Why Frictionless Customer Experience Requires Agility and Speed

June 2, 2022

Consumers have spoken: Frictionless customer experience is table stakes for superior CX.

As part of our inaugural CX IQ Index, we surveyed hundreds of consumers about what matters most when it comes to customer experience.

And while data security and privacy were top of mind, another trend emerged in our findings: The importance of agility and speed to consistently delivering seamless experiences at the right time and place.

Among the 10 characteristics consumers are most likely to say are “very important” to CX, nearly half speak to a brand’s ability to quickly and flexibly respond to consumers’ wants and needs.

But moving quickly isn’t enough on its own. Read on to learn how to provide the frictionless customer experiences consumers demand.

Fast & Flexible Engagement Powers Seamless CX

Based on the percentage of consumers who rated them as “very important” (90 or higher on a 0-100 scale) to customer experience, the top 10 most critical CX characteristics are:

  1. Protects my data
  2. Respects my privacy
  3. Is knowledgeable about their products/services
  4. Is simple and easy to use/access
  5. Listens to me/is responsive
  6. Is available when I need them
  7. Has fast resolution of problems
  8. Consistently meets my expectations
  9. Consistent experience across all interactions (online/offline)
  10. Understands my needs

“Is available when I need them” — which 36% of consumers said is “very important” to CX — falls under the theme of convenience and speaks directly to brands’ need to easily detect questions and concerns.

Meanwhile, “listens to me/is responsive,” “has fast resolution of problems,” and “consistently meets my expectations” — which 37%, 35% and 33% of consumers said are “very important” to CX, respectively — all fall under the theme of reliability and highlight the importance of brands being able to quickly decide and act on customer inquiries.

Together, they paint a clear picture: Brands must not only personalize customer experiences based on consumers’ behaviors and preferences, but also do so quickly and at scale across channels.

Modern buyers expect brands to swiftly answer questions, resolve issues or simply facilitate a purchase whenever and wherever it suits them. In short, they expect omnichannel personalization, in real time and on their channel of choice.

Unfortunately, as many brands are discovering the hard way, meeting consumer expectations is difficult without the right marketing technology. Even more than budget and organizational buy-in, not having a satisfactory solution in place is the biggest barrier to omnichannel journey orchestration for 43% of brands.

Brands Overestimate Their Performance

We’ve written about closing the CX gap before, and as research shows, challenges persist across industries.

For instance, while 40% of media/publishing brands rate themselves as “very strong” (90 or higher on a 0-100 scale) for “consistently meets my expectations,” only 19% of consumers do.

And while 54% of financial services brands rate themselves as “very strong” for “is available when I need them,” only 38% of consumers feel the same way.

Finally, while 37% of retail brands rate themselves as “very strong” for “listens to me/is responsive,” only 29% of consumers agree.

It’s difficult for brands to keep up with consumers, no matter the vertical. After all, as one study found, the average consumer interacts with brands across 20 different channels.

But as customer journeys become more complex, speed alone isn’t the solution. Brands must be responsive and highly relevant. And to do so, they need to understand and anticipate their customers’ needs — including through predictive analytics.

Maximize Relevance in Real-Time Customer Journeys

As we’ve highlighted before, timeliness isn’t enough to turn buyers into brand loyalists. To meet consumer expectations, brands must deliver real-time customer experiences that are built on a foundation of deep personalization.

Updating a martech stack to support real-time customer experiences will give brands the agility and speed they need, but customer intelligence is key to making sure it resonates.

Consumers want brands to be available when they need them and to solve their problems quickly. They also want to know brands are listening to them and will respond at the right time and place.

But unless that response is based on the full customer profile — accounting for the consumer’s unique preferences and history with the brand — it will fall short.

The best real-time customer journeys aren’t just about taking immediate action, they’re about taking the right action. This requires a solution that enables brands to:

  • Serve up customer experiences in real time
  • Inform CX with both contextual and historical customer information
  • Orchestrate activation decisions across all online and offline channels for marketing, sales and customer service use cases

Speed is key. But accurate, accessible and actionable customer data is essential to providing frictionless customer experiences.

Make sure your martech stack enables you to do more than just move fast. Combine agility and speed with valuable customer insights.

Learn More About Providing A Frictionless Customer Experience

Download the 2022 CX IQ Index to learn more about the role of agility and speed in meeting consumer expectations. Have questions about providing real-time customer experiences that drive results? Contact our experts.

This post first appeared on the ActionIQ blog. To see the full article, click here.