How are brands driving the customer experience shift from a cost center to a profit center? By Cuemath’s Tanaya Kilara

By Tanaya Kilara, Chief Experience Architect at Cuemath.

Companies today have invested heavily in tools and technologies to help them better understand their customers and gain the advantages of superior customer experience (CX). Although this was not the case pre-pandemic; companies are now building customer success teams as they look at CX to increase return on investment (ROI) by attracting, retaining, and growing share of wallet. CX transformations now seem a necessity for all organisations, as consumer choice and experience are taking over price and product as key brand differentiators.

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Product versus service distinction

Today, companies are listening to customers very closely, and this has helped them fine-tune their processes. Right from the moment the customer lands on the website, brands want to make a good first impression and keep improving customer acquisition processes. In service industries like education, how a company delivers value for the customer post sale determines whether they stay with the brand and promote it to potential customers. In this context it becomes important that support centers view their remit as wowing their customers with superior service, and not just closing tickets. Elements such as upsell, retention and referrals through word of mouth are key metrics for CX teams making CX a profit center, and not just a cost center. There’s no one-size-fits call approach to CX – mature companies and fast-growing startups alike are moving fast to invest, as continuous engagement with their customers results in a product that truly fits their needs.

Understanding the customers ‘moment of truth’

The first experience with a brand is truly the most important. Marketers have now understood that retained business through customer loyalty/advocacy is more economical than price acquisition, and therefore getting it right the first time is crucial, because that will drive recurring sales. Being able to plug in different entities, products, and channels, analyse, and act upon the results from one single dashboard significantly improves productivity and the efficiency of services in the customer lifecycle. However, it will not be possible to deliver differentiated and personalised experiences all the time. It is therefore vital to understand the customer’s entire lifecycle and not just their buying journey. To achieve this, we need to map the customer’s journey, ascertain moments of truth and measure how we are maximising customer delight at those moments of truth.

Customer success in EdTech requires a long-term strategy. It goes through a lifecycle aimed at ensuring customer retention, intending to maximise student and educator involvement, while reducing churn to other companies. Setting up a dedicated customer-centric team ensures the customer journey is fruitful, and interaction is personalised. Incorporating effective onboarding strategies will make customers more educated than before.

Personalisation and digitisation for increased customer loyalty

Working across different geographies and demographics, we have realised that exceeding customer expectation is critical for customer delight. Hence, the future of customer engagement will be shaped by how effectively a brand can personalise messaging and customise products and services. Brands that do not incorporate an element of customer delight or personalisation risk losing consumer engagement and loyalty.

We believe personalisation in that context becomes quite important. Therefore, the next logical question is how do you figure out the need, and then how do you map the learning journey in line with at least satisfying that need? In this instance technology really excites us. Innovative concepts such as gamification, machine learning augmented by data analytics, and the application of AI will intensify as primary technological drivers of the EdTech revolution and the wider trend of personalisation.

Let me cite an example around online learning. As kids are working on the platform, doing practice sheets, quizzes, etc., we can determine the learning level of the child and the platform can adapt the learning path for the child too. Another key element of personalisation is segmentation. For example, parents in the GCC are not the same as parents in the US. Furthermore, a parent in Saudi Arabia has a different thought process to a parent in Dubai. We need to understand how parents are thinking, what differentiates them, how do they make their decisions? That will then help us to customise the parent journey, in addition to the kid’s trajectory and it is these kind of insights from a CX journey that really excite us.

Towering expectations by consumers and the technology required to meet them are shaping the future of product development, and in turn, revolutionizing customer experience. The sectors and companies that innovate and adapt their products and services meet modern consumer needs will grow their market share, achieve larger economies of scale, and most importantly, build services that create true impact for customer.