Businesses today need to make customer experience a priority if they want to maximize their long-term success. To do so not only requires companies to analyze and improve how they interact with customers, but also to take a closer look at the company’s internal culture and mission and see how that aligns with what customers want.
Customer Experience as a Differentiator
This year, 89% of marketers think customer experience will be their primary differentiator, finds Gartner.
That means that getting ahead of the competition doesn’t have to be about racing to the bottom on prices, but instead, businesses can invest in delivering better customer experience.
Already, customer experience outranks price and product as the most important factor for B2B strategy, and this importance will increase by 2020, according to a study by Walker.
Once we reach that year, customers “will be more informed and in charge of the experience they receive. They will expect companies to know their individual needs and personalize the experience,” writes Walker.
While companies need to be able to become more data-centric in order to deliver more personalized experiences, they still need to look at macro trends in order to adapt accordingly, and from there they can customize the experience.
One of those macro trends is an increased focus on sustainability. Globally, 91% of consumers expect companies to operate in a socially and environmentally responsible way, rather than just focusing on profitability, according to a study by Cone Communications and Ebiquity. And 84% said they seek out responsible products whenever possible.
With that in mind, companies cannot even start to improve customer experience for most consumers without operating sustainability.
Once sustainability becomes part of a company’s culture, however, they can then start to work that aspect into their customer experience strategy.
For example, an online retailer could customize order confirmation emails through the lens of sustainability, based on the data they collect on customers. If a customer tends to buy recycled products, the thank you message can acknowledge the customer for making an effort to use less resources and include information about how the company is doing so as well. Or if a customer purchases primarily organic cotton items from a brick-and-mortar clothing store, the store could incorporate that into their content marketing, such as sending the customer a blog post about the best restaurants nearby for organic food.
These efforts help consumers feel aligned with the company, as the business shows that they understand their individual interests. And this pays off for the company, because 89% of U.S. consumers say they are loyal to brands that share their values, finds a new study by Wunderman.
Getting Started with Data and Sustainability
Businesses can start to become more data-driven and sustainable by analyzing their own energy management practices, such as with energy analytics software (EAS). Doing so helps companies apply energy diagnostics to reduce consumption and greenhouse gas emissions so that the company improves sustainability, internal awareness and alignment with consumer values.
And for companies that need to get more comfortable using analytics to drive strategy, EAS can be help because of its immediacy. The energy analytics could show how replacing certain pieces of equipment would lower operating expenses, and those energy cost savings could be a good motivator to see how else analytics can increase profitability, such as by using customer data to personalize customer experience.
Request a complimentary energy efficiency assessment to find out how Artis Energy’s RTIS® energy analytics platform can provide you with the visibility and insight to transform energy from a fixed cost into a distinct competitive advantage.