to be standardised.

In an ideal world, to speed things up and make standardising data more efficient, those multiple legacy systems would be retired to make way for a single solution – but that itself isn’t always immediately achievable for reasons which might include outstanding contracts with vendors.

Obtaining a single view of truth

Integrating a single solution into your tech environment means more than just transforming raw data into usable information. Having an all-encompassing platform that gathers all information together on top provides you with the holy grail of great communication: a single source of truth.

A single source of truth is a data storage principle to always retrieve data from one point of access. Without a single version/source of the truth, it’s easy for marketing and PR teams to end up focusing on the wrong activities that fail to generate the most appropriate ROI. This is because teams end up being pulled in different directions — many of which will be the wrong ones.

A single source of truth encourages collaboration and alignment, meaning teams can work quicker to meet the demands of the customer. Real-time communication is what customers expect - 90% of customers find it important to receive an immediate response to their customer support questions; with a single source of truth, that’s what you can give them.

Centralised management of customer interactions also helps you unlock the other pot of gold: hyper-personalisation.

Given that 72% of consumers say they now only engage with marketing messages that are personalised and tailored to their interests, your communications risk going ignored if you fail to deploy the right messages to the right customers. Many businesses are learning this the hard way - but you don’t have to. 

To find out more visit: https://www.paragon-cc.com/en-gb

The views, opinions and positions expressed within guest blogs are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the BSA.